Officers of the Royal Arch

Who is the Janitor, what is your destiny? Going beyond yourself spiritually.


Continuing on from the Officers of the Lodge 6 part series, we progress on to the Royal Arch.

This is number 1 of a 5 part tutorial series on the Royal Arch Officers.

Each part published monthly in The Square.

Royal Arch Officers:  Janitor, Sojourners, Scribe Nehemiah, Scribe Ezra, Principles.

Abraham Maslow, in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Motivation” put forward his controversial theory on a “hierarchy of needs” which went through a series of 5 human needs from a basic need to that of self-actualisation.

“Basic need” being the physiological needs of food, water, shelter etc. and “self-actualisation” where one achieves one’s full potential.

However, these 5 stages of human development fell short, by his own admission in 1969, when he wrote a paper, “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature”.

It was about “humans going beyond themselves, in altruism and spirituality.”

To go beyond yourself and transcend to the next level of personal development is the subject of the Holy Royal Arch. Whilst “Craft” Masonry takes you through your development physically, mentally and morally, it is the Holy Royal Arch that develops you spiritually.

In the journal, The Conversation, Nov 16, 2017, titled, “What does it mean to be spiritual?” it identifies millennials seeking to be spiritual as opposed to religious.

It stated that “A spiritual person in its original Christian (or other faiths) sense was simply a person within whom the Spirit of God dwelt.”

That makes the journey seem deceptively easy. It is far from easy.

The article goes on to argue that “ contemporary Western culture looks outward for spirituality” Erich Fromm arguing “the 1970s modern societies emphasize having things as to just being”.

However, Galen Watts argues that millennials started looking inward through practices like meditation and self-reflection to gain knowledge of themselves and becoming more empathetic to their surroundings.

They seem to want to find their spirituality by themselves, without guidance, experiencing the learning process, as opposed to an established path.

However, others before them have taken the same path towards spiritual enlightenment, have made mistakes during their journey even, on occasions, losing their way.

These spiritual adventurers have written about their journeys, their findings you will read within the pages of the VSL and can act as a substantial guide to finding enlightenment.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.

– John 16: 13-14

In my paper on “The Worshipful Master” I wrote about happiness being the purpose of life.

An inner peace and a calmness is an intrinsic path to that happiness. We have spoken about “closeness” as a human social instinct which Maslow also argues in his third stage of motivation development, “Belongingness and Love Needs.”

It is in the Holy Royal Arch that you will be taught companionship, “the enjoyment of spending time with another”.

The companionship of your faith and like-minded sojourners.

In Hinduism and Buddhism it is the highest spiritual state that can be achieved. It is both enlightening and enlightenment.

The Janitor


With the thought of “going beyond yourself” firmly implanted in your mind and the theory expressed by W. L. Wilmshurst in his book The Meaning of Masonry let us look more closely at the duties of the Janitor

Duty 1

Placed outside the door of the Chapter allowing none to enter but those who qualify.

The Janitor is the guard to your spiritual journey. Only those who have found their own “Truth” are permitted to search for “enlightenment”.

If you do not know yourself how can you go beyond yourself?

Duty 2

To prepare the candidate for “exaltation”.

Having had your qualifications tested and you have proved that you have found your own “Truth” the guard to your pathway prepares you for your journey from darkness into the light.

Knowing not what to expect but having faith in those “Three Great Lights”, you start your journey.

A search for enlightenment and a release from bondage.


Reflect upon who you are. Consider the reason you wish to pursue a path towards deep feelings of belief and understanding.


To pass the guard (the Janitor) to enlightenment and spirituality you must first be a “Master” of your own destiny.

You must fully understand who you are and what you have become physically, mentally and morally.

Are you the best person you can be? Only then can you take the next step.

The Janitor represents the acceptance of that knowledge and ensures that you are fully prepared for your spiritual journey.


The Meaning of Masonry – W. L. Wilmshurst. 1920


Psychology Review “A Theory of Motivation” Abraham Maslow, 1943

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature” Abraham Maslow, 1969

The Conversation Nov. 16, 2017.

What Does it mean to be spiritual? Galen Watts. 2017

Bible: John 16: 13-14

Cambridge Dictionary –

The Ritual of the Holy Royal Arch.


Article by: Stephen J. Goulding

Stephen was initiated into Freemasonry in 1978 in Tylney Lodge No. 5856 (UGLE). He was Master in 1989 & 2004.

He was Master of the Lodge of Union 38 (UGLE) in 2018. He is also a PZ in the Holy Royal Arch and PM in the Mark Degree.

Stephen served 30 years in the Metropolitan Police Service (London, England) before going into education in 2000, where he became a college lecturer and a mentor for both the college and the University of Greenwich (London, England). Now retired, he teaches Tai Chi and Qigong in the community.

Facebook: Steve Goulding-Tai Chi West Sussex–Chi at Chi


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The Meaning of Masonry


Although the Freemasons number over six million members worldwide, they are a very secretive organization. the general public today thinks of them as a social fraternity like the Rotary Club, but that is hardly the whole truth.

By mysterious coincidence, it seems, many Masons have been major figures in modern history. many of the Founding Fathers of the United States—including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere—were Freemasons.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian freedom fighter, was also one, as were the composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and writers François Marie Arouet de Voltaire and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Meaning of Masonry explores the beliefs behind the order, its cryptic rites and symbols, and uncovers its ultimate purpose.


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