Lodge of Living stones Lodge of Living Stones No 4957
in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding
OUR LODGE
OUR TRADITIONS

Silence
W.L. Wilmshurst advocated that at Lodge meetings complete silence should be maintained and attention focussed on the work in hand. On entering the Lodge each brother should resolutely and absolutely banish from his mind all external affairs

The Lodge has a period of silence before beginning its work and Wilmshurst also emphasised he importance of a three-minute silence at the conclusion of the main business, to allow brethren: 'to unite in realising the presence of the GAOTU and their unity in Him.

The climax of the First Degree is the restoration to light; the climax of the Second, Wilmshurst felt, should be a period of silence to stress the fundamental importance of silence and meditation, so that one can listen to the still small voice within. The Second Degree, Wilmshurst felt, should have brought us: 'to vivid realisation that in the heart of each of us there burns invisibly a "blazing star or glory in the centre." The personal realisation of that supreme truth was for him the whole purpose of the Second Degree.' At the March meeting we read W.L. Wilmshurst's Book of the Perfect Lodge, in which each of the Lodge Officers reads Wilmshurst's interpretation of the symbolic role of his office. This is, therefore, a particularly good meeting to visit.

Censing the Lodge Room
Before we open the Lodge we cense the room in preparation for the sacred and solemn work we are about to undertake.

Ceremony of the Lesser Lights
Beneath the "G" in middle of the Lodge of Living Stones, hangs a central light. During our Opening ceremony, light is spread out through the Lodge from this centre to the Lesser Lights at the pedestals of the three principal officers. In the Closing ceremony light returns again to the centre. This flame represents for us the Light of spiritual illumination and also the Lamp of knowledge.

W.L. Wilmshurst's Ring
In November 1917 Wilmshurst had received a gift of a ring from two old friends (Mr and Mrs Montague Powell) which became his greatest treasure. From the moment he received it, it seldom left his hand. The stone of the ring is a Jasper and portrays some Gnostic Christian initiate's private mark or glyph, and is a symbol of the regenerative mystery. It is Graeco-Italian work of the early second century AD, and depicts the following:
  1. Two human faces, back to back. The hinder one is dejected, the forward one is noble and animated. They represent the two faces of Janus, that is to say, the fallen Adam and the regenerate Adam, the benighted man and the initiated man.
  2. Hovering over both faces is an eagle, the symbol of man's higher self, the heaven-soaring spirit.
  3. The eagle has one foot on a serpent's tail, and this serpent rises towards the eagle's beak, as if to feed or kiss it; this signifies that man has within himself both a soaring spirit and the creeping, snakelike sensual (or evil) principle; the former must control (keep its foot on) the latter, yet the evil principle is necessary for, and ministers to the good, when it is controlled.
On a visit with his daughter to the Powell's home in Southbourne, Wilmshurst on leaving turned back and asked Mr Powell: 'One thing - what would you like me do with the ring when the time comes for me to leave it?' Without hesitation Mr Powell called to Wilmshurst's daughter, and taking her hand said: 'You can give it to her, when the time comes she will know what to do with it.' It was eventually bequeathed to the Lodge of Living Stones and its safe-keeping is entrusted to the Master each year at his Installation and it is worn by him at Lodge meetings.

The Noon-Day Prayer
Wilmshurst encouraged every member of the Lodge at "high-twelve" every day to spend a few moments to 'banish every other concern from his thought and try to visualise, clearly and earnestly, himself and his fellow members gathered together in Lodge, in peace, concord and charity with each other' each reciting what has become known in the Lodge as "The Noon-Day Prayer."
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