Here is the answer to the previous puzzler.
The Seven Liberal Arts were divided into the Trivium (“the three roads”) and the Quadrivium (“the four roads”).
The Trivium (Masonically alludes to the three Principal Moral Virtues) and consists of:
- Grammar–Teaches a man the ability to speak and write truly
- Rhetoric— Teaches a man to speak fairly and in soft terms
- Logic— Teaches a man to discern the truth from falsehoods
The Quadrivium (Masonically alludes to the Four Cardinal Virtues) and consists of:
- Arithmetic — Teaches a man to reckon and count all manner of numbers
- Geometry — Teaches a man the mete and measure of the Earth and all other things (remember G is also for God,
- Music, Harmonics, or Tuning Theory — Studying numbers in time
- Astronomy or Cosmology — Studying number in space and time (planetary movements)
These seven roads are supposed to lead to Truth and Knowledge (Illumination or More light in masonry). These ideas were first introduced in the FC degree during your journey up a flight of winding stairs.
The significance of the this can be found by thinking about all of the symbolism and allegory found in the FC degree. We are taught that when we come to the number seven, we are almost overwhelmed with the many facts associated with it. The number seven was said to be ‘perfect’ because it contained the numbers 3 and 4 and was itself indivisible and could not be created by multiplication. This gave it the name of the virgin number. Originally, there were seven years to an apprenticeship, there were seven planets known to man of the middle ages (organization period of modern Freemasonry), and there are seven days in a week of which the 7th is the Sabbath and Solomon’s temple was said to have been built in seven years. Jericho was encircled seven times by seven priests, and these seven liberal arts and sciences, known as the trivium and quadrivium, were thought to contain the total sum of all human knowledge.
Seven represents symbolically the combination of the Trinity and four cardinal virtues (Justice, Temperance, Fortitude and Prudence), it is the number of the basic musical notes, of colors and of the spheres. Seven is related to perfection, to religious truth and also with knowledge. It is hard to find a more astounding mass of facts associated with a number until we observe that three and five are similar. Masonically, we are reminded that a Lodge needs seven officers to open the Lodge and those seven steps of the staircase reminding us of the liberal arts and sciences. Jacob’s ladder is usually shown with seven rungs of which 3 are considered most exemplary for masons (Faith, Hope and Charity) and the other four rungs are concerned with four cardinal virtues(Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence) and the perfect points of our interests (Manual, Guttural, Pectoral, Pedal) [you guys match the proper virtue with the right point]. While then there also usually seven small stars clustered together on the WM jewel, which is significant, in that they are repeated as a symbol at least three times within our Lodges and give us much to think about. What else can you find that relates to this topic? For Biblical reference see- 1 Cor 13:13 (Three moral virtues)
As Masons, we are often called to travel in “foreign lands”. In order to do this “work” effectively, we should also study foreign languages. This puzzler comes from a foreign land and represents something that should be intimately familiar to all of us. Can anyone tell me what Acheiropoietos means, where it comes from (which “land” or language), how does it relate to masonry and finally what degree you first encountered this concept?
KEY WORD: “Acheiropoietos”