Wings of the Cherubim, Extended
The candidate in the Degree of Royal Master of the American Rite is said to be received "beneath the extended wings of the cherubim." The expression is derived from the passage in the First Book of Kings (vi, 27) which describes the setting of "the cherubim within the inner house." Practically, there is an anachronism in the reference to the cherubim in this Degree. In the older and purer ritual, the ceremonies are supposed to take place in the Council- Chamber or private apartment of King Solomon, where of course, there were no cherubim. And even in some more modern rituals, where a part of the ceremony referred to in the tradition is spill to have occurred in the holy of Holies, that part of the Temple was at that time unfinished, and the cherubim had not yet been placed there.
But symbolically the reference to the cherubim in this Degree, which represents a searcher for Truth, is not objectionable. For although there is a great diversity of opinion as to their exact signification, yet there is a very general agreement that, under some one manifestation or another, they allude to and symbolize the protecting and overshadowing power of the Deity.
When therefore, the initiate is received beneath the extended wings of the cherubim, we are taught by this symbolism how appropriate it is, that he who comes to ask and to seek Truth. symbolized by the True Word should begin by placing himself under the protection of that Divine Power which alone is Truth, and from which alone Truth can be obtained.
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