The letters of a word or phrase so transposed as to make a different word or phrase. The manufacture of anagrams out of proper names or other words has always been a favorite exercise, sometimes to pay a compliment---as when Doctor Burney made Honor est a Nilo out of Horatio Nelson, the Latin phrase meaning Honor is from the Nile, and alluding to his victory at that river on August 1, 1798-and sometimes for purposes of secrecy, as when Robert Bacon concealed under an anagram one of the ingredients in his recipe for gunpowder, that the world might not too easily become acquainted with the composition of so dangerous a material.
The same method was adopted by the adherents of the house of Stuart when they manufactured their system of high degrees as a political engine, and thus, under an anagrammatic form, they made many words to designate their friends or, principally, their enemies of the opposite party. Most of these words it has now become impossible to restore to their original form, but several are readily decipherable.
Thus, among the assassins of the Third Degree, who symbolized, with them, the foes of the monarchy, we recognize Romvel as Cromwell, and Hoben as Bohun, Earl of Essex. It is only thus that we can ever hope to trace the origin of such words in the high degrees as Tercy, Stolkin, Morphey, etc. To look for them in any Hebrew roots would be a fruitless task. The derivation of many of them, on account of the obscurity of the persons to whom they refer, is, perhaps, forever lost; but of others the research for their meaning may be more successful.
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.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
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