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Happy New Year 6021 A.L.!

Today in Masonic History it is 6021 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 is often debated. It is believed in the Jewish tradition the date of creation was October 17th, 3761 B.C. So in Anno Mundi the current year is added to 3761. This makes the year 5782 A. M.

For Freemasonry the year in Anno Lucis, like Anno Mundi, has a relationship to creation. This 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 is also said it relates to enlightenment. This makes sense since at the time 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 the idea knowledge equates to light most likely led Freemasonry to adopt the idea of Anno Lucis and the moment of creation. This came from the book of Genesis and the description of the creation of the Universe.

Light is something incorruptible, it can be split into it's parts, as through a prism. The recombination of the parts is also possible through a similar process. Still when you break it down to it's parts, it is still light. It is possible to block Light though, keep it from shining through. If a filter is placed in its path the light is diminished, in the end the original light is still present, in it's incorruptable form.

Knowledge in Freemasonry and in general is the same. Through study it is broken down into it's parts, pulled apart, dissected and put back together, still it is knowledge. Whether we choose to bask in the 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. When it reaches those who chose to dwell in "darkness" or who only see the filtered light it brings hate, injustice and sorrow.

We as Freemasons, have the responsibility to make sure 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 6021! May this truly be a Year of Light, we all need it!