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GUEST,josepp BS: A concise history of Freemasonry (18) RE: BS: A concise history of Freemasonry 04 Jul 12


In the last few years, Masonry has revealed many of its secrets to the public partly in an effort to show that it is not hiding anything such as a conspiracy to destroy all sovereignty and install a Jewish-Masonic one-world government. But that doesn't mean that the public really understands the Masonic secrets—or even that most Masons do.
A Mason named Manly Hall coined the term "astro-theology" which signifies that the stories of the gods are really told in the heavens. Masonry is no different. Most Masons are aware that Hiram Abiff is really the sun. If we examine the story, we find an unmistakable solar allegory.

Hiram represents the sun at the autumnal equinox. The three blows he receives that kills him a little more each time are the three wintry signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn, which causes the daylight to grow shorter with each passing day. At Capricorn, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year occurs and that is the death of the sun. The acacia tree symbolizes eternal life and so its being planted over the grave tells us that Hiram does not lie permanently dead, that he still lives. His being raised with the Lion's Paw grip represents the Lion of the zodiac, Leo, during the summer grabbing the dead sun/Osiris and pulling him from his grave towards his resurrection in the spring and his exaltation at the summer solstice.

What about the term Royal Arch? What does it signify? Really, the Royal Arch and the Three Pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty can be united. During the course of the year, the sun travels from vernal equinox to summer solstice to autumnal equinox. The Pillar of Beauty represents the vernal equinox because spring is the time of birth/rebirth when everything is fresh and new. The Pillar of Strength represents the summer solstice when the sun is at its greatest height in the heavens and therefore in the height of its strength and represents adulthood where a person is at the zenith of his strength. The Pillar of Wisdom represents the autumnal equinox when the leaves turn and the year has aged and with age comes wisdom. Now, in a stone arch, the keystone is a sort of wedge-shaped stone larger than the others and it wedges in between the other stones at the exact center and highest point of the arch, pushing them together and stabilizing the arch. So, on the summer solstice, the sun symbolizes the keystone because it is at its highest point in the in the royal vault of heaven. The arch of heaven is formed by the signs of the zodiac which the sun passes through in succession. At that highest point, the sun—the keystone of the arch—is held up by the Pillar of Strength. The zodiacal arch is supported at each end by the Pillars of Beauty and Wisdom.

What about the blue banner of the Starry-Decked Heavens or Cloudy Canopy over the lodge? Again, the banner depicts a ladder going from the ground to the clouds and above the ladder the clouds are parting and revealing seven stars. What is its astro-theological meaning? The ladder again harks back to shamanism once more—the initiate who climbs from earth to heaven to commune with the gods. The ladder usually has three rungs or several rungs with three principle ones. The lowest rung is labeled F. The middle one is labeled H. The top rung is labeled C. F, H and C stand for Faith, Hope and Charity. The three-runged ladder represents the three astrological signs of Aquarius, Pisces and Taurus. The ladder is resting on the ground, which is Capricorn. The seven stars are the Pleides which are located in Taurus. The allegory describes the sun's course from the winter solstice in Capricorn up the three rungs of Aquarius, Pisces and Aries where the vernal equinox or rebirth will take place. The lowest rung of the ladder is Faith because we can only at that time have faith that the sun will return and not leave us stranded in the cold, dead winter. The next rung is labeled Hope because, as the days grow slowly longer, we now have true hope that spring will come soon. The top rung is labeled Charity because it is reborn on the vernal equinox and charitably warms the earth bringing it back to life, light and warmth. But we don't wish to stop there, we wish to continue to the highest pinnacle represented by the summer solstice and so the ladder leads up to Aries but the Pleides of Taurus beckon us ever onward and upward.

What about the 15-step winding staircase? It is divided into three groups of 3, 5, and 7 steps respectively. This 3-, 5-, and 7-step arrangement is found primarily in the United States. According to the story, this is the staircase that the craftsmen, the builders of Solomon's Temple, traverse in order to receive their wages, which are paid in corn, oil and wine. The winding staircase is encountered in the Fellowcraft degree on the tracing board. But actual stairways of this type are found in the Masonic temples (not in the lodges, however, which are different). The actual number of steps has varied in both locale and time period. Mackey writes of seeing tracing boards with only five steps. Oliver mentions a 1745 tracing board depicting seven semi-circular steps. Various English Grand Lodges have used tracing boards depicting 36 steps and 11 steps. What gives?

If we understand that astronomy and agriculture are intimately linked, we can decipher the astro-theological/occult aspects. Using the American 3, 5, 7 arrangement, we can see that the three divisions apply to each of the three Blue Degrees. The Entered Apprentice plants the seeds, the Fellowcraft raises them, the Master Mason harvests them. The E.A. plants and watches for the sprouts through the spring months of March, April, and May (3). The F.C. raises the crop during the summer months of June and July (3+2=5). The M.M. harvests in the autumn months of August and September (5+2=7). So we see that the older depictions of seven steps was really the most accurate as it contains the planting, growing and harvest seasons. The number fifteen may come from Zosimos of Panopolis who wrote in 300 CE about a dream in which he sees a priest performing a sacrifice at an altar atop fifteen steps. The priest spoke saying, "I have accomplished the action of descending the fifteen steps towards the darkness, and the action ascending the steps towards the light. The sacrifice renews me, rejecting the dense nature of the body. Thus consecrated by necessity, I become a spirit."

The corn symbolizes the spring as it is what is planted. Oil has always been a symbol of abundance and so symbolizes the summer with the earth bursting with the crops planted in the spring. The wine symbolizes the autumn after the grapes of summer have been crushed and aged.

The astro-theological allegories are all, in turn, allegories for the transformation of man as carnal beast to man as Master of the Universe (this is encapsulated in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey where man is first depicted as an ape who is transformed by some mysterious universal presence—represented by the black slab—into the master of the universe, i.e. the old man living alone in the huge, austere mansion). The allegories all center around the sun's circuit through the zodiac representing the human consciousness going through myriad changes and tribulations in order to reach the peak of its development. First, there must be a death of the lower self so that the Higher Self may begin to live and grow. The Blue Lodge Degrees, then, are symbolic of Jubela (E.A.), Jubelo (F.C.), and Jubelum (M.M.). Notice that the -a, -o, and -um suffixes are Latin and denote feminine, masculine and neuter gender respectively. Jubela and Jubelo are the dual aspects of existence. Both are united into the one, Jubelum. But Jubelum is not the One but the neuter. Before the unity of the One can be realized, the lower self must die, slain by its own passions. Then it will be reborn and the soul of the shaman within begins its ascent up the celestial ladder.


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