The steps of the Freemason (or Mistress) are a ritual gesture that has two initial sequences in the 1st and 2nd degrees and an overall expression in the 3rd degree; the steps then take the name of "the Master's (or Mistress') step".
These footsteps of the Freemason have a symbolic content. Several interpretations are possible. Here is the one I propose to you.
The Walk of the Master (or Mistress): another way of understanding it!
To understand the Master's (or Mistress's) walk is not easy; of course, there is what is written, but can we be satisfied with these explanations which can appear either simplistic or somewhat convoluted when we try to put the square and the compass in it.
One can also try to dissociate the steps of the Master's walk, but is it not of the accessory because the important thing is to understand the global meaning of this walk.
If it is also normal to find a reference to the tomb of Master Hiram, there is a deeper, more fundamental meaning that emerges from these 8 stations.
As always, when one studies the primordial Masonic symbolism, it is in the Bible that one must look for the keys!
In the Bible it is signifying the Resurrection, the eternal day and the Kingdom of God.
In the Gospel of John, which is that of the Son of God, we find eight miracles, signs of the Kingdom of God.
He is quoted in :
The Eight Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. (Mt 5:3-11)
The eight curses to the scribes and Pharisees announced by Jesus. (Mt 23,13-31)
The eight phrases of the Magnificat or Song of Mary. (Lk 1:46-56)
Jesus was circumcised eight days after birth, according to the established law. (Lev 12:3; Gen 17:12 and 21:4; Lk 2:21).
The eight steps of the staircase leading to the outer court of the temple of Ezekiel. (Ez 40:26)
The eight creative words of the Word in six days, in Genesis chapter 1, verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26.
The eight people who were saved from the flood in Noah's ark. (Genesis 7,13)
The walk of the Master is therefore above all, the walk towards the eternal.
This interpretation is corroborated by the zigzagging trace of the Master's walk which refers to the flaming sword of which the book of Genesis tells us :
...23: And the Lord God cast him out of the garden of Eden, that he might till the land from whence he was taken.
24: And he drove out Adam, and put the cherubim on the east side of the garden of Eden, waving a flaming sword, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Let us remember that the cherubim are the guardians and defenders of God's holiness. They are often cited in connection with the throne of God. Several passages tell us that God sits between or above the cherubim.
How can we not make a link with the game of hopscotch where we find the 8 stations and this famous "Heaven" to which we must have access!
Like Adam, the Master leaves Earth to claim access to Heaven!
If we study the path of the Master's (or Mistress's) walk, we find many variations.
Today, by examining one of the most common paths, one can ask oneself if the fifth station (cf. diagram on the left below) is well positioned.
In old rituals, we find a more eccentric position. (see diagram on the right above )
If we adopt this eccentric position, we obtain the following path: (see below diagram on the left)
And in this arrangement, isn't it surprising?
For this harmonious figure formed by the eight stations represents ... the Salamander!
Everyone knows the fabulous legend lent to this amphibian!
With the Salamander we find the symbolism of Fire (and therefore of the sword and the blazing star), and therefore of the approach of Eden once again !
The Salamander that we will also find in the High Ranks in an elliptical way by the "way of the salamander", which allows to find also the part of occultism that the ancients wanted to incorporate in the rituals!
And to stay up to date, let's not forget that the origin of the word Salamander comes from ... Salam !
Salam Aleykoum, brothers, sisters, friends, readers!