The Sun in the East

 

Of the three symbolic lights found in the Lodge there is no one more important or meaningful than that of the Sun. As a source of light and life, the Sun is a constant reminder to the Mason of his search for spiritual and moral improvement. Each new day brings an opportunity to see His Light and Divine Truth.

To the Ancients the Sun was a symbol of life and authority. Life was seen in the constant renewal found as the Sun warmed the earth after each winter and reclaimed the day from the night, while authority was recognized in the Sun’s power to rule the day. The Grand Architect’s powers flowed through the Sun’s rays and His glory was evident for all to see.

Many early civilizations took the Sun to be their chief deity, notably Ra of Egypt, Brahma of India, Ormund of Chaldea, and Ashtaroth of Phoenicia. So powerful was this symbol of life and regeneration, that it was worshiped as a god. As the night brought darkness and fear of death upon the earth, the day brought light and life. It is easy to understand the fear that an eclipse of the sun would have upon such people.

For the Mason, the placement of the Lodge is modeled after King Solomon’s Temple and the seat in the East is occupied by the Worshipful Master for several reasons. As the Sun rules the day as an absolute master, so is the Worshipful Master understood to hold mastery over the Lodge and its affairs. As the Lodge is symbolic of the world, each Lodge meeting represents a new Masonic day in which Light can be gained.

Through his office as Master, light symbolically flows into the Lodge and to the Brethren. The Master’s rule is exercised through his principal officers, the Senior and Junior Wardens. They, too, are representations of the Sun at two critical phases, namely at the close of day and at high twelve. All three officers’ charges direct serving the Craft, are found clearly in the opening and closing ceremonies, and are constant reminders of their duties to the Craft.

While it maybe easy to recite the opening and closing ceremonies, more attention should be paid to the inner meanings of placement, symbolism, and roles found therein. Each Brother should reflect upon carefully upon the opportunity that meeting offers him. Looking to the East is not an idle charge for a Mason within the Lodge, for there is found Light, Life, and Leadership.