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Secret Societies (nineteenth century). Initiation ceremony o

Secret Societies (nineteenth century). Initiation ceremony o


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Secret Societies (nineteenth century). Initiation ceremony o

Secret Societies (nineteenth century). Initiation ceremony of a new member. Colored engraving

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 14319096

© Thaliastock / Mary Evans

Ceremony Chandelier Clandestine Initiation Mason Masonry Member Rite Ritual Secrecy Secret Skeleton Torch


EDITORS COMMENTS
This 19th century engraving depicts an initiation ceremony of a new member into a secret society. The scene takes place in a dimly lit, ornate room adorned with a grand chandelier, casting an ethereal glow over the clandestine gathering. The new initiate, dressed in a simple robe, stands before an assembly of masked men, each holding a torch and a sword. The room is filled with an air of secrecy, heightened by the use of skeletons and smoke, symbolizing the transience of life and the importance of the society's tenets. The initiation rite is a significant moment in the life of a member, marking his entrance into the exclusive world of the secret society. The men, all members of the society, observe the ceremony with solemnity and anticipation, their faces obscured by masks, adding to the enigma and allure of the occasion. The image is reminiscent of the Freemasons, one of the most famous secret societies of the 19th century, known for their elaborate initiation rituals and symbolism. However, it is important to note that this engraving does not depict any specific society, but rather captures the essence of the initiation ceremony as it was commonly portrayed during this era. The intricate details of the engraving, from the ornate decorations on the walls to the symbolic objects held by the men, reveal the rich history and tradition behind secret societies of the 19th century. This image offers a glimpse into the past, inviting us to ponder the allure and mystery that continues to surround these clandestine organizations.

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