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LADDER

A symbol of progressive advancement from a lower to a higher sphere, which is common to Freemasonry and to many, if not all of the Ancient Mysteries. In each, generally, as in Freemasonry, the number of steps was seven (see Jacob's Ladder).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, BRAHMANICAL

The symbolic ladder used in the Mysteries of Brahma. It had seven steps, symbolic of the seven worlds of the Indian universe. The lowest was the Earth; the second, the World of Coexistence; the third, Heaven; the fourth, the Middle World, or intermediate region between the lower and the upper worlds; the fifth, the World of Births, in which souls are born again; the sixth, the Mansion of the Blessed; and the seventh, or topmost round, the Sphere of Truth, the abode of Brahma, who was himself a symbol of the sun.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, CABALISTIC

The ladder of the Cabalists consisted of the ten Sephiroths or Emanations of Deity. The steps were in an ascending series the Kingdom, Foundation, Splendor, Firmness, Beauty, Justice, Mercy, Intelligence, Wisdom, and the Crown. This ladder formed the exception to the usual number of seven steps or rounds.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, JACOB'S

See Jacob's Ladder

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, MITHRAITIC

The symbolic ladder used in the Persian Mysteries of Mithras. It had seven steps, symbolic of the seven planets and the seven metals. Thus, beginning at the bottom, we have Saturn represented by lead, Venus by tin, Jupiter by brass, Mercury by iron, Mars by a mixed metal, the Moon by silver, and the Sun by gold; the whole being a symbol of the sidereal progress of the sun through the universe.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER OF IZADOSH

This ladder, belonging to the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry, consists of the seven following steps, beginning at the bottom Justice, Equity, Kindliness, Good Faith, Labor, patience, and Intelligence or Wisdom. Its supports are love of God and love of our neighbor, and their totality constitute a symbolism of the devoir or duty of Knighthood and Freemasonry, the fulfillment of which is necessary to make a Perfect Knight and Perfect Freemason.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, ROSICRUCIAN

Among the symbols of the Rosicrucians is a ladder of seven steps standing on a globe of the earth, with an open Bible, Square, and Compasses resting on the top. Between each of the steps is one of the following letters, beginning from the bottom: I. N. R. I. F. S. C., being the initials of Iesus, Nazarenus, Rex, Iudaeorum, Fides, Spes Caritas. These words suggesting Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews; Faith, Hopc, Charity. But a more recondite or hidden meaning is sometimes given to the first four letters.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, SCANDINAVIAN

The symbolic ladder used in the Gothic Mysteries. Doctor Oliver refers it to the Yggrasil, or sacred ash tree. But the symbolism is either very abstruse or very doubtful. It retains, however, the idea of an ascent from a lower to a higher sphere, which was common to all the mystical ladder systems. At its root lies the dragon of death; at its top are the eagle and hawk, the symbols of life.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


LADDER, THEOLOGICAL

The symbolic ladder of the Masonic Mysteries. It refers to the ladder seen by Jacob in his vision, and consists, like all symbolical ladders, of seven rounds, alluding to the four cardinal and the three theological virtues (see Jacob's Ladder).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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