Daughters of Sphinx
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON gives two raps of the gavel and all the officers and members take their respective seats. Most Worthy Grand Matron says: We are now ready to proceed to confer the Queen Esther Degree of Daughters of Sphinx, which is the second degree, upon the candidate who is now in the Chamber of Reflection, and the First and Second Conductress are now requested to repair to the Chamber of Reflection and prepare the candidate for the Queen Esther Degree.
FIRST AND SECOND CONDUCTRESS will come before the altar and salute the Most Worthy Grand Matron, then go to the Chamber of Reflection and prepare the candidate by blindfolding, and then conduct the candidate to the door where the Second Captain of the Guard is stationed.
SECOND CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD gives two raps on the door and notifies the Guardian to inform the Most Worthy Grand Matron that the candidate is ready to be admitted and initiated in the Queen Esther Degree.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then instruct the Guardian to order the candidate to be admitted.
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate inside the room.
When the First Conductress and the candidate come into the lodge room the Guardian will read the following to the candidate at the door: You are now entering this Court of Daughters of Sphinx for the purpose of having the Queen Esther Degree, which is the second degree, conferred upon you. There is no doubt but that this candidate has well considered the laudable step that the candidate is now about to undertake for the the purpose of receiving the Ancient Mysteries of the Queen Esther Degree of the Daughters of Sphinx. This order is dedicated to Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence, and you are here of your own volition, and you must not of the trials you are to endure while passing through these difficulties, make any complaint. Let me especially call your attention to the fact that you should always be cautious and particular about what you speak relative to this Order, and always keep a seal on your lips, and never disclose anything concerning this fraternity unless you are sure and Certain that it is done in the presence of one who has this degree and is a member of this Order. You must never be discouraged or disheartened in well doing, and let me here remind you that those who take upon themselves a solemn and binding obligation in this Order must always honestly and faith. fully support and uphold it. And you must at all times place your trust in the Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth.
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the altar and causes the candidate to kneel at the altar, placing the left hand on the Holy Bible and the right hand on the heart.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON then reads the following obligation to the candidate and the candidate will repeat it after her:
I promise, in the presence of these members here assembled, that I will never violate the laws, rules and general regulations of the Order of Daughters of Sphinx; that I will not make known their secrets of the Queen Esther Degree to any person unless they are in legal possession of the Queen Esther Degree. I promise that I will endeavor to promote harmony, friendship and good will among all the members of this Court of Daughters of Sphinx.
So help me God.
Candidate kisses the Holy Bible once.
Response by all the members: All of this we do witness this pledge.
Candidate then rises.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate around the room, while the Most Worthy Grand Matron reads the following: 1. Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
2. Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not the goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
3. Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart and mind for any fate;
Still achieving and still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS conducts the candidate to the West, and the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron addresses the candidate and says: My esteemed daughter or brother, as the case may be human life is uncertain, and its pathway lies amid dangers that we cannot see, and difficulties that we sometimes cannot overcome. Should we be fortunate enough to complete the allotted span of life we may look back over the trials we have undergone, the dangers we have braved, the perplexities and difficulties we have surmounted, and our greatest wonder will be, that we have not fallen by the wayside, as others have done. Here is an Oasis as you travel on the pathway through the desert of life. You are now requested to sit down and rest.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS and candidate sit down in a chair in front of the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron, for a few minutes.
The Third Captain of the Guard, representing to be a poor old beggar, approaches the First Conductress and the candidate.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS: Here comes an aged stranger who looks like a beggar; let us accost this stranger.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS: Stranger, what will you have, and who are you ?
THIRD CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, representing a beggar, says to the First Conductress: You should pity the Sorrows and misfortunes of a poor old person, whose trembling limbs and destitute circumstances have brought me to your door, and whose days are shortened on account of the trouble and adversities that have surrounded me from my earliest period of existence, down to the present time. Give me aid and relief, and Heaven will bless you.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS says to the Third Captain of the Guard, who represents the beggar: I will give you all the food and refreshment that I have in my possession, so you will be comfortable, and contented, then you can go on your way feeling satisfied and refreshed.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then places one cent of money in the beggar’s hand, and the Third Captain of the Guard, representing the old beggar, addressing the First Conductress, says: For the kind favors and assistance you hate rendered me may Heaven bless you and protect you all the days of your life.
THIRD CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, representing the old beggar, then bows and departs for her station.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate in front of the altar. The Most Worthy Grand Matron then says to the candidate: Again we have been taught the lessons of Charity and we should never forget to respond to the appeal of a member of this Court and the Order of Daughters of Sphinx whenever they are in distress.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the High Priestess in the South, and the High Priestess reads the following to the candidate: We are now nearing the end of our journey. Here we must cross this bridge, for a storm is gathering and the sky is dark and cloudy, and it has commenced now to thunder and lightning.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate across the bridge that is arranged for that purpose and the thunder and lightning will be produced by the paraphernalia for the occasion, which will be made by the members.
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the altar and the hoodwink is taken from their eyes.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON says to the candidate: Upon this altar before you are some of the emblems of our Order, the Holy Bible, the Anchor, Shield, Scales, and Hour Glass.
The Holy Bible contains within its pages every human being’s duty that they owe to God, the Creator and Preservator of the Universe, and the performance of these duties brings satisfaction here and eternal happiness hereafter.
The Anchor symbolizes Hope, which paints the promised joys of life, weaves a wreath for every toil, a charm for every woe and bids us look beyond the grave for its fruition.
The Shield is the emblem of Protection. It guards those we love from poverty and distress, and defends them from the dangers and trials of this life; by its aid we uphold truth, preserve virtue, and defend the principles of our Order.
The Hour Glass indicates the march of time and tells us of the frailty of human life; like the sands of the glass we are one by one passing away. How important it is for us, who are still in health and strength in body and mind, that are left behind, that we should improve the glorious opportunity of these fleeting moments and hours in order that we may meet our end with peace.
The Scales is a well known, recognized symbol of a strict observation of Justice and Fair Dealing, and we should at all times deal fairly among each other.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON gives one rap with the gavel and all the members rise and remain standing until the following prayer and singing is over:
THE HIGH PRIESTESS will offer the following prayer: Our Heavenly Father, who is the source of all wisdom, truth and
love, grant us that in the reception of this person here among us. we may add strength to our strength, and grace to our grace. and may the golden chain, thus lengthened, become the brightest for this link and be strengthened for the great work we do, and enlarge our powers and give us wisdom and strength to benefit mankind and to honor God, and when, one by one, each link shall fall away in death, may the parting be temporary and the meeting eternal in the world where death comes not, may we realize the full happiness of loving and serving Thee forever. Amen.
The following song will be sung by all the members:
1. Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Theee,
E’en though it be a cross,
That raiseth me.
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
2. Though like a wanderer,
The sun gone down;
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I’ll be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON gives one rap and the members will take their seats. The Most Worthy Grand Matron will then instruct the candidates into the signs, grips and passwords, and the lecture of Queen Esther Degree.
1. Pass Degree Word of the Queen Esther Degree: Oasis.
2. Salutation Sign of the Queen Esther Degree: Place the right hand on the forehead and throwing it off and let your hand then drop by your side.
3. Distress Sign of the Queen Esther Degree: Let the left hand be resting under chin and the elbow of the left arm resting in the right hand.
4. Distress Word of the Queen Esther Degree: Mercy.
5. Grip of the Queen Esther Degree: Take one the right hand of the other and with the thumb press hard on the first joint of the middle finger and at the same time one says: Union; the other says: Strength; the both say: In Union there is Strength.
6. Sign of Recognition of the Queen Esther Degree: Place the first two fingers of the right hand to the right eye and then let your right hand drop to your side. This Sign is answered by placing the first two fingers of the left hand to the left eye and then dropping the hand to the side.
Question: Have we ever met before?
Answer: We have.
Question: Can you name the place where we met in this Order?
Answer: First in the room, or Chamber of Reflection.
Question: What was explained to you there?
Answer: That I should keep secret the business of this Order.
Question: What is the Queen Esther Degree founded on?
Answer: It is founded on the Holy Bible. Read the Book of Esther.
Question: What makes you a member of this Order?
Answer: The solemn pledge that I made.
Question: Have you the signs, password and grip of this degree?
Answer: I have.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON to candidate: The ceremonies of the Queen Esther Degree are now completed. It is now my pleasing duty, in behalf of this Court, to congratulate you upon your reception in this Queen Esther’s Degree. Your worthiness has entitled you to our distinguished consideration and gives us confidence and hope, that by your life, you will prove deserving of the favors we have at this time bestowed upon you, and may that life be prolonged in honor and usefulness, and may you long continue an active member with us, and forever be a faithful defender of the principle of this Order.
THE MOST WORTHY
GRAND MATRON will then instruct all the members present that those not having
the Degree of the Daughters of Sphinx, which is the third degree, will please
retire, and will instruct the First and Second Conductress to take up the
password of the third degree, and those not in possession of it will come before
the altar and salute the Most Worthy Grand Matron and retire from the room.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then, by the sound of the gavel, declare the Court opened in the third degree, which is the Daughters of Sphinx Degree.