So Mote it Be?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Payne, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Payne

    Payne Registered User

    How familiar the phrase is. No Lodge is ever opened or closed, in due form, without using it. Yet how many of us know where it came from or what it means..? As a Pagan before I was a Mason I used the term to to end a ritual or prayer. So when I became a mason I begin to wonder about this "So mote it be" Now I am still not sure who started the saying in place of Amen . From what I understand, Mote is an Old English word with Indo-European roots meaning may, must, or might. In context of the early masonic expression "so mote it be", it implied both a wish for and a hope of realizing God's will. Today, modern Wicca Pagan religions has adopted the phrase and appears to have changed its meaning to an expression of personal will. So My questions is what do you feel So Mote it Be means?
  2. lilhancock

    lilhancock Registered User

  3. ddreader

    ddreader Premium Member Premium Member

    i read in some book, some where. that it means amen. but if it has a deeper meaning. i would like to know what it is so i can pass it on to my students.
  4. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

    During my instruction, I was told it meant "So may it be", which can be interpreted as Amen I guess. I have heard Brothers using it at funerals in a church, as well as at regular services at church.
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    I've heard it means "Let it be so".
  6. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    I have read and heard it means "So may it be" and refers to the saying "So it has been, so may it ever be." This explanation is from Kabbalah and refers to the unchanging laws connected to eternity of this thing we call life. So when I say a prayer about brotherly love being a divine precept, I am reminded at the closing this power has always been and will ever be.
  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    "mote" infers more emphasis than a simple "may."

    not nearly as strong as yahweh's "I am," but in the same token, "mote" insinuates having been, will be, is. Not just as simple as "it is now."
  8. Nate C.

    Nate C. Registered User

    I thought it was derived from Middle English and equated to 'so may it be'.
  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    sure, but like all translations, nothing is ever 1 for 1. that and the connotations that we've attached to it's usage in modern english.

    why not use "so may it be" if we could just as easily use "so may it be?" rarely do i see in masonry that we do things in the ritual "solely because that's how it has been done." (insert grumbling PM jokes here). everything has a meaning, and I have come to believe that it carries with it a heavier meaning than simply "may." even the most seemingly innocent "just for tradition" cases in the ritual that i've seen always have a secondary meaning.

    aka, "let the will of god be done, as it always is" or something along those lines is kind of what i'm getting at. "so may it be, has been, and will be." etc.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  10. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    Like others have said, I think it literally means, "So may it be" or "Let it be so". The same as "Amen". But practically, it is a statement of agreement. When we say "Amen" or "So mote it be" in response to another we are stating our agreement with what they have said.
  11. ljlinson1206

    ljlinson1206 Premium Member Premium Member

    I don't have a clue as to its meaning, but I can say that over the years I have asked countless Brothers and like the true meaning of Stone Hinge it is lost in history.

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