Northeast Corner

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by rhitland, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I ran across something intresting in a book I am reading called 3,5,7 by John Bowe refering to the origins of the cerimony of the northeast corner and I thought it intresting enough to share as I had never heard this before.

    "In order to catch the first rays of the rising sun, the building facees the east, ans as the sun rises to the hieght of its stregth on June 21, the day of the summer soltice, and as, at this paticular time the sune rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest to emblematically represent and mark the place of the summer solstice the cornerstone must be laid in the northeast corner of the proposed building. Then due care being taken to establish the proper angle, the southeast corner would, as a consequence be in an exact line with the point of the horizon at which the sun rose at the winter solstice."

    The northeast corner was a clock of sorts when the sun rose in direct line with it, harvest was close and when inline with the southeast corner it was time to mend the soil for planting next season. In ancient times everyone was just about farmers, you had to farm to eat and I can only imagine the connection that primitive man made to the sun but I gaurentee when man realized the exact time the days started to get longer , they where elated to this fact as to be comforted to know the Sun is coming back. They made this day and the longest day, days of super celebration as the sun was a giver of givers keeping them with food, warmth and overall physical comfort but in short days of the cold months I bet the sun was sorley missed. Ancient Man living in a cabin or hut on a cold night left to the last of his rations had plenty of time to contemplate the impotance of the sun; so when the time came and the days begin to get longer they saw no better reason to be happy, celebrate and comemorate this time in everyway.
     
  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    Thank you brother Moore, great information, I will save this one.
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I have had this whirling in my head since I read that on the NE corner and just had to put pen to paper and elaborate for myself and agian thought I would share.

    The Northeast Corner

    We are told as an Entered Apprentice that we are placed in the Northeast corner because it is customry in operative Masonry, but then then mind is left to wonder why it is customry in operative Masnory, again as most of the rituals in Masonry we need to look to antiquityn for the origns. Ancient man looked to the sun either as his god or one of the greatest gifts of God to man, and the suns cycle was emulated and symolized in almost everyway; as ancient man became knowledgable of the cycles of the sun he was able to more acuratley judge the approach of seasons, in turn better prepare himself to plant his crops and prepare for the rigid cold months of winter.

    In ancient times everyone was just about farmers, you had to farm to eat and one can only imagine the connection that primitive man made to the sun; when man did discover the days started to get longer , they had to be elated to this fact as to be comforted to know the sun is coming back. Our Ancient Brethren made this day and the longest day, days of super celebration as the sun was a giver of givers keeping them with food, warmth and overall physical comfort; but in the short days of the cold months I bet the sun was sorley missed. Ancient Man living in a cabin or hut on a cold night left to the last of his rations had plenty of time to contemplate the impotance of the sun; so when the time came and the days begin to get longer they saw no better reason to be happy, celebrate and comemorate these days in everyway.

    The first use of the northeast corner is lost in time but the tradition still stands today, taking on modern meanings but still connecting ust to our Brothers of antiquty. Operative Masons, to erect an edifice percisley and to pay homage to the S.G.A. built their sacred buildings agreably to the rules and design laid down by Him. One of which was constructing astrologicaly and the first stone laid was of monumental importance to fit it correctly; for it set the square of the whole edifice, if it be out of square then the whole stucture will be out of square; so the first stone was laid with the utmost imporatnce and was placed in the norteast corner because the sun at its full strength on June 21st the day of summer soltice rose in the northeast. This signified that man was building this building on the strenth of God at His strongest point as they knew it then.

    The northeast corner probably had pratical uses along with its signifigance. This corner could have served as a clock of sorts when the sun rose in direct line with it, harvest was close and when inline with the southeast corner, which was inline with the sun on the winter solstice it was time to mend the soil for planting next season. Further yet if an equilateral triangle is drawn off of the points of the notheast and southeast corners the point of the triangle is inline with the equinox allowing ancient man to percieve time by the alingment of the sun to the sacred edifice of their town or village.

    To the Speculative Mason of today the ceramony of the northeast corner is of more importance than that of our Brothers building a temporal building, for we are laying the first stone of a new Masons spiritual edifice and we should take special care to ensure every spirtual cornerstone we lay, is laid with the most exact percisness as to allow the knew Brother to erect his Spiritual edifice square to the corner stone from which he is building.
     
  4. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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    Very interesting. US infantrymen celebrate the sun too. Upon spending many "dark" nights awake in the shivering cold training and fighting, there is nothing more warming than the suns rays penatrating your skin in the morning. We affectionately call him "Bob" :D

    The summer solstice is also called St. John's Day.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2009
  5. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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  6. Joey

    Joey Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Very interesting to know that. Thanks for sharing! :cool:
     

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