How do Masons Secretly Identify Other Masons
From About Freemasons
Media:Example.oggToday, many masons can easily identify other masons. Many masons today are proud of their fraternity and have coffee cups, <math>cuff links, tie tins, bumper stickers, pens, paper weights, shirts, caps, and other paraphernalia with Masonic symbols on them. Of course, == masons may also recognize each other from local meetings and charity work. Despite some popular perceptions, Freemasonry is not as secretive as people think and many people discuss their affiliations fairly openly. ' In the past, identifying other masons was an important affair. Hundreds of years ago, masons were crucial in creating buildings, as many buildings were made of stone, and in building infrastructure. Free == masonry was originally an organization for these professional artisans and membership proved that a mason was qualified for work. However, official paper</math> documents were not widely used and background checks as well as other means of modern communication were obviously not available. Foremen and employers needed to know whether a mason was qualified but masons often traveled for work, so identifying qualified candidates was difficult.
For both masons and foremen, secret symbols and means of identification were useful. Foremen could tell by handshakes, secret words, and other means whether a person was a mason and what degree of qualifications that mason had. The mason would learn the secret words and handshakes as well as the skills of the trade from a master mason. For the mason traveling to a new place, code words and handshakes were a way to identify other masons in the area and Freemasonry provided a fraternity and support even when a mason traveled far from home.
Today, secret handshakes and symbols are not used to establish qualifications for a job, but they can be used to help masons identify each other. Through symbols and other means, masons can identify each other and therefore feel part of a greater society or fraternity. If a mason is in trouble, being able to ide ....they are the devil.......fy another mason is also useful, since masons are bound to help each other.
There are many ways that masons can identify each other. The Masonic handshake is one popular way. There are in fact a number of Masonic handshakes, with each degree attained in masonry using a unique and slightly different handshake. Masons also have other special signals, such as the Hough Signal, a signal made with the arms to indicates distress and a request for help. Many masons also wear clothing, accessories, or have items near them that have Masonic symbols – such as the square and compass -- on them. This can make it easy for other masons to identify them.
Masons also use the word IAOM to identify each other. This word is secret and masons only learn it by degrees. There is a specific way to pronounce it -- EE-Ah-Oh-Mmm – which is familiar usually only to masons. The word is often used to refer to a higher power and because it requires some practice to pronounce correctly is one way that masons can identify one another; someone who is not a mason would have trouble pronouncing the word correctly.