The term ‘Go Dark’ means that a Masonic Lodge has ceased to exist as a Lodge. One major meaning is that it has permanently closed its doors or ceased to exist as a Lodge. Also, it could also mean that it ‘went dark’ or stopped holding meetings for a specified period.
In some farming communities which has a lot of Masons as farmers, Lodges go dark to allow the farmers to tend to their crops. The Lodges go dark until the Fall when crops have been harvested. This also happens in other communities where a large percentage of the members are fishermen and have gone fishing for lengthy periods or military Lodges where members are at war.
Some Lodges also ‘go dark’ for specified periods of time each year. Some Lodges do not go dark at all while some go dark during the summer while members are delegated to attend to other Masonic duties. These duties include the following:
- Charitable acts like cleaning of highways and partnerships in the community.
- Visiting elderly people and others in nursing homes, hospitals etc. Cleaning up cemeteries, home of widows and carrying out other necessary duties in these areas.
- Cleaning of the Masonic Lodge, polishing the Lodge floor, painting the Lodge etc.
- Initiating application process for Masonic scholarship. The scholarship team begins to contact the high school and other institutions involved. These scholarships are usually given to high school students in the community who want to attend university.
Darkness has always been seen as a symbol of ignorance as opposed to light which is always seen as a symbol of knowledge. This is one reason why there is a rule that states that the eye must not see until it has seen the true nature of the things that make up the mysteries of the order.
In the Ancient Mysteries, the candidate was always in darkness as a preparatory step towards receiving the full light of knowledge. The Persians had a lengthy period of 50 days of solitude, fasting and darkness. For the Grecian Mysteries, the period was 3 times 9 days. For the Druids of Britain, the period was 9 nights and days.
According to the cosmogonies which is the study of the origin of the universe, darkness had always existed before light came into existence. So, darkness is the firstborn or the progenitor of day and the state of existence before creation.
Today, Freemasonry has brought darkness back to its proper place as a point of preparation. Darkness is now a symbol of antemundane. It is a being or occurring that existed before the world was created. It is the chaos that existed before light was brought into existence by the Supreme Creator. Darkness is a state of nonentity that existed before birth. It is a state of ignorance before one comes into knowledge.
In the Ancient Mysteries, the release of a candidate from darkness and solitude is called regeneration. The candidate was said to be raised from the dead or born again.
In Freemasonry, the darkness that clothed the minds of the uninitiated ones is removed gradually by the light of Freemasonry. Freemasons are therefore called the sons of light.
In some Masonic Jurisdictions, the room is enveloped in darkness when the Masonic Third Degree is being conferred on a candidate. It is a ceremony that is now being omitted and not observed as it should be observed.
Darkness represents death. It is a lesson taught in the Masonic Third Degree. The renewal of light that comes after refers to the eternal lesson of light and eternal life that comes after.
‘Go Dark’ has no bearing or relation to race. It has no racial meaning. The noble Freemason Brotherhood accepts men of all races and religions.
‘Go Dark’ has no satanic meaning. Freemasonry has no correlation with satanic beliefs as Freemasonry is deep-rooted in a belief in a Supreme Being or Supreme Creator. In various languages around the world, the Supreme Being is called Jehovah, God, Yahweh, Lord, King of Kings, Allah and YHWH as seen in the old testament and the Torah.
We share a lifelong quest of attaining light, knowledge and divine illumination. We journey towards becoming a living representation of what the Supreme Being wants us to be through his trestleboard which is the Holy Scripture.