The title of the lecture lacks precision for 'The Words and Symbols of the 18th Degree comprise the whole ritual whereas in fact, I am only going to talk about some of the words; the passwords and those words important to us as symbols.
Strangely enough they occur for the most part, in pairs. The first pair is a Siamese pair, our name Rose-Croix. In summarising the explanation of our jewel the importance of the rose and the cross is revealed by naming them only and leaving unnamed the rest as other emblems peculiar to this degree.
The rose is not the emblem of secrecy and silence for our rite alone. It was so from legendary times when Eros, the boy god of love, bribed Harpocrates, the god of silence, with a rose in order to hush up the frequent amours of his mother Venus. In mediaeval times in Italy innkeepers hung a rosebush outside their door as a sign that the management and staff would be discreet about happenings in the inn. When I was young, information intended to be confidential, was not communicated 'off the record' but 'sub rosa - under the rose'.
Dining-halls were built, especially in England, with roses sculpted into the roof to remind diners that what was said during meals, was said under the rose.
The cross of course, is the cross of Calvary, red with the precious blood. It stands at the very centre of our degree, set in time between the ninth hour of the day and the third day, being the first day of the week; and forms an important part of the furniture of the First Point. But in the Second Point it is a Greek cross, which appears on the white frontal; and whenever a cross forms part of a sign or token, it is a St. Andrew's cross.
The cross of Calvary appears on our jewel of course, but otherwise only in the First Point.
Taken together as Rose-Croix these two words give our order its name. Until recently it was unfashionable to suggest that our rite had any derivation from Rosicrucianism but that attitude is now modified and we cannot ignore some connection. I refer of course to the Rosicrucian story which caught the attention of Europe in the early part of the seventeenth century with the publication of three pamphlets about the life and death of the mystical Christian Rosenkreuz with ideals which in some ways resembled ours
A society which seemed not to exist outside these 'ludibria', as they were called, for in spite of great searching no one who was a member has ever been identified. Of course I am not referring to the modern organisation for moral uplift, which was founded in America in 1909 by H. Spencer Lewis.
The word Heredom gives us trouble in finding a single convincing meaning. Brigadier ACF Jackson in his history of the rite offers three suggestions. That it derives from the Latin 'heres domus - meaning heir of the house' and in fact it is an ancient variant spelling of our word 'heirdom', the state of being an heir.
Indeed some people extend this to mean inheritance ofa place in Heaven. An explanation which corresponds with his second suggestion that it derives from the Greek 'hieros domus' meaning 'holy house'. His third suggestion was that the word comes from an ancient legend that Heredom was the name of a mountain in the west of Scotland near Kilwinning but no one has found corroboration of such a place in spite of the long tradition of Masonry with that region.
In turning to passwords, it is strange that for the most part, these words when they come from the Bible appear there only once.



The first pair are the words 'Abaddon' and 'Jahabulon'. Although strictly speaking these words belong to the Intermediate Degrees as passwords of the 11th degree, they are after all, repeated to gain entry to the First Point. The word 'Abaddon' comes from the Book of Revelations (9.xi) after the sound of the fifth trumpet and reads "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon".

We can readily understand from this verse why he is to us the evil one. It may be interesting to note, (not that it matters), but dictionaries place the accent on the second syllable so that the word becomes. Abaddon. As Apollyon he becomes a major character in John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" but the only other reference I know to Abaddon is in Milton's "Paradise Lost" where the word is used as a name for Hell itself. The word 'Jahabulon' does not appear in the Bible nor anywhere else that I know of. It is obvious that the first letters JAH (See Psalm 68.iv) are a form of the name Jehovah, that four-letter word, the Tetragrammaton JHVH that it was forbidden to utter except by those who had stood face to face with God. I do not have any Hebrew but I hope that there may be a word 'abulon' meaning 'help' for the word means to us that the, Lord is our help.
Next we come to the exchange words of the degree itself. The word 'Emmanuel' appears only once in the Bible; in the New Testament (Matthew 1.xxiii) which reads "And a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call him Emmanuel which being interpreted is 'God with us"'. But Matthew is here merely repeating in almost identical words a prophecy from our Isaiah (7.xiv) although the word there is spelt Immanuel. The phrase 'Pax vobiscum' means 'Peace (be) with you'  Pax from the Latin word we used at school to mark an end to hostilities and Vobiscum with the preposition 'cum' meaning 'with' Joined as a suffix to the pronoun 'vobis' plural for 'you'. This phrase does not appear in the New Testament in Latin but it does appear, only once, in the Latin Bible, in Genesis (43.xxiii) when Joseph's brethren, finding coins in the top of their sacks a second time, return in trepidation to Egypt and Joseph tells them "Pax vobiscum; nolite timere - Peace be with you; be not afraid".

But phrases not in this exact form, although identical in meaning, do appear in the Vulgate, in contexts perhaps more appropriate for our order; in the Book of Tobit in the Apocrypha where Raphael uses such a phrase to reveal his identity; and similar phrases are used by Jesus in John's Gospel when greeting his disciples on that very first Easter morning and again some eight days later at the time when Thomas doubted his wound.
In former ecclesiastical use the word "Pax' as distinct from the word 'Pyx' was a word used at High Mass and meant 'The kiss of. Peace', It was also the name of the crucifix, reliquary or tablet passed around among clergy and congregation for the ceremony of the Kiss of Peace, Indeed here we find the origin for our custom of kissing the bride for the Salisbury rubric laid it down that a husband and wife must not kiss during a wedding ceremony before the kiss of peace. There was also a practice in the Catholic Church, both Roman and Anglican that wherever in the order of service the priest said "Dominus vobiscum - The Lord be with you" and the congregation replied "Et cun spiritu tuo - And with thy spirit", a bishop was entitled to substitute "Pax vobiscum". Perhaps this is why the Scottish rite, no doubt eager to get away from papal ways, preferred 'Pax tibi' still meaning. "Peace to you' but in the singular and not the plural.




Our next pair is 'Pelican' and 'Eagle'. These words appear together in the same verse in the Bible twice (Leviticus 11 xviii and Deuteronomy 14 xvii) but only as two of the unclean birds, which the Israelites in the desert are forbidden to eat and in any case the eagle is the gier-eagle or vulture so these appearances have little to do with us. The pelican of our ritual is not the water bird we know to day although it had the same distensible membrane suspended from its lower mandible. It appears several times in the Old Testament as 'Pelicanus solitudinis - a pelican of the wilderness' (Vulgate Psalm 101 vii and A. V. Psalm The fable of feeding its young is probably of Egyptian origin and comes to us from a fourth century bishop Epiphanies and then from St. Augustine who took it up as a symbol of redemption. As a heraldic device represented by the bird vulning her own breast it became well known and the shape of, this device has led to the word 'pelican' being used for a curved tubulaled vessel in distilling liquors as well as for a dental implement with a curved beak used in extractions. It occurs in literature as a figure of speech, perhaps most aptly for us in Dante's "Paradiso" (24.cxiii).  
"Questi e celui che giacque sopra'l petto
del nostro pelicano, e questi fui
di su 1a croce al grando officio e1etto."
which translates as
"This is he that lay on the breast of our Pelican,
He that was chosen from the Cross for the great charge"
An apt reminder that it was our Evangelist John, the beloved disciple who lay on the Master's breast at the Last Supper and to whom Jesus from the cross entrusted the care of his mother.
The eagle of course has been the symbol of royal power from earliest times. To the Romans it was the bird of Jupiter and it was borne on their military standards. At the funeral ofa dead Emperor an eagle was released to symbolize the arrival of his soul among the gods. Charlemagne when crowning himself Emperor in, AD 801 is said to have re-adopted the eagle as his badge. The Roman eagle with its head turned to our right was later combined with the German eagle with its head turned to the left - now the emblem of our order - and it became in the fifteenth century the crest of the Holy Roman Empire at about the same time as it was adopted by the Tsars of Russia.
The eagle of our ritual and our Jewel is of course the eagle of Exodus (19.iv) who bore the Israelites on his wings. The quotation appears only two chapters after the arms of Moses were upheld by Aaron and Hur in the valley of Rephidim and in the very chapter in which Moses went up into Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. In Christian art this eagle with its wings extended is the symbol of St. John the Evangelist and often appears on church lecterns.
The Rose of Sharon occurs in conjunction with the lily of the valley. This is a mild misquotation as in the second canticle of the Song of Solomon it is the lily of the vallies. It is also a mistranslation in the King James' Bible of the original texts. There were of course no roses in ancient Palestine and in the Hebrew Bible the word is 'habusaleth' which I am told means a bulbous plant of the crocus type, most likely a narcissus. In the Greek Bible this is translated as 'flower of the open spaces' and when in the fifth century the Bible was translated into Latin, it became 'flos campi - flower ofthe field'; and this is the way it is translated in most of the modern bibles, which have appeared this century.




And now we come to the steps of the mysterious ladder. Seven has been in all cults as well as Freemasonry a mystic number and we follow the Pythagorean philosophers in seeing it as a combination ofthree and four. The triangle and the square, or in terms of our Masonic rite the Trinity based on the square of craft freemasonry. The first three steps, Faith, Hope and Charity are not peculiar to us; you will recall that they are steps on the Jacob's ladder of the First Tracing Board although they are not the first steps. The greatest of these is naturally Charity as Alexander Pope tells us:

"In faith andhope the world may disagree,
But all mankind's concern is Charity."

Charity for us does not have the meaning often given to it today, of  'the giving of alms'; for us it derives from the Latin word 'caritas' meaning love, affection, high regard; a spiritual love rather than physical. The OED still gives as first meaning of the word "Christian love ofone's fellow men" and so summarises in one word the New Testament's second great commandment that we should love our neighbour as ourselves, as shown for us in that 13th Chapter ofPaul's First Epistle to the Corinthians and a large part ofwhich the Prelate recites in the First Point.

The word INRI is ofcourse a tetragrammeton like the letters JHVH which is the first part of Jahabulon; it is a word that cannot be pronounced by itself and it would seem that our beloved John saw it as a replacement for that Old Testament word. The Bible on our altar sets this out plainly - "In the beginning was the word..."

It is this word that replaces the word of Moses' God with our faith in Jesus and his preaching of caring and compassion; his teaching that we should adopt the new commandment to love one another; as told us in the parable of Luke's Good Samaritan and set out in the second half of the 25th Chapter of Matthew. Of all our words and symbols these four letters embody more than any other symbol the inner essence of our degree and the secret doctrine, which we are enjoined to lock up in the sacred repository of our heart.

It is the word, which like JHVH, the old tetragrammeton, is not to be spoken abroad but destroyed at the end of every meeting until replaced at the correct time in our next assembly. Long may it continue to dominate our ceremonies and long may we continue to bend our knees to it!




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