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A secret Masonic hand clasp, handshake or handgrip is used between two Freemasons in order to recognize that they are Brothers of the same Order. Even the type of grip they hold can identify which Masons are of the lower degrees and higher degrees by testing his handshake. It is a universal sign of unity and an important Bro' mode of recognition.
Albert Mackey, 33°, former Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, had said; "The right hand has in all ages been deemed an emblem of fidelity, and our ancient brethren worshipped Deity under the name of Fides or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by two right hands joined.
The Freemasons use approximately 12 secret handshakes that can be used anywhere in the world to identify their Brethren; however, there are alleged to be many more handshakes.
However, the Masons did not exactly invent this ancient sacred method of greeting the initiated members of their craft. 4th Century Church Father, Saint Epiphanius describes the ritual hand clasps of the Gnostic Ophites; "On the arrival of any stranger belonging to the same belief, they have a sign given by the man to the woman, and vice versa. In the Apocalyptic Book of Enoch, a hand clasp is also spoken of: "And the angel Michael, .
In the 5th Century Gospel of Nicodemus, the hand clasp is depicted as the beginning of salvation and ascent where it is said, "And the Lord . The handshake will forever be a divine sign amongst humans of unity, recognition, equality, friendship, agreement, entrance, secrecy, marriage, sexuality, salvation, starting the path of initiation, ending the path of initiation, resurrection, forgiveness, reconciliation, communion of man with man, of human with god, of god with god, and apotheosis.
Thus the ritual Masonic handshake is but a continuation of the ancient Gnostic Ophite rituals that then found its way into early Christianity.
History: The origins and early development of Freemasonry are a matter of some debate and conjecture.
There is evidence to suggest that there were Masonic lodges in existence in Scotland as early as the late 16th century (for example the Lodge at Kilwinning, Scotland, has records that date to the late 16th century, and is mentioned in the Second Schaw Statutes (1599) which specified that "ye warden of ye lug of Kilwynning tak tryall of ye airt of memorie and science yrof, of everie fellowe of craft and everie prenteiss according to ayr of yr vocations"). Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. The fraternity is administratively organized into independent Grand Lodges or sometimes Orients, each of which governs its own jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. There are also appendant bodies, which are organizations related to the main branch of Freemasonry, but with their own independent administration.
One of the most debatable Freemason symbols that you will find is the square and compass that is often depicted with the letter "G" in the center. The most common explanations that you will find for what the letter "G" represents run the gambit from God, who would also be the Great Architect of the Universe or Geometry since as Pythagoras had said, all is number. What is interesting to me is that the letter "G" you will find is non-existent in the buildings or symbolism of Blue Lodge Freemasonry, but in every Lodge of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite you will find that the letter "G" is always prominently displayed, either hanging above the altar in the center of the lodge, or located in the East section over the Grand Master's chair.
If we are going to find the truth behind this symbol, then we must ask ourselves the question, "Why is the letter "G" used extensively in the Scottish Rite, but not in Blue Lodge Freemasonry?
The answer may be because of the goals of these two distinctly different Brotherhoods who are obviously both Masonic Orders, but with different degree systems, symbols, and possibly even end goals within their teachings.


This would indicate that the Blue Lodge of Freemasonry is set up for more materialistic type goals which would be understandable, because like any fraternity or club, many candidates simply join their local lodge for social gain and or business networking.
This will give free will to the Mason, to choose to further his education in order to acquire the higher degrees in the Scottish Rite through knowledge and the work necessary, or simply remain in the Blue Lodge.
If someone who joins the lodge does not show an interest in knowledge, the esoteric, or upward advancement in the degree system of the Scottish Rite, their inaction or lack of motivation to excel as a mason and grow as a man shows their internal material intentions on why they had joined the organization. Hence, when you become an honorary 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason you will have been voted by your fellow Masons as a worthy related Brother who is both a Gnostic and understands the secrets of procreation, the universe, truth, love and immortality. You will have been deemed by the Supreme Council to have what may be called a "Christ consciousness" or a "Reincarnated Buddha" Astral Body, where you may walk as both Jesus and Buddha had done by knowing THYSELF and also by using the knowledge you have gained for wisdom and reason in order to operate in the current moment of Truth.
Therefor, the letter 'G' in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect. Generation (from the Latin generare, meaning "to beget"), also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring.  Hence, it is from the blood that Gnosis or knowledge is transmuted through the act of procreation that then passes the knowledge encrypted within our DNA to our offspring. 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason, Albert Pike and Master Occultist, Eliphas Levi agree with the Masonic facts I have stated, that the letter 'G' in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect. In the Mysteries of Magic by Eliphas Levi and interpreted by Arthur Edward Waite, it is written; "All these magical theorems, based on the unique dogma of Hermes, and on the analogical inductions of science, have been invariably confirmed by the visions of ecstatics and by the convulsions of cataleptics under the supposed possession of spirits.
Here the candidate is requested to pass his thumb from the first joint to the space between the first and second joints, which is the pass grip of a Fellow Craft.
Conductor here takes off the hoodwink and removes the cable-tow, and all around the altar place their hands in the position of the duegard of a Master Mason. Conductor here instructs candidate to pass his thumb from the second joint to space beyond, which is the second space. The Masons use their set of unique handshakes to not only identify members of the society, but also to identity the different various classes, or castes of people within the societies. In holding out the hand under pretense of saluting each other, they feel and tickle it in a peculiar manner underneath the palm, and so discover that the new-comer belongs to the same sect. Compton had written in a research paper titled, The Handclasp and Embrace as Tokens of Recognition that according to German philologist, Semitist and translator of Mandaean texts, Mark Lidzbarski, the main concept of Mandaean religion is "truth," kusta; this word is also used to refer to the bond which unites the faithful, and the handshake of brotherhood.
A poem known as the "Regius Manuscript" has been dated to approximately 1390 and is the oldest known Masonic text. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and Grand Lodge of Ireland, over a quarter of a million under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England and just under two million in the United States.
The various Grand Lodges recognize each other, or not, based upon adherence to landmarks (a Grand Lodge will usually deem other Grand Lodges who share common landmarks to be regular, and those that do not to be "irregular" or "clandestine"). It is this letter "G" that has garnished the most speculation from outsiders, and even initiated members of this Secret Brotherhood. In both operative and speculative Masonry the use of math and mathematical symbols has always been at the forefront in the teachings of the craft.


The founders of the Brotherhood had always known this ancient fact and this is why they had set up a degree system of advancement that one must undertake to advance up the ladder in the organization. It is simply not only what a man does that shows who he truly is, but also what he doesn't do. Gnosis (Greek for knowledge) in its simplest form is “knowledge of thyself” or the Great Arcanum, Daath (Da’ath - Hebrew for knowledge). The G which Freemasons place in the centre of the Burning Star signifies Gnosis and Generation, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabbalah. The Freemasons actually inherited this handshake ritual along with many mysteries and symbols from the ancient Gnostic mysteries. Thereupon, however poor they may be, they serve up to him a sumptuous feast, with abundance of meats and wine.
In Mandaean baptism, the priest gives the kusta to the initiate standing in water, then crowns him with a wreath of myrtle.
Our world-wide order is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, truth and real Gnosticism using both ancient and modern gnosis techniques such as science to not only KNOW THYSELF, but also to MASTER THYSELF.
In this article I would like to focus on what this letter actually symbolizes to help dispel the myths, and let you, the reader decide, if what I write is truth. This statement is by no means to offend, but to shed light on the facts of, not only what can be found inside a Freemason Lodge, but what is only human nature and a fact of life that can be found in any organization or fraternity. The number three degree (3rd) is the highest degree that you will find in the Blue Lodge, but in Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the honorary highest degree of the Supreme Council is the 33rd degree which is 3x3=9, which is the power of creation and the God of All or Truth. It also signifies Grand Architect, for the Pentagram, from whatever side it may be looked at, always represents an A. Both points of the compasses are elevated above the square, which is to teach you never to lose sight of those truly Masonic virtues, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love. These handshakes (hand clasps) first originated with the ancient Gnostic Ophites with their Sabazian and Mithraic mysteries. 17); and In token of the continuance of brotherly love and favor, I present you with my right hand (takes candidate by the right hand), and with it the pass, token, token of the pass, grip, and word of a Fellow Craft. 17.) The Worshipful Master gives one rap with his gavel, when all the brethren retire to their seats, leaving at the altar the Master, conductor, and candidate. 16, 17), and, in token of my brotherly love and favor, present you my right hand (takes the candidate by the right hand, who is yet kneeling at the altar), and with it the grip and word of an Entered Apprentice.



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