Traditions Prevailing

Our Ritual Provides Distinction and SO Much More.

By: Stephen Balke

Stephen Balke Editor

Worshipful Brother Bruce Baily first informed me of the phrase “Traditions Prevailing” just after he started working actively with our Youth in New Mexico. His history of it was from Texas, and here it has been used quite a bit to speak of an officer’s planned ascendence through a line – but it can easily be used to describe a far greater impact.

When you review academic research on Freemasonry, you will find many articles that describe that Lodges were places of learning. Members not only studied concepts, skills, and philosophy as a part of every meeting – much like it is still done in Masonic bodies in Mexico – but when you study our ritual, you may find that it teaches us how to learn.

In a society where people like Edward Bernays have steered the fundamental aspects of advertising, media, and journalism to be influential through the use of symbols, colors, and emotion – much as Freemasonry is designed to do – to direct people to follow an agenda; our gentle Craft gives us the tools to think and act independently so that we may work cooperatively. When we follow the prescribed “curriculum,” we are exposed to the skills and methods to intentionally relate our experience to new information. and develop the habit of being in the moment. We practice changing sensory input and controlling the application of emotion so that we can more effectively and intentionally remember things that we believe will create a positive impact on our lives.

Everyone I know feels GREAT when they perform our ritual well. The journey to that moment requires investment of time, overcoming self-imposed obstacles, and learning new skills. This road should be guarded! Ensure that your journey, as well as that of others you influence, is consistently positively reinforced and has planned incremental wins – every opportunity for a celebration being celebrated provides the mortar that helps us best work and best agree.

If our traditions are truly to prevail, we should all be helping our Brethren to experience confidence and accomplishment in that which truly differentiates us – the degrees of Masonry.



Please consider sharing what you do with all of us – it may inspire greater and more activity in Masonry in NM!

We look forward to helping you share all the things you’re doing to help Masonry and your Lodge or group grow!

Many thanks to MWB Jeff Johnson and Michele Balke. Both for review of the issue, and contribution of photography by Michele. Other photos provided by the contributors, with the exception of the photos of Brian Ragain and his books, which were provided by him.

Artwork and images are also often downloaded from Creative Commons, royalty free.

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