I hope this spring weather has brought you and your family joy, and I hope you’ve been able to be outside in the beautiful weather without pollen allergies swiping the fun away. Additionally, I hope those of you that attended the George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour and Family Appreciation Luncheon enjoyed your morning and afternoon. I would like to thank everyone who attended and the invited guests that were there. I would also like to thank Brother Junior Warden for organizing the event. This event is always a great way to introduce interested men and their families to this wonderful organization and was another success.
In my research I came across some writings regarding a symbol brought to our attention as Entered Apprentices. The Cable Tow is a symbol often referenced in Masonic discourse but is rarely defined. I came across many different interpretations of the Cable Tow, most of which were outlined in the informative publication “The Builder”. Below is an excerpt from one of the magazine’s monthly submissions from 1923. In my opinion, the excerpt below succinctly articulates what the cable tow is and how we should think about its meaning.
“...What our brethren had in mind when they gave the Cable Tow a place in our system of symbols is made perfectly clear, it seems to me, by the few words of interpretation which are given in each of the two latter degrees. The Cable Tow is the symbol of all those forces and compulsions which regulate a man's conduct from without; it is not removed until the man is able to control and govern himself from within. As a physical thing it is set over in opposition to that Mystic Tie which isn't a physical thing at all, but inward disposition of the mind and heart. This, if we will consider it a right, is a summons to examine into certain truths which it is of the utmost importance to us that we clearly understand....” “The Builder – November 1923”
The Cable Tow is symbolically removed to represent this control and the ability to govern ourselves. The oath which binds us all helps us to maintain this moral governance. Our Cable Tow represents our individual link to the Fraternity as a whole, and also the Fraternity’s link to each and every Brother. It is what keeps us all connected and there for each other. A wonderfully important symbol and lesson to keep at the forefront of our minds.
Brethren, please take due notice that our Grand Visitation is happening at the May Stated Communication. Please do everything within the length of your cable tow to attend. The Grand Lodge has been noticing our growth over the years and we would like to continue that sentiment. Looking forward to seeing you all in May!
Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst