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Happy New Year 6016 A.L.!

Today in Masonic History it is 6016 Anno Lucis (A.L.)!

The year is 6016 Anno Lucis, or Year of Light.

Why does masonry add 4000 years to the current date?

Anno Lucis was adopted by Freemasonry sometime in the 18th century. It was taken from the Anno Mundi or "In the Year of the World", which was first implemented in the 17th century by an Irish Monk.

The idea of Anno Mundi (A.M.) was to begin counting from the date of creation. The date of creation according to the Bible has been often debated. It is believed in the Jewish tradition that the date of creation was October 17th, 3761 B.C. So in Anno Mundi the current year is added to 3761. This would make the year 5777 A. M.

For Freemasonry the year in Anno Lucis, like Anno Mundi, has a relationship to creation. That is where the similarity ends for Anno Mundi and Anno Lucis. Where Anno Mundi is meant to bring an actual date into focus for the creation of existence, for Freemasonry it is meant to represent the symbolic moment that light came into the world. In Freemasonry light is a metaphor for knowledge. It could also be said that it relates to enlightenment. This would make sense since at the time that speculative Masonry was gaining ground in the world, the age of enlightenment had begun. The search for knowledge, both spiritual and physical was very much on the minds of the early speculative Freemasons. It is from the idea that knowledge is equated to light that most likely Freemasonry adopted the idea of Anno Lucis and the moment of creation. This would come from the book of Genesis and the description of the creation of the Universe.

Light is something that is incorruptible, it can be split into it's parts, as it can be through a prism. It can even be brought back together through a similar process. Still when you break it down to it's parts, it is still light. Light can be blocked though, can be kept from shining through. It can be filtered, in the end though the original light is till in it's incorruptable form.

Knowledge in Freemasonry and in general is the same. It can be broken down into it's parts, it can be pulled apart and dissected and put back together, still it is knowledge. Whether we choose to bask in that light or study how it functions, it is still meant to be used for the betterment of all who see it and are touched by it. When it is blocked or filtered it causes darkness, or ignorance, to spread and when it reaches those who chose to dwell in that "darkness" or who only see the filtered light it brings hate, injustice and sorrow.

We as Freemasons, have the responsibility to make sure that light, or knowledge shines forth. At times the light comes through the metaphoric prisms and we only see a part of the light, it is up to us as Freemasons to find all the pieces of the light and put it back together for those who have lost the light or can only see that one part of the spectrum that comes through the prism of our own bias.

I wish all of you a Happy 6016! May this truly be a Year of Light!