Dit rituaal is een amerikaanse vertaling van het franse rituaal, zoals dat halverwege de negentiende eeuw gebruikt werd..
Decoration, Clothing, etc. is same as first degree with following additions: A ladder of five steps covered with flowers, upon the steps are inscribed names of the five senses. A rainbow transparency over the altar. In the African quarter is a small spiral tower about sixty centimetres high, solid enough to bear a man’s weight. Upon it is written in large letters “Tower of Babel monument of the pride of man.” Near the Inspectress is a small joiner’s bench lighted by two lamps, upon which lie a mallet and chisel, and a small box made to imitate a stone, in such a way that at the first blow on the chisel it opens and discloses the emblem of a flaming heart. The Temple is lighted by thirteen other lights of which seven are placed to the right and six to the left; also by a chandelier of three branches placed upon the altar, and one each upon the table of the Inspectress and Depositress. If these should not sufficiently light the room others are added, but they do not count in the mysterious number of 15 or 3 x 5. The painting represents:
1. The Ladder of the Mistress. 2. The Tower of Babel. 3. The Pit of Joseph. 4. The Dream of Jacob. 5. Lot’s wife as a pillar of salt. 6. The Burning of Sodom. 7. The Sacrifice of Noah. 8. Two flaming lamps. 9. Ark of Noah upon Mount Ararat. 10. Eleven Stars. 11. Sun. 12. Moon. 13. Rainbow. 14. Door. 15. Raven. Clothing same as 1. A crown of myrtle upon the head. The jewel is a golden trowel.
Opening is same as 1°, except that the duty of the Mistress is as follows: To love, protect and aid the Brothers and Sisters.
The Mistress of Ceremonies leads the Aspirant into the Chamber of reflection and addresses her upon the importance of the degree which she solicits; over the neck she places a handkerchief as a symbol of modesty and bandages her eyes. She then leads her to the door and strikes 5 - 5. The door being opened she reports to the Sister Depositress who again, in the same words, reports to the Mistress as follows: Worshipful Mistress, at the door of the Lodge is a Sister Companion who has served her time and desire to be raised to the degree of Mistress.
WM.: Admit her. (Done.) My dear Sister before I can accede to your request to admit you to the grade of Mistress, I muse first ascertain your proficiency in the preceding degrees. She then questions her on the Lectures of 1° and 2°. My dear Sister, I must now request you to undertake a journey commencing on the African side.
A plank abont three yards long is made to rest upon the tower; they then conduct the Aspirant to the top of the tower and silently withdraw the plank.
WM.: Sister Companion. What is the object you most desire?
Aspirant: To be raised to the rank of Mistress.
WM.: You must know, my dear Sister, that you can only obtain this dignity by the constant practice of virtue, good works and humility. At present we are unable to confer this degree upon you without acting in opposition to our rules; and in order to prove to you that our refusal is just, we will restore you to light, and you will thus comprehend the temerity of your request. Knocks 1; the bandage is removed, the ladder if placed to the tower and she is helped to descend; they cause her to read the inscription on the lower and then turn to the Mistress.
You see, my dear Sister, how necessary to us is the light of reason, wisdom and truth; and into what an excess of error, ignorance and blindness, we may be led without these aids. You will easily understand that having mounted so innocently to that high arid isolated degree in our Lodge, we were unable, until you had descended from it, to receive you into the Order. Are you henceforth content to practice that humility which those should possess who enter into the Sanctuary of Virtue?
Aspirant: I am.
Mistress: Then Sister Mistress of Ceremonies, you will conduct the Aspirant to the foot of the throne in order that she may take her Obligation. This is done. Repeat your name and surname and say after me Strikes 5 - 5; all rise. I, ..., promise under the same obligations that I have before contracted, to guard faithfully the secrets of Mistress from the Companions as I have promised to guard those of Apprentice from the profane. I promise to protect and succour my Brothers and Sisters when occasion calls for it and if I fail in this my solemn promise may the which attaches to perjury fall upon me. To my surety in the faithful thereof, may God be my aid. So be it.
WM. raises Aspirant and strikes 1; all are seated.
WM.: My dear Sister, as the degree to which you aspire is given only to labor and constancy, I cannot as yet reveal to you our mysteries; there is first a duty for you to perform which it is essential that you should fulfill. Do you consent to labor for the rank which you seek?
Aspirant: I do.
WM.: Then you will repair to the workshop of Mistress, an convince us by the zeal and ardour with which you labor, that you merit at our hands the august rank to which you aspire. When you arrive at the Bench the Sisters will teach you how to handle the Mallet and Chisel. The Aspirant is led to the Bench and told to strike 5 blows upon the corner of the box and one blow in the middle, which will cause it to open. When it is open the Mistress of Ceremonies shows the Aspirant the heart and reports.
Mis. Ceremonies: Worshipful Mistress, the Sister Companion has labored worthily.
WM.: What has the labor produced?
Mis. Ceremonies: A heart which is permeated with silence and virtue. Shows the box to the WM. who takes out the flaming heart.
WM.: This labor, my very dear Sister, is intended to indicate to you that which our Lodge expects of you in right of Adoption. The possession of a good heart, upright, virtuous, sincere and discreet. Behold the principles of the Masonry of Adoption explained to you by these five qualities of which you must never lose sight, they are the beginning and end of all our mysteries, a good heart, upright thoughts, virtuous actions, sincere love, and a discreet life within and without our Lodges. We conceal our secrets for the purpose of exciting inquiry amongst those who desire to enter our Society and become our Brothers and Sisters, and also in order, by the rigorous examination which we make, to deter the vicious, whom we regard as profanes. You will feel, my dear Sister, that our mysteries have too good an aim to be lightly revealed by you, and I am sure you will never be guilty of such indiscretion, more especially as an inviolable oath obliges you to secrecy; and we are fully persuaded that our mysterious instruction will remain engraven on your heart. You will now be assisted to mount the mysterious ladder which leads to Perfection.
The Mistress of Ceremonies takes the Aspirant by the hand, and conducts her to the foot of the ladder; and causes her to place her left foot, and then the right, parallel on the first step, and afterwards on the 4 others, instructing her at each step to pronounce one of the following words: CANDOUR, SWEETNESS, TEMPERANCE, TRUTH, CHASTITY.
Mis. Ceremonies: Worshipful Mistress, the Aspirant has arrived at the summit of felicity and perfection.
WM., rises, takes Aspirant’s hand kindly and helps her to descend: My dear Sister, the wise principles of our Order have taught us to consider that it is an insufficient reward, if we merely extend to virtue that esteem which every one ought willingly to accord to it. For this reason we have in Adoptive Masonry other rewards to show our appreciation. I therefore decorate you with this Jewel, a golden trowel, as an honorable mark of the pure homage which we render to you. The trowel is amongst us the badge of a Mistress, because according to its true merit, it is an emblem of a courageous soul, Mistress of herself. As a Mistress I give you on behalf of this Lodge a sisterly welcome. Embraces her as in the Degree of Apprentice. I will now communicate to you the means by which we recognize each other in this high degree. These secrets are here explained. Present yourself to the Sisters Inspectress and Depositress and make yourself known as Mistress.
The Mistress of Ceremonies conducts her to the Inspectress and then to the Depositress, who examines her in the secrets and the latter then reports: Worshipful Mistress, the signs, tokens and words given of the Mistress are correct.
WM., strikes 5 - 5; all rise: To order, my dear Brothers and Sisters, I call upon you henceforth to recognize Sister as a Mistress and a member of this Lodge of Adoption; to bear perpetual friendship to her and to to render her aid and assistance in case of need. Join with me in welcoming her. Battery as 1°.
Q.: Are you Mistress?
A.: I have mounted the mysterious ladder.
Q.: What do its two sides represent?
A.: The love of God and our neighbors.
Q.: What do the five steps represent?
A.: Candour, Sweetness, Temperance, Truth, Chastity.
Q.: What do you understand by the first step?
A.: Candour, the virtue proper to a refined soul, susceptible to all good intentions.
Q.: What do you understand by the second?
A.: Sweetness, a virtue which I should practice to all mankind, but especially to my Brothers and Sisters.
Q.: What do you learn at the third?
A.: Temperance, which teaches me to put a restraint on my feelings, and shun all forbidden pleasure.
Q.: How did you arrive at the fourth?
A.: By truth the beloved child of God.
Q.: How do you mount the fifth?
A.: I hope to mount it by the practice of discretion and silence in all that may be confided to me under the seal of Masonry.
Q.: What does the fifth and last step signify?
A.: Charity, subdivided into the love of God, and our neighbour.
Q.: Are there any steps between these?
A.: There are others without number.
Q.: To whom is it reserved to know them?
A.: To all good members of the Masonry of Adoption, who being instructed how to mount the first step have learned the practice of the moral virtues.
Q.: Where is the foot of this ladder placed?
A.: Upon the Lord’s footstool: the earth.
Q.: Where does the summit rest?
A.: At the throne of the Creator, the abode of felicity.
Q.: Who was the Mason and saw that ladder?
A.: The patriarch Jacob who saw it in his dream.
Q.: Where were you received Mistress?
A.: Close to the sacrifice of the patriarch Noah.
Q.: What does the painting of the Lodge represent?
A.: Besides the Ladder of Mistress, the Tower of Babel, Joseph in the Pit, Jacob’s dream, Lots wife in a Statue of Salt, the Burning of Sodom, the sacrifice of Noah, the Ark of Noah on Mount Ararat, Eleven Stars, Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Dove and Raven.
Q.: What lesson do we learn by the Tower of Babel?
A.: The prick of the children of this world against which it is necessary to be fortified with a humble and sincere heart. The Greeks expressed this symbol by the fable of the Titans who sought to scale the heavens.
Q.: Has it any other signification?
A.: It is a symbol of a badly conducted Lodge where without obedience and concord they fall into confusion and disorder. Its spiral ascent typifies the duplicities of the falsehearted and vain.
Q.: What do we learn by the burning of Sodom?
A.: That God punishes crime. The two pairs of flames are the horrific image of that punishment.
Q.: What signifies the statue of Lots wife?
A.: That curiosity is the road to perdition.
Q.: What does Noahs sacrifice represent?
A.: Gratitude and the confession of thanks.
Q.: Have you a knowledge of the Ark?
A.: Yes, as a Lady Mason, I work in the Ark and I go to my Lodge to assuage the evils of humanity.
Q.: How is the Ark lighted?
A.: By a single window, to mark that all the actions of Masonry should be lighted by reason.
Q.: Upon what mountain did the Ark rest?
A.: Upon Mount Ararat in Armenia, which indicates to us that we should seek privacy and shelter from the profane.
Q.: What bird first left the Ark?
A.: A Raven, which came not back, symbol of the false Brother who neglects the innocent pleasures of the Lodge for voluptuous indulgence.
Q.: What was the second bird?
A.: The Dove, which brought back an olive branch, symbol of all good Masons, because in Lodge they are the messengers of peace.
Q.: What do the Eleven Stars represent?
A.: The revenge of the eleven brothers of Joseph who in their desire to destroy him, secured his advancement and happiness.
Q.: What do the Sun and Moon signify?
A.: They represent by their beneficent action the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
Q.: Of all the light which the stars dispense, which do you prefer.
A.: That moral and philosophical light which in pure hearts and among enlightened nations survives all others.
Q.: That does the Rainbow represent?
A.: The alliance which God made with Noah and his family, represented by the five colors, which, combined, demonstrate our fraternal union.
Q.: What is the symbol of Mistress?
A.: The Trowel.
Q.: What purpose does it serve?
A.: To inspire in us sentiments of honour and wisdom as being the emblem of virtue and forgiveness of offenses.
Q.: What is necessary in order to establish, respectively, between the two sexes, the sacred rights of society?
A.: Equity and Indulgence.
Q.: Why Equity?
A.: Because it is the basis of human society and of that natural law, which says to us “Do unto others what thou wouldst wish should be done onto thee; do nothing to another but what thou wouldst wish should be done to thee.”
Q.: Why Indulgence?
A.: Because the moral perfection for which we work can never be complete without it; Indulgence is indispensable to enable us to pardon the weakness inseparable from humanity.
Q.: Give me the sign. (Done).
Q.: Repeat the word. (Done).
Q.: What does that word signify?
A.: The brilliant light of truth has dazzled my eyes.
Q.: Give me the grip. (Done).
Q.: Give me the sign of reply. (Done).
Q.: Why do you apply these secrets to the five senses?
A.: To remind me to make good use of them. The 1st. on the mouth teaches that indiscretion is as much a vice as sensuality and that our banquets must be temperate if we would maintain our friendship. The 2nd. upon the ear teaches us to close our ears to calumny. The 3rd. upon the eyes teaches us that a Mason ought to regard his sisters with an eye of friendship and respect their wisdom and virtue. The 4th. upon the nose indicates that we should be above the things which flatter the senses, and never sacrifice the good of society to our own pleasures. The 5th. is the token of the 1° and reminds us that each time we take the hand we renew our treaty of peace, and that we are always ready to hold out our hand to help our Brothers and Sisters in danger and necessity.
Q.: What are the duties of Mistress?
A.: To love, protect and succour the Brothers and Sisters.
Reply: Let us love, protect and succour each other, according to our promise.
My dear Brothers and Sisters. The history of Adoptive Masonry covers a period above a century and a half and some of our Sisters have borne the greatest and noblest names in the world; none of you I am sure will ever dishonour our Society, or the Noble Sisters who have cherished it. It is the production of the respectful gallantry of Brother Masons and a testimony of esteem for their confidence in our sex, which induced them to admit their wives, their daughters and their sisters amongst us, to partake of our innocent pleasures, where, above all places, they ought to meet with instruction and good morality. Perhaps also, in some cases, in admitting ladies to our Society, the intention of the Brothers has been to give a pleasant recreation to their female relatives by initiating them into a beautiful moral system in resemblance of their own, and thus to purchase from them the comfort of their homes. In other cases the object may have been to temper thus their fears of the anathemas and interdictions by which, in some parts of the world, the Masonic Order has been struck and menaced. The innocent decency, social happiness, and family pleasure, which always reigns in our Adoptive assemblies, which have the effect of tranquillising the authorities upon those Mysteries in which Masons occupy themselves. And since we only employ ourselves in the study and advancement of humanity, nature, and the acquisition of science and philosophy, we ought, by our labors, to become better men. Such being our sole aim, why should we not admit those of the fair sex to cooperate with us, who merit the honor? This plan was followed in the case of those ancient societies which had similar aims to our own more modern association, and was transmitted to the schools which succeeded the ancient mysteries; it was in fact, a custom adopted for the conservation of these remote mysteries. But when an era of proscription and persecution set in, it would have have been highly impudent for the men to have submitted their wives and daughters to the same risks.
They therefore concurred to preserve their mysteries, and to safeguard alone, that precious knowledge which the ignorance and fanaticism of their persecutors would have delivered to the fire.
The mission of the Masonry of Adoption
is to render mankind happier and better, and that is a mission worthy of any
school of wisdom. In our Masonic Lodges we assemble only for peaceful and moral
objects and dream not of politics and war. A ladies’ Lodge of Adoptive Masonry
is for us an occasion of innocent pleasure and social instruction; our dogmas
are devoid of superstition, or of religion without dignity and virtue, a state
of things which too long has reigned queen of the world.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us ever conduct ourselves in such a manner that Adoptive Masonry may be an honour to us all, and a blessing to the parent society which gave it birth.