Friday, November 14, 2008

New Entered Apprentices

We welcome Brother's Charles Edmonds & Matt Schwartz our newest Entered Apprentices.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Pictures of Vulcan Lodge Officers

Pictured at left are two of the officers of Vulcan Lodge.
(Left to Right) George Sawaya Senior Deacon and Micheal Bridell Senior Warden after a recent Entered Apprentice degree.
Vulcan Lodge Room

Vulcan Lodge Officers

Pictured (Left to Right) Micheal Bridell Senior Warden and Jamie Peffer Venerable Master after a recent Entered Apprentice degree.
Vulcan Lodge Room

The East

Pictured is a view of the gold leaf Venerable Master station.
Vulcan Lodge Room

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Name and Our Symbol

Vulcan Masonic Lodge takes it name from the most famous and largest citizen of Birmingham.
Vulcan Lodge has NEVER kept that a secret.
So if your ever in Birmingham we encourage you to visit Vulcan
"Mackey revealed that Tubal-Cain is none other than the Roman god Vulcan as is thusly related, "Hephaistos, it will be observed, is the Greek of the God who was called by the Romans Vulcan. Hence the remark of Sanconiatho, and the apparent similarity of names as well as occupations, have led some writers of the last, and even of the present, century to derive Vulcan from Tubal Cain by a process not very devious and therefore familiar to etymologists. By the omission in Tubal Cain of the initial T, which is the Phenician article, and its valueless vowel, we get Balcan, which, by the interchangeable nature of B and V, is easily transformed to Vulcan" (p. 1060).He further writes, "It might seem that Tubal is an attribute compounded of the definite particle T and the word Baal, signifying Lord. Tubal Cain would then signify the Lord Cain. Again, Dhu or du, in Arabic, signifies Lord, and we trace the same signification of this affix in its various interchangeable forms of Du, Tu, and Di, in many Semitic words" (Ibid.).Mackey further reveals that it was Tubal-Cain who made the sharpened instruments of warfare."
From the Parable of the Fig Tree

Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and it the symbol of city of Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. The 56-foot tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge. It was created as Birmingham's entry for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 World's Fair) in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the seventh-tallest free-standing statue in the United States.
Commissioned by the Commercial Club of Birmingham, Italian-born sculptor Giuseppe Moretti began designing the monumental figure in 1903, using a 6-foot tall model to study the form. He next sculpted a clay master model in an abandoned church in Passaic, New Jersey, and this was then divided into sections and transported by railroad to the Birmingham Steel and Iron Company for the preparation of casting molds for the iron.
The Vulcan statue consists of 29 cast-iron components with connecting flanges that are bolted together internally. The heaviest section is his whole head, which weighs 11,000 pounds. Iron forgemen designed and executed the connection details for the statue, which originally had no internal framework and was self-supporting. The grey iron castings were made in Birmingham entirely from locally-produced iron.
The completed weight of the god Vulcan's figure alone is 100,000 pounds. When Vulcan's anvil, block, hammer, and spearpoint are added, the statue weighs a total of 120,000 pounds and it now stands on a pedestal that is 123 feet tall. The statue has a chest circumference of 22 feet 6 inches and a waist circumference of 18 feet 3 inches.
It was not until 1936 that the statue found a suitable home, thanks to the Works Progress Administration, which partially funded a new park in the city at the top of Red Mountain. A 126-foot pedestal was built of local sandstone, and Vulcan was hoisted into place. A new spear was fabricated to be held high in his right hand while his left hand held a hammer at his side. Vulcan was repainted in an aluminum like finish. The statue's naked buttocks have been source of humor for many years. A novelty song, "Moon Over Homewood," refers to the fact that the statue "moons" the neighboring suburb of Homewood, Alabama.
A nine day festival commenced on May 7, 1939 to dedicate Vulcan Park. Miss Evelyn Tully was crowned the Vulcan Queen. Guests of honor included the foundrymen who originally cast Vulcan. A crowd of 5,000 was present for the opening night of the festival.
To take full advantage of Vulcan's position overlooking Birmingham, the city's Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1946 made the statue into a symbol for road safety. His spear was replaced by a neon torch that glowed green, except during the 24 hours following a fatal traffic accident, when it glowed red.
In 1949, Vulcan gained new neighbors, when two television stations, WAFM-TV (now WVTM) and WBRC located their studios and towers on Red Mountain.
Our namesake Vulcan

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Allegory of the Cave

The Cave which is actually an Allegory referring to Human Nature begins by describing a Dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the Light of Day. These people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a partial wall, and behind the wall is a Fire. On top of the wall are various statues, which are manipulated by another group of unseen people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the Fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. When they talk to one another about “men”, “women”, “trees” or “horses”, they are referring to these shadows. One day a prisoner finds that he is freed from his bonds, and although he is scared he forces himself to turn around and see what is behind him. I consider this stage of the simile to correspond with the Masonic Virtue of Faith. Faith is what the Masonic candidate must have when he first knocks on the door of the Lodge without knowing what lies ahead of him.

After an initial period of pain and confusion because of direct exposure of his eyes to the Light of the Fire, the prisoner realizes that what he sees now are things more real than the shadows he has always taken for reality. He understands now how the Fire and the statues together cause the shadows, which are copies of these more real things. He has made contact with real things but as he walks past the Fire and towards the Cave entrance he is not aware that there are things of greater reality, a world beyond his cave. I consider this stage to correspond with the Masonic Virtue of Hope. Hope that the Fellow Craft who has witnessed some of the truths and lessons of Freemasonry will persevere and continue his path towards the East or the “Light”.

Next the prisoner forces himself to walk past the Fire and upwards towards the Greater Light at the mouth of the Cave. At first he is so dazzled by the Light up there that he can only look at the shadows cast by the Sun on the floor, than at the reflections in the water, then finally at the real objects – real trees, flowers and so on. He sees that these things are even more real than the statues were, and that those were only copies of these. He has now reached the cognitive stage of thought. Plato comments that it is the goal of Education to drag every Man as far out of the Cave as possible. “Education should not aim at putting knowledge into the Soul, but at turning the Soul toward right desires”. Once the prisoner has achieved Understanding he turns away from the Light to return to the Shadows to help the other prisoners. This in my opinion corresponds to the Masonic Virtue of Charity. Charity is what the Master Mason shows when he turns to help those behind him find their own path towards the Light.

by: Bro. Steven B. Vitale