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WINDING STAIRS

In the First Book of Kings (vi, 8) it is said: "The door for the Middle Chamber was in the right side of the house; and they went up with winding stairs into the Middle Chamber, and out of the middle into the third." From this passage the Freemasons of the eighteenth century adopted the symbol of the Winding Stairs, and introduced it into the Fellow Craft's Degree, where it has ever since remained, in the American Rite. In one of the higher Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite the Winding Stairs are called cochleus, which is a corruption of cochlis, a spiral staircase.

The Hebrew word is lulim, from the obsolete root lug, to roll or wind. The whole story of the Winding Stairs in the Second Degree of Freemasonry is a mere myth, without and other foundation than the slight allusion in the Book of Kings which has been just cited, and it derives its only value from the symbolism taught in its legend (see Middle Chamber and Winding Stairs, Legend of the).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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