Region 12 Masonic Education



The Way Ahead
A workbook to guide the Entered Apprentice Freemason

Learning is life-long; even if we study to old age, we will never finish our education. Throughout a lifetime we gain knowledge from study, experience and being taught by others and we are thus provided with intellectual, moral and social instruction.

An African proverb tells us that ‘not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse’ and former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said: “To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step towards knowledge.”

When we join an organisation, business or association, it is natural that we should find out as much as possible about it.

The Masonic Studies program, however, does not exist to make scholars out of Masons, but to make Masons out of our members.

A Mason is not one who has learnt the ritual by rote; he is one who is familiar with the ritual and understands the nature and origin of our symbols, studies the meaning of our ceremonies, and appreciates and practices the teaching of our mysteries and traditions. The teachings of Freemasonry are veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. To become acquainted with and understand its mysteries, the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, and the four cardinal virtues of temperance, prudence, fortitude and justice, should be an openly asserted and constant goal of our lives so that we may become more knowledgeable Freemasons, more effective in the Craft, and more positive and constructive members of society.

Our progress in Freemasonry, then, should be founded in both practical and theoretical understanding and to achieve this, and better appreciate the richness of the Craft, we must all be prepared to drink deeply at the fountain of Masonic knowledge.

What we would like you to do.

Congratulations, you are now an Entered Apprentice Freemason (EAF).

Before you take your next formal step in Lodge and become a Fellow Craft Freemason you need to learn more about Freemasonry.

This will involve some effort on your part. The purpose of this booklet is to show you how to gain the knowledge that you need to progress to the Second Degree in Freemasonry and how you can measure your progress.

The good news is: We are eager to help you; but the effort has to be yours.

What you can expect from us.

Any member of your Lodge can assist you but in reality the majority of help will come from your Mentor. It is his role to guide you, encourage you and lead you as you work to make yourself ready for your next step in Freemasonry – the Second Degree. He will be helped by your Lodge’s Education Officer. He will ensure that your Mentor gets all the material and resources that he needs to ensure that your progress in gaining Masonic knowledge moves ahead as fast as you want.

Your Lodge’s Director of Ceremonies it is his role to assist you to hone your skills in the delivery of ritual, and movement around the Lodge.

Your Lodge’s Worshipful Master. It is his role to lead the Lodge and to ensure that the appropriate Brethren are giving you the right counsel at the right time.

Your District’s Lodge of Instruction

The Preceptor of the Lodge of Instruction is:

His contact details are, and the Lodge of Instruction’s meeting details are:

Your preparation for the Second Degree.

Your Mentor will want to be sure that you understand the implications of your Initiation and especially the import of the Obligation that you took on that day.

Start by reading and understanding your ritual book.  The Mentor Scheme ‘Candidate’s Notes’ give you an overview of the ritual: read these notes and discuss them with your Mentor. Underline the passages in the ritual that are not clear to you. (This may be most of the ritual but don’t worry; it will become clearer.) Discuss these sections with your Mentor. He will help you to understand them.

Things to do.

1. Understand the detailed implications of the Obligation in the First Degree and demonstrate to your Mentor that understanding.  We don’t want you to prove to us that you are a scholar or that you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Obligation. We don’t want you to demonstrate that you can memorise the Obligation. We do want you to convince your Mentor that you have a real understanding of the promises you made on that night.

2. Discuss with your Mentor your impressions of your Initiation.  We don’t want you to demonstrate your skills as a public speaker but we do want to hear – in your own words and perhaps in open Lodge – you’re feelings, your impressions and your memories of your Initiation.

3. Demonstrate to your Mentor that you do have some idea of the origins of Freemasonry and have some knowledge of Masonic History. (Start by referring to the material given to you at your Initiation.)

4. Convince your Mentor that you are familiar with the working tools of an EAF and understand how the First Degree Working Tools Charge explains how they relate to your daily life.

5. Explain where you, as an EAF, fit into your Lodge and also how your Lodge fits into the District, the Region and Grand Lodge.

6. Show that you can find the following lines of ritual and that your Mentor has explained them to you:

  • ‘cowans and intruders’
  • ‘uninfluenced by mercenary or any other unworthy motive’
  • ‘this worthy and worshipful Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons’
  • ‘the three great emblematic lights’
  • ‘The Common Gavel is an important implement of labour which enables the Operative Mason to knock off all superfluous knobs and excrescences from the rude material’
  • ‘your duty to your neighbour demands that you should act towards him on the square’

7. List and explain which items of literature were given to you by the WM at your Initiation.

8. Explain why you are sitting in the North East corner of the Lodge.

9. Attend a First Degree Tracing Board with your Mentor.  Discuss this with your Mentor. The First Degree Tracing Board is a lecture that is not delivered by every Lodge every year. Allowing for circumstances try and attend one if you can. It may be necessary for your Mentor to arrange something specifically for you that will take the place of a ‘live’ lecture.

10. Visit another Lodge with your Mentor.

11. View a First Degree either in your Lodge or in another Lodge. Do this with your Mentor.  It is important that you see someone else being initiated. If it means travelling to another Lodge we recommend that you make the effort. It will make your Initiation much more meaningful to you.

12. Attend at least one Lodge of Instruction meeting if ‘available’. Discuss this with your Mentor. There may not be a Lodge of Instruction meeting in your neighbourhood. If not, attend your own Lodge’s rehearsals regularly. It will improve your knowledge and show that you are genuine in your desire to learn about Freemasonry.

13. Be fully proficient in the ‘Ritual Card’ that was given to you by the Worshipful Master at your Initiation. The ‘Ritual Card’ has a number of ‘blanks’ on it. Do not write the answers in these spaces. Seek the answers from your Mentor. Return the card to your Lodge Secretary after you have completed this degree.

14. Participate in a Lodge Walk About arranged by your Mentor.  A Lodge Walk About involves a senior member of a Lodge conducting you round a Lodge room and explaining its physical layout, the various officers, the items of furniture and their significance to the members. The intention is to make you totally comfortable with the room and its contents.

15. Register as a borrower at the Grand Lodge Library.  The Grand Lodge Library has a selection of books that are ideal reading for a new Mason. A Library Enrolment Form is attached to this booklet.

Contact names in your Lodge.

Your Lodge probably has a listing of all members. Get a copy from your Lodge’s Membership Officer or your Lodge’s Secretary and insert it here.

My local contacts are all unavailable, where can I get some answers?

Your District Grand Inspector of Workings and/or your Regional Grand Counsellor can assist you. Their contact details should be on your Lodge Notice Paper.

The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory can be reached in the following manner:


Telephone:          (02) 9267-9133
Grand Lodge Library:    (02) 9284-2825    Email:

Address:    P.O. Box A259 Sydney South NSW 1235
Location:    Sydney Masonic Centre 66 Goulburn Street Sydney

I think that I am ready. What do I do now?

Discuss your progress with your Mentor; he will have been discussing your progress with the Lodge Management Committee. It is important that both of you feel comfortable that you are totally ready to take the next step.

If you have the slightest doubt that you are ready then you should not allow yourself to be rushed. Equally do not feel slighted if your Mentor feels that you need more time.

Your Mentor will advise you and will liaise with the Worshipful Master and the Lodge Management Committee. In due course you will be notified regarding the probable date for your next step in Freemasonry.

When that day arrives you will have been fully prepared and you will receive maximum enjoyment from the experience of being passed to the Second or Fellow Craft Degree.

Proposed reading for the Entered Apprentice Freemason

Your Ritual Book
The By Laws of your Lodge
‘Candidate’s Notes’ from the Mentoring Manual.
The Ancient Charges (refer to the Book of Constitutions)
Brochures printed by Grand Lodge
‘The Pocket History of Freemasonry’, by Pick and Knight
‘Foundation of Freemasonry’, by Grahame Cumming
Short Talks as appropriate- refer to the Grand Lodge Library


The Masonic Studies Committee has derived this workbook from a number of sources. It was compiled and edited from material submitted by VWor Bro Colin Glasson and members of the Masonic Studies Committee.

ENROLMENT FORM (For the loan of items from the UGL Library)

To the Grand Librarian of the UGL of NSW and the ACT
279 Castlereagh Street  Sydney   2000

I hereby apply to borrow items from the United Grand Lodge Library and agree to abide by the conditions laid down in its rules.

Full Name: __________________________________________________________
E-mail: __________________________________________________________

Home Address: __________________________________________________________

Business address:

Telephone contact:    (home) _______________________________

(work) _______________________________

(mobile) _______________________________
Lodge: ______________________N° ________Masonic Rank: ______________

____________________________________________          ___________________
(signature)                         (date)
The Library of the UGL of NSW & the ACT
The Masonic Centre 279 Castlereagh Street Sydney
PO Box A259, Sydney South NSW 1235 / DX 11628 Sydney Downtown
Telephone 02 9284 2825 / Facsimile 02 9264 8918 / Email
Note: Publications produced by this Grand Lodge represent its official views. Other publications do not necessarily reflect the views of this Grand Lodge.


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