Mason Handshake, Ten Things You May Not Know

The Mason handshake has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. Many Non-Masons hold the false belief that there is one standard secret handshake that they use to identify each other, this is untrue. Below are ten things about the Masonic handshake you may not have known.

  • There is not one handshake that is recognized by all Masons because each Degree of Masonry has its own handshake.
  • Each degree of Masonry has its own handshake.
  • The handshakes used are not as secret as you may believe. They are described with graphics in publications that are widely available.
  • The giving of a Masonic handshake by a Non-Mason is considered impolite.
  • Most of the original Freemasons worked with stone. When these early stonemasons apprenticed with a Master Mason, the Master Mason would teach them a handshake that would reflect the level or degree of learning that the Mason had acquired. A Mason travelling around for work could then give another Master Mason this handshake and the receiver would know that the apprentice had attained a certain degree in masonry and learned the handshake from another Master Mason.
  • The handshakes and their subtle use in public situations have helped Freemasons identify each other in countries that have been hostile to Freemasonry during different periods over the years.
  • The first handshake that an new initiate learns is the handshake of the Entered Apprentice. This handshake is made by the new Mason pressing his thumb on top of the first knuckle joint of the Mason that he is shaking hands with. The other Mason then presses his thumb against the apprentice Masons knuckle. This handshake is commonly known as the Boaz.
  • A Brother who has attained the Fellow Craft Degree uses a handshake known as The Jachin Handshake. This handshake is made by the giver pressing his thumb firmly on top of the second knuckle of the receiving Mason. The receiving Brother then responds to this by pressing his thumb against the corresponding knuckle of the givers hand.
  • A Master Mason uses handshakes such as The Tubalcain and the Ma-Ha-Bone. The Ma-Ha-bone is also known as the Strong Grip Of The Master Mason.
  • There are many videos and pictures on the internet that show well-known celebrities and politicians using various handshakes that are allegedly masonic.