Although most Freemasons will be familiar with the Tracing Boards – painted or engraved illustrations developed in the early years of Freemasonry which are used in Lodges to illustrate Masonic symbols and allegories during degree ceremonies and lectures – little has been published on them. The Tracing Boards are an essential part of the three Craft Degrees, assisting the Freemason in his quest to decode and interpret those allegories. There is no publication which adequately explains the Tracing Boards, their use and meaning of their symbolism, and Tracing Boards of the Three Degrees in Craft Freemasonry Explained fills that gap. The first three chapters give a detailed method of understanding and revealing the import of the three craft boards, based on those used in the three degrees by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, known as the Harris Boards, which contain the elements of most of the Tracing Boards used in Lodges throughout England. The fourth chapter gives a brief overview of the history and the development of Tracing Boards in England, with some fascinating illustrations of long-forgotten boards. In the fifth chapter the author draws in many Tracing Boards and Lodge Cloths from other countries, particularly from the USA, and from other Masonic jurisdictions, bringing the art-form right up to the 21st century. This book is richly illustrated and features boards never before seen outside museums.
Julian Rees was for some years on the Precepting Committee of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement in London. He has been a regular contributor to the quarterly magazine Freemasonry Today since its founding in 1997. In 2003, he joined the editorial team as deputy and news editor, and in the same year delivered the prestigious Wendel K. Walker Memorial Lecture in New York entitled Through Ritual to Enlightenment. He was one of the founding members of The Cornerstone Society, serving as Secretary for a number of years, and has lectured extensively to lodges in this country and abroad. Rees has been honoured by the Institut Maçonnique de France with the Ordre Maçonnique de Lafayette. He is now a member of the International Order of Freemasonry Le Droit Humain in England. He is the author of Making Light – A Handbook for Freemasons, The Stairway of Freemasonry, Ornaments Furniture and Jewels and So You Want To Be A Freemason?