Irish Freemasonry and The Moon Lodges.

The Moon the Lesser to Rule the night

One common feature of Irish Freemasonry was the preponderance of Moon Lodges along the North and North Eastern coastline of Ireland during the 18th and 19th century. These Lodges tended to meet later than the usual Lodge, and were often associated with the working of Higher Degrees, after the Craft meeting concluded. The Brethren were then able to make their way homeward by means of moonlight, over dark and inhospitable terrain, late at night.

Another spectacular photograph from last night's eclipse!

Local Lodges such as Royal Antrim No 28, Glenarm 45, Union Lodge No 148 Cogry, Rising Sun Lodge No 170 Crawfordsburn, Lodge 194 Bucknaw, Lodge 216 Carnlough, Lodge 276 Straid, Copestone Lodge No 474 Crawfordsburn, Magheramorne Lodge No 514 Larne, Solomon’s Band Lodge No 565 Lisburn, Ensor Lodge No 625 Loughgall, St John’s Lodge No 675 Donaghadee, Ancient Blue Lodge No 704 Ahoghill, Lodge 788 Cairncastle, Tartaraghan Lodge No 789, Lodge 812 Crawfordsburn and Garryowen Lodge No 923 Larne, still meet on or before the Full Moon in compliance with ancient tradition.

The Moon has played an important role in Man’s social affairs for many millenia. Its history can be traced back in the Holy Bible to Genesis Chapter 1 verses 14-19, in which we are told that on the 4th Day God created two Great Lights – The Sun, the Greater to rule the Day and the Moon, the Lesser to rule the Night. In Deuteronomy and The Book of Kings, we find specific prohibitions against Lunar Worship, yet the Moon has always been regarded as a strong symbol of permanence. Of particular interest are the references in Numbers Chapter 28 verses 11-15, which note the tradition of monthly offerings by some of the Jewish synagogues.

In Freemasonry, the Moon has always been associated with the Senior Warden in the West, following the Egyptian tradition associating the Moon with that direction. As the Moon is a mere reflection of the Greater Light of the Sun, so too does the Senior Warden reflect the “Light” of the Master.

About irishfreemason

Rt Wor Bro Bashford lives in Ireland where he joined the Masonic Order in 1977. He became a Master Mason in 1978 and served as Master of his Mother Lodge, Moyarget No. 280 Irish Constitution in 1990. He was appointed Richard Robinson Memorial Lecturer in the Irish Masonic Province of Antrim in 1992 and 2004. In 1996 he was appointed Grand Master's personal Standard Bearer by Most Wor. Bro Darwin Templeton, G.M. In 2000 he became the Millennium Master of the `irish Lodge of Research No. 200, and in 2001 went on to become Excellent King of the irish Chapter of Research No. 222.He is the current Editor of the Irish Lodge of Research, and has been since 1992, and of the Irish Chapter of Research since 1996. He was appointed Representative of the Grand Lodge of Portugal at the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 2006 ( a ten year appointment), giving him the courtesy title of Right Worshipful Brother. He is currently Provincial Grand Librarian for the Province of Antrim, and Curator of the museum at their headquarters in Belfast.
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2 Responses to Irish Freemasonry and The Moon Lodges.

  1. Walter says:

    thank you for the read my brother.

    May this message find you in the very best of spirits

  2. As a result of a search for further information on the Ancient Blue Lodge Ahoghill 704 was drawn to your site and read the postings found there; In particular the “Moon Lodges” article. All very interesting and enlightening. Of note the article on James Orr – “The Irish Burns” was very much a good read. As Historian for Edmonton Lodge No.7 in this its 125th Anniversary year have sought out many items for the enjoyment of the Brethren and will be presenting them with some from this site at our practice this weekend. My Great Uncle John Hill Weir was a member of Ahoghill 704 and am interested in his additional Masonic career as he had a lengthy period in England and Gibraltar which I would like to follow up on as he looks to have demitted from 704 in 1920 that would likely have coincided with his Marine Engineer position transfered to contractors in Admiralty shipyards.

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