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So mote it be!

Mote is an Old English word with Indo-European roots meaning may, must, or might. In context of the early masonic expression "so mote it be", it implied both a wish for and a hope of realizing God's will.
Lines 654-55 of the Halliwell Manuscript—"A Poem of Moral Duties" for stonemasons written around 1400—read "Grante me the blysse withoute ende; Amen! amen! so mot hyt be!", which translates as: "Grant me the bliss without end; Amen! Amen! so mote it be!"
The last lines, 793-94, read: "Amen! amen! so mot hyt be!; Say we so all per charyté", which translates as: "Amen! Amen! so mote it be! ; So say we all for charity."
The full poem is available at freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/regius.html
The phrase was cited in James Anderson's "The Constitutions of the Free-Masons" (1723) as a quote from an unidentified mid-fifteenth century manuscript, also found "in another manuscript more ancient." (page 31, 1734 edition) For context, see freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/anderson/1734.pdf.
Examples of the phrase's appearance in Christian prayer in the fifteenth century demonstrate that it is not exclusively masonic. Today, modern Wicca has adopted the phrase and appears to have changed its meaning to an expression of personal will.


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