Monday, January 2, 2012

Three of Pentacles

This card often speaks of a skill. The Mark Mason is a degree of Masonry. When he achieves this degree in the order he is expected to create a personal symbol or trademark using 6 straight lines. This mark or symbol is registered at the Grand Lodge and cannot be changed once recorded. It is always imprinted in his work to identify himself to others.

When we leave our identification mark on our work for the world to see we know that we will be judged according to a standard of excellence that will create perceptions of us in the minds of many – some of whom may not necessarily even need to see our work to recognize our reputation. Perceptions, once created, are difficult to change. It is for this reason that the Mark Mason would take particular care to ensure that his work is of the highest excellence, for it carries his mark and becomes the symbol of his skill – or lack of it if that be the case.

In the card we see three figures. One of these, a priestly figure, holds a set of plans in his hands. The plans represent what is still in the head of the Mark Mason, not yet real or manifest, still in the developing phase; but the real or completed building is also represented in the card. The plans on paper are being compared to the finished product – motivated by the mark or trademark on it. Did he build what he had planned to? Does it meet the mark of excellence expected of him? How will he be judged for his work?

People will always associate and generalize our mark with our work. This card reminds us to be careful of what we say, as people will hold us accountable and will judge us according to our words and actions. It takes many years to build a good reputations and only a few seconds to destroy it. It is important for each of us  to ‘stick to our mark’ and defend it as our reputations are at stake. A tree will be judged by its fruit, or in this example by its trademark. Most of us have negative or positive perceptions that we associate with well-known trademarks or brands, as an example the Mercedes Benz  symbol. Even those of us who have never driven a Mercedes will most likely already have a perception of the product that would influence us one way or the other when we contemplate purchasing a new vehicle. So too are each of us judged by our mark. Our mark could be our word. If we say we are going to do something, do we set out to achieve it? Or is our Mark one of empty promises, and our reputation known to others as all talk and no action? Our Mark could be our actions, or even our outlook on life – our attitude. Each of these add to the creation of how others perceive us. The end result equals the fruit against which we will be judged. There are many trees out there, but not all bear fruit…

Do we stand, like one of the other figures in the card, high on a chair, wanting people to see our mark, it is not hidden it is high and in full view. This figure proudly displays his Mark for the world to see.

The priestly figure in the card could represent our connection to a higher Source or Self which may be the reason he is building a temple in the first place. A temple as a place of worship and gathering for the community, so that others may be inspired to connect to their higher Source too so that they can be encouraged to place their mark on their creations and thereby inspire more to do the same.

We live by example. We ask ourselves whether the example we see is one we would want to follow. We ask ourselves whether this is someone  we’d like to be like, whether they inspire us, or whether this is someone we’d rather avoid. But more importantly, what example are we to those who observe us?

In closing today I share the following quote with you:

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”  Abraham Lincoln

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