Hebrew, A-har-ohne, a word of doubtful etymology, but generally supposed to signify a mountaineer. Mackenzie says the name means the illuminated. He was the brother of Moses, and the first High Priest under the Mosaic dispensation, whence the priesthood established by that lawgiver is known as the Masonic. He is mentioned in the English lectures of the Second Degree, in reference to a certain sign which is said to have taken its origin from the fact that Aaron and Hur were present on the hill from which Moses surveyed the battle which Joshua was waging with the Amalekites, when these two supported the weary arms of Moses in an upright posture, because upon his uplifted hands the fate of the battle depended (see Exodus xvii, 10-12). Aaron is also referred to in the latter section of the Royal Arch Degree in connection with the memorials that were deposited in the Ark of the Covenant. In the Degree or Grade of Chief of the Tabernacle, which is the Twenty-third of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the presiding officer represents Aaron, and is styled Most Excellent High Priest. In the Twenty-fourth Degree of the same Rite, or Prince of the Tabernacle, the second officer or Senior Warden also personates Aaron.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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