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Tears

In the Master's degree in some of the Continental Rites, and in all the advanced Degrees where the legend of the Degree and the ceremony of reception are intended to express grief, the hangings of the Lodge are black strewn with tears. The figures representing tears are in the form depicted in the illustration. The symbolism is borrowed from the science of heraldry, where these figures are called buttes, and are defined to be "drops of anything that is by nature liquid or liquefied by art." The heralds have six of these Charges, namely, yellow, or drops of liquid gold; white, or drops of liquid silver; red, or drops of blood; blue, or drops of tears, black, or drops of pitch; and greens or drops of oil. In funeral hatchments, a black velvet cloth, sprinkled with these "drops of tears," is placed in front of the house of a deceased nobleman and thrown over his bier; but there, as in Freemasonry, the guttes de larmes, or drops of tears, are not painted blue, but white.

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