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by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Riding the Goat

Riding the Goat


One of the few paintings that has nothing to do with poker, it displays a jester performing an act to entertain a royal couple. The title, "Riding the goat," has been wrongly associated with initiation into the Masonic Lodge. It is sometimes used as a joke between members and potential members. Cash was involved with the Masonic Temple, so this could possibly have been a joke for other members.

An "Unknown Mason" gives the following insight into this picture:

The Cassius Coolidge dog picture of "Riding the Goat" is Masonic in nature and yes it is sometimes used as a joke between members and potential members. It depicts one of the first three principal degrees of Freemasonry.

The dog riding the goat is wearing a blindfold. The blindfold is an important part of the first three degrees of Freemasonry and has a specific and symbolic meaning in each degree. The rope around his neck is called a "cable toe" and it too has a particular, significant and symbolic meaning in the particular degree this picture represents.

The three dogs sitting to the left at the desk indicate the three principal officers of any Masonic Lodge and on the necklace type collars they are wearing are the jewels of their office (each jewel being of a different shape and having it own significant meaning).

The dog to the right of the three at the desk is wearing a red cap. In Scottish Rite Masonry this cap is the emblem of a KCCH mason. A couple of the dogs are wearing blue caps. This too has a particular meaning in Scottish Rite Masonry. It is symbol that represents a fifty-year mason (meaning he was initiated fifty or more years ago).

So as you can see, there are things in the picture that any Mason can clearly see.

The quoted text was reproduced with permission.


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