Foreword of the book "Secrets & Practices of the Freemasons"
With deep gratitude to Jean-Louis DE BIASI, a talented writer on the subject of Freemasonry, I am honored to have met during an official visit to a Masonic Lodge in Las Vegas Nevada.
On my travels to the Masonic lodges as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, my message is based on Pointing the Pathway by Rays of Light. There is an amazing growth of interest on the subject of Freemasonry . My comments are based on this interest generated from Writers, Television and the Internet, my comments are based on years of developing the history behind my pin design for the theme Pointing the Pathway.
The customs of Ancient, Craft (Operative and Speculative) Masonry are discussed as they apply today with deep appreciation and respect for the Legacy dating back to King Solomon’s Temple. Masonry is not a religion, all Freemasons do however have Faith and a Belief in a Supreme Being. Much of our history stems from the aid of the Great light in Masonry.
I came from a Masonic family my Grand Parents and my Mother and Father were all active in their respective Masonic Appendant Bodies, I too began as a member of the Order of De Molay, in 1948 to today, where my membership transcends most all of the Bodies in Freemasonry.
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1: official pin of the Nevada's Grand Master, Carl L. "Bud" Banks
The concept for my pin design, was based on the meaning of the Virtues of Freemasonry, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. The Tenets of Freemasonry, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth . Lastly the Symbolism of Freemasonry, Birth into the physical world, inherent need for light, discovering the path in time to Eternity.
Historically the “Point within the Circle” “The Cicumpunct” has its origin in the solar system, both ancient and modern. It is a common astrological , now astronomical symbol for the sun. This image was also an alchemical symbol for gold , and considered the most perfect of all metals. The alchemist looks upon it as the perfection of mater at all levels, the spirit, soul, and mind.
A goal of alchemy is to change base metal into gold. This theory certainly aligns itself well to Freemasonry, where the change of the base and crude state of one’s personality into perfection is intended, from a man to a Mason done so by degrees.
In Ancient history before Christianity, the Greeks and /Romans dedicated their Temples and Sacred things to some god. The Ancients to the Sun as the source of power and when observes the course of the Sun throughout the year, knowing that at a certain point, the Sun gave warmth and growth to nature, it gave energy and was predictable where a bountiful period was followed by a decline of growth and warmth of which they came to worship these changes. From this sprang the growth of pagan gods until the advent of Christianity and its spread throughout the world.
The point represents an individual brother, the circle is the boundry line beyond which we are not to suffer our passions, predjudices or interests to betray us. In going around the circle, we touch upon these two lines and while we stay circumbscibed within these due bounds, it is impossible to materially err.
When we divinde the circumference of a circle by its diameter the number known as Pie (P), the number does not change by the size of the circle. It is endless. The “operative masons scret” to maintaining the true of his instruments due to damage of dampness and such was trying the sqaure. By placing a dot on a circle drawing a straight line acros the circle through the center, connect the center dot at which a dot on the circle from the line through the center cuts the circle. The result is a perfect square. No building can be built without a perfect square.
One such person was Saint John the Baptist who was noted for his devotion to God. It was said that he possessed the qualities of Christ whose coming he lectured on and which led to his beheading but not until this humble man a surveyor by trade, through his strong teachings of devotion was persecuted into Martyrdom.
It became natural that the Craft Guilds of Masonry would adopt such a man as their Patron Saint, where he remained as such until about the 1500’s when Saint John the Evangelist who like Saint Paul was noted for his teachings of Christ and soon was adopted by the Craft Guilds for he was a quarryman as well. He had developed a legacy of enormous strength in mandating the cultivation of Brotherly Love. Through his devotion to Jesus, he “Pointed the Pathway of Light” he became known as the disciple of Jesus.
It was this dedication and devotion to Jesus with his promises to Him, he became the protector and guardian of Mary the Mother of Jesus until her death. These two Saint Johns were second cousins and being related to Christ it is no wonder they became the men who stood beside and support for the two Parallel Lines denoting the Solstices. These symbols predate the first Grand Lodge of 1717. The English had dedicated their Lodges to the Saints John until 1813 since then they are dedicated to King Salomon. As Craft Masonry led to the Symbolic Masonry, the two Saints John became known as the bookends of Freemasonry.
With this background the Masonic Feasts of Saint John the Baptist on June 24 and the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist on December 27 are by no coincidence. Occurring with the Solstices which are celebrated by no coincidence for the seasons of June 24 and December 27. These two dates occurring at the time of Summer and Winter, a time when the Sun reaches its greatest Northerly and Southerly declination.
With this lengthy history, the attempt has been made to bring my pin design into the meaningful experience a Freemasons has as he receives his degrees to become a Master Mason.
When looking at the pin, John the Baptist appears on the left, and Saint John the Evangelist appears on the right. The experience a Mason receives in the three degrees when visualizing the meaning of this pin, can always offer him the rebuilding of the temples within his heart according to the Masonic moral teaching, where one may falter but also repair his mind and soul.
 Luke 3:7.
 John 20:30-31.