Monday, July 18, 2011

Mason Lodge Mosaic

I voted last week, and found this mosaic at the doorway of my polling place: Masonic Lodge #332 in San Pedro.

Everything I know about the Masons I learned watching National Treasure 1 & 2 and the History Channel. But a search online brought me to several sites pointing out that acacia trees are embued by the organization with several symbolic meanings.

Both MasonicWorld and the Masonic Lodge of Education  say that the fabled Ark of the Covenant was made of acacia wood, by order of God. The acacia symbolizes immortality because of its evergreen nature, and a sprig of acacia is tossed into the grave of Masons.

There are other implications that vary with the degree of Masonry, if you want to read further into the Secrets of Freemasonry.

However, another site says the Ark of the Covenant was made of cedar, and that the cedar tree symbolizes eternity. So who knows?

I leave it to you: is this mosaic depicting an acacia (left, a red acacia, picture from Charles Sturt University) or a cedar? There are many types of acacias; the most common is the Silver Wattle, but I could not find a photo of one not covered in yellow flowers. This red acacia is believed by some (including CSU) to be the tree designated in the Bible as the source of wood for the famous Ark--maybe because it's named for its richly beautiful reddish wood.

Or is the mosaic a cedar tree, pictured at righ? Again, there are many varieties. This tree at right is a true Cedar of Lebanon, picture from Wikicommons. Since the Freemasons like their symbols to have really ancient pedigrees, my guess is that a cedar of Lebanon would be the only logical cedar to be considered.

Any Masons reading this care to enlighten us?

BTW, I learned that the mosaics at the Downey Civic Theater, which I blogged about last May, are the work of a local artist, Charlotte von Troch. I cannot find anything on the web about her, but I sincerely thank Andrew J. Wahlquist for digging this information up.

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