Skull symbolism

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by RHS, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. RHS

    RHS Registered User

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    What does everyone think about the symbolism of the deaths head or skull and cross bones? I have seen some tattoos on www.masonicink.com and some lapel pins and obviously the Masonic biker group Widows Son's use it as well. Do you think its appropriate to wear in a lapel pin or other means with it inside the S and C?

    Or is it too esoteric or too "scary" for the public to see?
     
  2. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I think that along with the S & C it has more to do with the brother wearing it. If you are going to wear a ring with such symbolism you should first have a answer ready to defend it. You should have a method of explaining and informing those who might ask questions. Personally I love the Skull and coffin symbolism. I've thoughts of things we are going to do, depending upon the degree, in our ante room in the future.

    Brethren should be well informed as to what they are wearing, no matter if it is a standard ring, Scottish/York Rite ring, Shiner, or another body of which they might become a member. It is essential that we as masons be able to intelligently, precisely, and readily answer questions when posed. IMHO
     
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  3. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Well put. Knowing what you represent can help repel fears among people who might otherwise have no idea or may have a pre existing negative view
     
  4. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I offer to you Bro. Mackey's explaination:

    "Skull: The skull as a symbol is not used in Masonry except in Masonic Templarism, where it is a symbol of morality. Among the articles of accusation sent by the Pope to the Bishops and papal commissaries upon which to examine the Knights Templar, those from the 42nd to the 57th refer to the human skull as the 'cranium humanum', which the Templars were accused of using in their reception, and worshiping as an idol. It is possible that the Old Templars made use of the skull in their ceremony of reception; but the Modern Templars will readily acquit their predecessors of the crime of idolatry, and find in their use of a skull a symbolic design."

    In Addition:

    "Skull and Cross-Bones: They are a symbol of morality and death, and are so used by the heralds in funeral achievements. As the means of inciting the mind to the contemplation of the most solemn subjects, the skull and crossed-bones are used in the Chamber of Reflection in the French and Scottish Rites, and in all those degrees where that Chamber constitutes a part of the preliminary ceremonies of initiation."


    Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry -- Vol. II; c1921
     
  5. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Mackey was a great author. However would you disagree thy the skull and crossbones are used just in Masonic templarism?
     
  6. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    That is why I chose to add his commentary about the skull and crossed-bones. His skull commentary more referred to the Masonic Templarisim, the other more defined its useage in the French and Scottish Rites.
     
  7. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Gotcha, the skull and crossbones is one of my fab symbols
     
  8. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    I couldn't agree more. While it is nice to make a fashion and style statement, it is VERY important that when utilizing the Masonic symbols as adornments and jewelry that we as Masons are at the ready with knowledge. When questioned, it would be nice if a brother Mason could emulate the intelligence and character that is our fraternity, instead of ignorance.
     
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  9. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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  10. daddyrich

    daddyrich Registered User

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    Momento Mori
     
  11. daddyrich

    daddyrich Registered User

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    I have the skull and crossbones tattooed on the top of my right hand. It's long been one of my favorite symbols.
     
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  12. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I too have the skull and crossed-bones incorporated into my Masonic tattoo. As posted in another thread, my choice for tattoo utilized a modified version of the great seal of The Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas that was duplicated from an actual photo that I took at Grand Lodge. The original seal prior to the modern one that we are all so familiar with incorporated the skull and crossed-bones allong with the double headed eagle (wings up).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
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  13. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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  14. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    It's one of my favorite symbols as well. I've wanted to purchase a Memento Mori ring, but have held off as I'd be hesitant to wear it. As a band director, I occassionally have students ask about my ring, and I could definitely see parents complaining about a skull and crossbones ring. Maybe a weekend ring, someday...
     
  15. filmgeekben

    filmgeekben Registered User

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    This year has been rather bleak for me so I've been contemplating death and mortality much more. I find the skull and crossbones to be a less sinister emblem now than before I began my Masonic journey.
    I think it depends on how it is presented. If it is worn with reverence, it is a perfectly fine symbol.
     
  16. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    If you look closely you see more to this it is not just the CB&S it show defigent trind with the "Republic Of Texas"

    zavalaflg2.jpg
     
  17. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    In my Blue Lodge, we use the Skull and Crossed Bones in our Lodge of Sorrow.
     
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  18. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    What's a lodge of sorrow? I don't think we have those here in Canada, or at least I've never seen or been to one.
     
  19. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Sorry i think I have heard of it, is it like a memorial service?
     
  20. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    Indeed it is. In addition to reading the names of the members who have laid down the working tools over the past year, there is a ritual and lecture. It is a very moving and meaningful occasion. One of the events that we have a very large turnout for.
     
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