In cryptography, a cipher (or cypher) is an algorithm for performing encryption and decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts are distinct in cryptography. In classical cryptography, ciphers were distinguished from codes. Codes operated by substituting according to a large codebook which linked a random string of characters or numbers to a word or phrase.

In the Holy Royal Arch Degree, a simple substitution cipher is used that looks very much like the 'Pigpen' cipher shown here.


This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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