The Masonic Shoe also called the Blue Slipper is a symbol that represents the physical confirmation of a spoken deed or bond.
In ancient times, when you remove your shoes and give it to someone, you are confirming a contract.
First Degree: The Shoe Connotes a Promise
In the book of Ruth, found in the Christian Bible, Boaz, a rich landowner proposed to the closest kinsman of Ruth and exercised his legal right by redeeming the land of Naomi and marrying Naomi’s daughter-in-law. But the kinsman was unable to do so, and he left his right of purchase to Boaz.
The Bible further explains that in Israel, a man removed his shoes and gave it to a neighbor for a testimony. This is done in regard to redeeming things and confirming deeds or contracts. In the First Degree, the shoe is a symbol of a promise or covenant to be entered into.
Third Degree: Removal of Both Shoes on Holy Ground
Discalceation is the act of removing shoes as a sign of respect when one is about to enter sacred ground.
In the Biblical book of Joshua Chapter 5, verse 15, the captain of the Lord’s host told Joshua to remove both shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
In the Biblical book of Exodus, Chapter 3, the angel of God told Moses to stop moving and remove both shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
Jewish people have always performed discalceation, and they still perform it. Other Oriental nations also perform discalceation before entering their temples and other sacred places.
Muslims always remove their shoes before entering mosques.
The ancient Peruvians removed their shoes before entering their temple that was built specifically for the worship of the sun.
Pythagoras told his disciples to worship after removing their shoes.
The Druids also removed their shoes whenever they wanted to practice their ancient rites.
Almost everywhere in the Ancient World, the custom of worshipping gods barefooted or removing one’s shoes before entering a sacred place was performed. Some scholars even mention this as one of the proofs that all humans emerged from one family. The Christian Bible says that all nations of the earth came from Abraham. But scientific proof of this is yet to emerge.
Some scholars explain that discalceation did not originate from Moses but from the patriarchs before him. They explained that there was nowhere in the bible that Moses told the priests to remove their shoes, but it is quite natural that they have been doing so traditionally before Moses. This is the same for Muslims and other Oriental religions.
The Masonic shoe is a Masonic symbol, but it is one that originated from the Bible and not Freemasonry itself. This shows that Freemasonry has its roots in the brotherhood of men from time immemorial.
The type of shoes worn in ancient times were sandals. The blue slipper was most likely a kind of sandal.
A lot of people will wonder why the term Blue Slipper is used instead of the usual brown color of most sandals. This is because Blue is a very important Masonic color.