News From The Ninth Arch

The Alarm of the Mysterious

by William Snyder
General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work

Masonic Research: What is “the Regular Alarm of the Mysterious . . . . ”?



Greetings to all of our beloved Companions in the Secret Vault of Truth and Mystery!  As I have visited the Grand Councils, I have begun asking the officers and active members a question.   It is a question about a ritual item common to virtually all of the openings of our Grand Councils and subordinate councils.  When I served as Grand Lecturer for the Grand Council of Missouri, I began asking this question. 

Please think about this the next time you are in the opening of a council of Select Masters.  Then, as many have done, try to find some answers to my question.  Your search on your standard Google search will not avail you much enlightenment in seeking an answer to my question.  

The question is this:  We speak of a \”regular alarm\” and of a \”mysterious [xxxx]\”.  Yes, if you do not know what [xxxx] represents, you will need to check your ritual or call your friendly Grand Lecturer.  

So, what does this phrase in our ritual signify or reference?  You may have spent years in the York Rite and never given this much thought.  You may think it relates to \”raps\” or \”the constitutional number\” but I suggest that it is not correct as that should have resulted in a reference to that explanation being easily found to that effect. 

As you have probably just now found in your Google search, the term \”mysterious [xxxx]\” usually yields as a primary result an episode of the History Channel\’s Ancient Aliens series.  Not a bad episode but not likely to be the Masonic answer we are seeking.  Indeed, beyond that fascinating step in speculation, I suggest to you that there is a greater mystery and a greater lesson than extraterrestrial powers from beyond our galaxy.  There is, I submit, for your consideration and speculation, a mystery and a lesson relevant to the true history of Freemasonry and the very important role of the Cryptic Rite degrees. 

I need your help in this quest.  Please send me any leads or clues that you may identify.  I  have done some research but welcome any guidance that you can offer. Please send me any theories that you deem worthy to pursue.  For the next two years, we will try to bring you answers and evidence from which we can eventually provide a credible annotation to our Rituals and to our History.  Remember, you can write to me at or you can text me at 1-816 806-1570.  

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