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The Chamber of Reflection

Today in Masonic History we discuss The Chamber of Reflection

The Chamber of Reflection is often a small room adjacent to the lodge room.

The origins of the Chamber of Reflection is not known. Although since it's inception it has been used in a variety of masonic ritual works, both in the Blue Lodge and in appendant bodies. Regardless of when a candidate encounters the Chamber of Reflection certain features are the same. The room is generally darkened with little light or perhaps only candlelight. There are various types of items in the room with the candidate. The candidate is expected to sit and mediate or contemplate on what is happening around them.

Some of the items may confront the candidate in the Chamber of Reflection can include, a skull, symbolizing death, a scythe or hourglass, symbolizing time or various other items symbolizing concepts the candidate needs to contemplate. There may also be aphorisms written on the walls. Among the most common is the phrase V.I.T.R.I.O.L. which generally stands for the Latin "visita interiora terrae, rectificandoque, invenies occultum lapidem." This translates into "visit the interior of the earth, and purifying it, you will find the hidden stone." This reminds the candidate to look within themselves for the truth they seek.

The Chamber of Reflection, particularly in the United States rarely gets used. Although in jurisdictions outside the United States it does occur more frequently. The idea of the Chamber is meant to give the candidate an opportunity to reflect upon the degree work and information they receive during a degree. It teaches the candidate to contemplate what is being said in the degrees. Like most ritualistic societies, Freemasonry has deeper meanings to the words being used in it's ceremonies. The Chamber of Reflection gives the candidate an opportunity to help them better understand what has been said, and potentially to raise more questions to be asked.