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Sun and Moon.
Point and Circle.
Other Masonic Symbols.
MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGE S
MASTER OF THE BLUE
MAYAS AND QUICHES .°.
Of Instituted Mysteries.
MEDGEZEL. De Schotse
Mediteraans gebied I.O.G.V.M.
Sun and Moon.
Point and Circle.
Other Masonic Symbols.
The grand and universal symbols which are characteristic of Emblematic Freemasonry are the Pentalpha or Pentagram, the Hexangular Seal of Solomon-called otherwise Shield of David-the All-Seeing Eye, the Point within a Circle, the Cubic Stone, the Sun and Moon. The particular symbols, being those drawn from the Operative Art of Masonry, are the Rough and Perfect Ashlar, and of course the Working Tools. There is finally the Blazing Star.
Blazing Star.-There has been considerable and not unnatural confusion between the Blazing Star and Pentalpha, because the first is disting ushed by five wavering rays and the second by five points. One result has been the attribution to the first of an antiquity and importance which belong properly to the second. The Blazing Star is a Masonic variant of the Pentagram, which-to all intents and purposes-was regarded as a star by the ancients. The voice of Masonry offers several explanations of the emblem adopted by the Order, circa 173S- It is
(I) the Star of the Magi,
(2) the Glory of Divine Presence,
(3) Divine Providence,
(4) a symbol of Beauty,
(5) a Light from God directing in the Way of Truth,
(6) the Sign of a True Mason,
(7) an emblem of the Sacred Name of God, and thus of God Himself,
(8) the Sun as the Grand Luminary of Nature,
(9) the Dog-Star, or Star of Anubis, and in fine
(10) it is Nature regarded as a volatile spirit animated by the Universal Spirit. The last explanation belongs to Hermetic Masonry. The letter G is placed in the centre of the emblem, and there is no doubt that it stood originally for GOD. Under the variant Gott, I believe that this explanation was adopted by the Brotherhood in Germany, As will be seen, it was not altogether intelligible to French Masonry, for which it came to signify Geometry, but more especially as illustrating that it is God Who measures all things. This change originating in a point of language-the French Name of God being DIEU-was no doubt justified further by the familiar Masonic description of the Divine Being as " the Grand Geometrician of the universe." I should add that the wavering rays have been generally abandoned in modern figurations of the Blazing Star and that it appears now as a Pentagram.
The Pentalpha.-This great and antique symbol has been described variously as follows in Masonic handbooks:
(I) As " a geometrical figure formed by five lines crossing each other, terminating in five points at equal distances.from the centre, and equally distant one from the other all round the centre; "
(2) as a triple triangle;
(3) as a figure containing five double triangles, with five acute angles within and five obtuse angles without. While it answers to all these definitions, it will be found further that this figure of five points contains a pentagram within it, and many mysteries are ascribed thereto by Cornelius Agrippa. When Dr. Thomas Inman scoured the field of archaeology, seeking for a rational explanation of archaic symbolism, the Pentagram was the only type which he confessed himself unable to interpret. Eliphas Levi-who took all occult science and philosophy as his province-affirms
(I) that the Pentagram is the Sign of the Microcosm;
(2) that it represents what the Kabalists of the ZOHAR term MICROPROSOPUS;
(3) that its complete comprehension is the key of the two worlds;
(4) that it is absolute natural philosophy and natural science;
(5) that it expresses the mind's domination over the elements;
(6) that it is the Star of the Magi, the Blazing Star of the Gnostic Schools, the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy. In another and higher academy than that of philosophia occulta, the Pentagram is a symbol of the Christhood, the Spirit of God ruling over the four parts of our natural personality. It is not therefore "intellectual omnipotence " but the ruling and over-ruling power of the Grace of God in the soul: now this is theocratic rule, and therefore the antithesis of autocracy.
Hexagram.- The double triangle of Solomon is the Sien of the Macrocosmos, which is the great world: it has many meanings in the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. It is the Three who bear record in Heaven and the three who give testimony on earth; it is the sign of the Eternal Creator, the Grand Architect; it is that also of the triune man, perfect in the archetyped world as a prototypical image in the Divine Mind and reflected into manifestation here below as will, desire and mind. It signifies further the Hermetic doctrine of correspondences, popularised long afterwards by Swedenborg but a recuning doctrine of the ZOHAR. According to the philosophical Magus Eliphas Levi, " the conception of the infinite and the absolute " is expressed by this sign, which he terms the Grand Pantacle: " that is to say, it is the most simple and complete abridgment of universal science." Unfortunately the universal science cannot be communicated by a symbol, even if it be contained therein. In the opinion of Ragon the Hexagram was
(1) the sign of generation,
(2) of divine fruitfullless and
(3) of creative potency, the reason being that
(4) the number six was consecrated of old to Venus. Lévi says also that in alchemy the six-pointed star represented the intermingling of the three philosophical fires and the three philosophical waters which accomplished the procreation of all elementary substances. But in true alchemy there is only one fire, as there is one only water, and I do not know the Frenchman's authority for this double triplicity. In the palmary sense of its symbolism the Hexagram-or Star and Seal of Solomon-is macrocosmic, while the Pentagram is the Sign of the Microcosm; but the greater and lesser worlds are not apart from one another: they form indeed together the Mysterium Magnum and are Magnalia Dei et Natura.
Sun and Moon. This spiritual consangtunity between symbols is illustrated also by the emblems of the Sun and Moon, which have a far deeper significance than appears on the surface of Masonry. The Sun in our monitorial handbooks typifies the call to labour, which is balanced by the complementary conception of repose, the two notions being united in the idea of refreshment. It represents also the progress of human life from infancy, through manhood, to old age, and the coming of the better day. Under the ethical dissolvent of Masonry the corresponding symbol of the Moon enforces the ordinary theological doctrine that " the highest saints of earth and heaven, and the most glorious angels, only reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness." It is said also to recall the importance of astronomical science, the lunar phases being " among the first celestial phenomena that engaged the interest of philosophic minds "-a lesson which is obvious enough, but it has no special application to Masonry. When we turn, however, to other schools of the Secret Tradition, we find that the Sun and Moon are lighted with spiritual meanings. They are symbols of God and His Shekinah, Pneuma and Psyche, the higher understanding and the logical mind. The solar emblem signifies also the light of God in the soul, while the Moon-which is in analogy with the feminine side of our nature, the soul-principle-denotes the love-aspect in Deity. There is no doubt that this is represented in Christian doctrine by the Holy Spirit, but this Spirit does not signify a feminine side of the Godhead in Trinitarian theology. In Kabalistic theosophy Shekinah is Divine womanhood, and it is said in a pregnant sentence that " God and His Shekinah are One." The doctrinal position of this exalted concept is entirely distinct from any goddess whatsoever in the old pantheons-whether Isis, Urania or Pallas. Mediaeval occult philosophy recognised a solar and lunar principle in every natural compound, and it was held that this metaphysical Sun and Moon were joined in a solemn and sacramental union. In classical legends the Moon is sometimes represented as a receptacle and sometimes as the source of souls; and we have seen already that the initiates of Eleusis were called Regenerated Children of the Moon. So also in the Mysteries of Ceres the souls which were said to be born out of the grotto of initiation were regarded as regenerated from a door in the side of the Moon, or born in the Lunar Ship, which was one of the titles of the Moon, floating in the cerulean sea of heaven. But thece allegories are referable to the physical luminary only in virtue of the material type as a shadow of the spiritual antitype. Their true attribution is to the complement of that Sun which Apuleius beheld shinig at the dead of night with lummous splendour. Proclus calls it " the self-conspicuous image of fontal Nature," and a gate opens here hto the astronomy of the Mysteries, so that we understand in what deep sense the profound study of the starry heavens was regarded as a condition of advancement in mystical knowledge. In one of his inspired moments Éliphas Levi said that " Heaven is a mirror of the human soul, and when we think that we are reading in the stars it is in ourselves we read." But beyond the gate which I have mentioned lies that which, accordig to the mystics, is itinerarium mentis in Deum the journey of the mind in God.
Point and Circle -We have to set aside in the first place whatever has been said on the subject of this symbol in Maconic Monitors and handbooks. For the rank and file of Blue Maconry it may continue- so long as Blue Maconry pleases to typify the " individual brother " by means of the point and the limits of his duty to God and man by means of the circumference. They may tamper with the great antique emblem by adding " two perpendicular parallel lines " and illustrate the bankruptcy of such exegesis by saying that they represent the patron saints of our Order, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. It is not so that I have been taught, as a disciple of the Greater Mysteries and as a citizen of the Eternal Kingdom of Symbolism. " A point is that which has no parts and which has no magnitude." In the metaphysical Doctrine of the Absolute this geometrical postulate is the only possible representative type of the Ineffable God, or That Which remains over when the anthropomorphic vestures of Deity have been successively taken off. In other words, it is the God of Mystical Theology, of " Dionysius the Areowk " and his commentator John the Scot. The point without parts or magnitude is the Metaphysical Sign of the Infinite; because Metaphysical Infinity does not connote extension; of the Eternal, because Eternity is not time continued henceforward for ever; in a word, of the Unconditioned, which is in such a transcension as regards conditional existence that it can be described as in antithesis thereto only by virtue of a verbal subtlety: it is outside the pairs of opposites. The.relation between this point and that circle of which it is the centre is the sacramentalism of God in definition, the limits placed upon the Ineffable for the purpose of realisation within the measures of our logical understanding. The Point within a Circle has of course other aspects of meaning, which stand at their respective values, for some of them exclude others. It is the Divine Spirit indwelling creation and abiding in the nature of man; it is the Christhood centred in the Church; it is the Secret Church within that which is official; it is the Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Other Masonic Symbols. It is to be understood that these are many, for the Pillars J and B are symbols, as are also those which typify Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, being reflected directly from the Tree of Life in Kabalism. There is a Cubical Altar in Masonry, which represents here below the Altar of Incense that is above, whereon Michael the great angel sacrifices the souls of the just, and they ascend as an eternal fragrance to the Lord God in the Highest. The Tracing-Boards are of course symbolical, and so is the chequered carpet on which all Masons tread. The working-tools-which are many, because the Degrees are many-and accessories of this kind, taken over from the Operative Art, are essential symbols of the Art which is called emblematic, and their meanings are ever with us, though the eye is not satisfied with seeing them, nor the ear filled with hearing their expounded moralities. The Keystone in Grades outside the Craft is a great and speaking symbol, for we know Who is head of the corner in the great experience which is called the Chriswtian Mystery. There are also the Christian Grades and the gracious types and sacraments attached thereto-the Cross of Glory, typifying the manifestation of Deity within the measures of space and time; the Monogram of Constantine; the letters I . N . R . I . and that which lies behind the formal intimations of their expounded meaning; the sacramental observances as luminous shadows reflected here below from a World of Grace not realised.
Human Aspects. To return within the measures of the Craft, there is scarcely one emblem in Masonic typology which in one or other of its aspects is not indicative of some state or mode of man. I have shewn elsewhere in these volumes that the schema radicalis of allegorical architecture in the First Craft Degree is concerned with the building up of humanity. This is illustrated by the Rough and Perfect Ashlar, representing the Candidate before initiation and the same personality when it has reached the Master-Grade. But this is on the elementary or formal side, and behind it stands the conception of man unregenerate and man who is born anew, the natural and Christ states. Again there is Jacob's Ladder, so familiar in pictorial Masonry, resting on the Book of Divine Law and reaching into open heaven; but with this I have dealt already. Thomas Vaughan says in his pregnant manner that without this there is no ascent or descent, either influential or personal, meaning that it is the way by which grace comes down and the man of grace goes up. It is the channel of communication, the soul's ladder and the scala coeli. Everywhere therefore in Masonic symbolism we may find-if we care to ask-the intimations of " a disguised humanity," for-in the language of alchemy-" there is but one vessel and but one matter," as there is but one " proper study," and one only subject which has ever deserved to engross the minds of true men. It is therefore the positive and real subject; and under all outward preoccupations, beneath all esternal phenomena, the positive is to be found within. An old Rosicrucian fragment asks in this connection: " Why seek ye further, anxious mortals, when in you and not without you is all that you seek outside you, instead of within you ? " Hereof is the consideration in chief which arises on a brief survey of Masonic symbols.
MASONS' WORD In one of his discourses Mr. W. J. Hughan proposed a misleading distinction between Grades and Degrees when he affirmed that prior to I717 and the foundation of the first GRAND LODGE there were three Grades in Masonry but not three Degrees, understood as possessing particular ceremonies and official secrets attached to each. It is not open to question that the words thus contrasted are used synonymously by Masons. Even if they tend occasionally to speak on the one hand of High Grades and on the other of Craft Degrees it is not by way of contrast. Moreover, the SUPREME COUNCIL of the SCOTTISH RITE is fermed from its Thirty-Third Degree, while the other elements of its system are termed Degrees throughout. Finally, the culminating Craft Degree is called more often than not the Mastergrade. That which we meet with in Operative Masonry prior to I7I7 is three ranks, otherwise kinds of status, being those of Apprentices, Fellows and Masters; and Mr. Hughan points out rightly that, according to the Laws of the Fratemity, the admission of Masters and Fellows took place in the presence of Apprentices. It follows that any ceremonial procedure and any offlcial secrets were common to the whole Guild. We know only concerning them that Apprentices were pledged and that-in Scotland at least-there was communicated a MASONS' WORD. According to Robert Kirk, it was connected in some manner with the Pillars J.-. and B.-., but he spoke only from report, and after two centuries of speculation and research on Masonry, and on its archaic history, the fact remains that we do not know the WORD. There is very little reason to suppose that any of our current sacramental communications bear any relation thereto. It is significant on the one hand to think that it has been kept so well, and we may rest assured on the other that its discovery at the present day would be more curious than important, for in the old magical sense of the expression there are no words of power.
MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGE S
MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGE S
The historical position of this Grade is exceedingly difflcult to disentangle, and as no symbolical importance attaches to it-notwithstanding the claim of its title-I shall only proceed to enumerate certain points of fact:
(I) The so called YORK RITE has a degree de- nominated PAST MASTER, which has nothing to do with the CEREMONY OF INSTALLATION IN THE CHAIR, as practised in all Lodges since I8I3
(2) A French Grade, called MASTER AD VITAM, is mentioned by several writers, and has been identified with
(3) GRAND Maitre VÉNÉRABLE, which has been identified in turn with
(4) the Twentieth Degree of the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE, being GRAND MASTER OF SYMBOLIC LODGES. Of this there are several forms, having signal differences one from another, as, e.g., that of the SUPREME Council of the Southern Jurisdiction reconstructed by Albert Pike, and that of the Rite in England. We are concerned here with the Tenth Degree of the EARLY GRAND Scottish RITE, but the title appears to be a matter of modern confusion, as its original and proper name is THE CHAIR, while the unconvincing jurisdiction in question identifies it with PAST MASTER. In accordance with the symbolism, it is conferred in a Lodge of FELLOW CRAFT MARK MEN, which is opened for that purpose in full, the Candidate being present. A supposititious Minute is then read, which affirms that the Meeting is called for election of Offlcers, as a result of which business the Candidate is nominated as Master. Certain Charges and Regulations are read, after which the Candidate is caused to retire. He returns when the Lodge has been Opened in the Tenth Degree, and is pledged to keep the secrets of a Past Master. He is installed in the Chair, which the Master vacates for that purpose, and is subsequently raised out of it when he has heard the Lecture of the Grade. The Closing follows immediately. As regards the Lecture, it will be sufficient to say that it is a confused version of the traditional history communicated at the Installation of a Master in the MARK DEGREE.
Mark Connection. The only noteworthy fact in connection with the Grade of MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGES is that of its arising immediately out of the FELLOW CRAFT MARK, thus tacitly recognising that the so called MARKED MASTER of the EARLY GRAND RITE is interpolated in the Mark series apart from warrant.
MASTER OF THE BLUE It is said that in certain continental High Grades the ordinary Master Mason was designated Maïtre Bleu. This is likely enough and does not signify anything, being a mere reference to the apron which is worn in the Third Degree; but I am unable to check the statement- for want of references, as usual. The EARLY GRAND Scottish RITE has a Ninth Degree which is called MASTER OF the BLUE, inter- changeable with KNIGHTS OF THE BLUE and KNIGHTS OF SOLOMON. The first title may be reminiscent of the French custom. Even for a side-Degree, it is a trifle light as air and is honoured by the contempt that it stimulates. There is no procedure, for the pledge itself is a shadow in four lines, while as to the " Masonic Legend " it informs us that the Queen of Sheba once intertwined natural and artificial lilies, bidding King Solomon distinguish which was which. One would have thought that he who sang the lilium convallium would not have been deceived easily. But she " who came from the uttermost parts of the earth " to test the king's discretion was " well skilled in making artificial flowers," and the wisest of men " was at a loss till he caused a swarm of bees to issue from a hive. when they settled on the natural wreath." Of such is some " further advancement " in Masonry, according to the EARLY GRAND RITE, and after this manner one becomes a MASTER OF THE BLUE-why after such manner being the only problem of the Grade. The original author of this Masonic Legend deserves to be in the stocks with Hudibras, ad perpetuam rei memoriam.
MASTIEK In de Franse Loges de zinnebeeldige benaming van de spijs, aan de Tafel-Loge gebruikt.
(Matricula) wordt soms de naamlijst genoemd van officieren en leden van een Loge, met nauwkeurige opgave van hun prof.°. beroep, hun ouderdom, datum van aanneming en bevordering enz. , of ook wel de lijst der Loges die onder een Gr.°. O.°. of een Gr.°. L.°. ressorteren. Vooral in sommige Hoge Graden en bij de Tempelieren is dit woord in gebruik.
MAYAS AND QUICHES .°.
Of Instituted Mysteries.
MAYAS AND QUICHES .°.
It is, I suppose, undeniable by the most thankless of his countrymen that Augustus Le Plongeon and his heroic wife accomplished epoch- making work among the ruined cities, temples and palaces of Mayax and Yucatan. That they found a reward therein and else nowhere in the deserts of archaeological concern appears fully in their history, even when allowance has been made for the intervention of the Smithsonian Institute at a late day, recognising some part of the explorer’s claims and assisting further research. It follows that a change has come over the face of things and that a section of anti- quarian scholarship is looking at the present day towards the western world for light upon Egypt, while Le Plongeon's thesis that Mexico, Peru and the vast contiguous regions were or might prove to be the cradle of civilisation is not utterly distraught-as it seemed when first formulated-however far from established. The zealous and patient adventurer would have done better could he have refrained from fixing such a sheaf of revolutionary propositions upon the gates of scholarship, " as a challenge to all the field." His SACRED MYSTERIES AMONG THE MAYAS AND QUICHES is an illustration in point of perilous speculations set forth in those terms of certitude which are almost always and inevitably the seal of a partial learning. About his work among the ruins there is no question: they mark an epoch in our knowledge of that which lies far from the common ken of the explorer in the forests of Central America and Yucatan. But it needs no expert to realise how arbitrary is his reading of symbols on the ruined monuments. A triangle is held to represent the " three great continents " of North and South America and of the island called Atlantis. A key to the origin of tree-worship is discovered in the fact that the Maya empire was represented emblematically by a tree, " planted in the continent known to-day as South America," while it gives also a " natural explanation " of the Tree of Life in Eden. It is things like these which cast an unfavourable shadow upon real discoveries and the values of a lifelong research, so that one who is unversed like myself in Mexican antiquities can only suspend judgment when Le Plongeen affirms that he has found " the ancient Maya hieratic alphabet" and that it is as nearly like the hieratic alphabet of the Egyptians as it can be in the nature of things. If it is possible to decode the inscriptions which still " await decipherment " by means of this discovery, and so " illumine the past records of the race," then~caeteriss panibus-it will rank with the Rosetta stone.
Of Instituted Mysteries. As understood by Le Plongeon the Mysteries among Mayas and Qruches must be taken in the dual sense of those which were published to the people at large and those which were communicated to a chosen few, being presumably candidates for the priesthood. I am concerned only with the latter, and with these only because of an alleged Masonic connection, the value of which will be determined in due course. In respect, however, of the Mayas it seems to be admitted that their secret teachings were most probably never committed to writing and that we know little eren of their " religious tenets," beyond the importance which they attached to uneven numbers. On the other hand, there is a SACRED BOOK of the Quiches, entitled the POPOL-VUR-available to most people in the French language-which contains the Rites of Initiation of that people, who were a branch of the Maya nation in the mountains of Guatemala, and it seems probable-as Le Plongeon suggests-that Maya secret ceremonials, if indeed any, may have been analogous in character.
Tho Popol-Vuh I do not pretend to regard the POPOL-VUH exactly as my present authority regards it, but I will take his account of the Qruchua Mysteries and extract such heads of procedure as will be sufficient for my purpose.
(1) The Candidate for initiation was made to cross two rivers, respectively of slime and blood, the adventure being full of dangers.
(2) This task accomplished, he arrived at four roads- white; red, green and black-which led to a House of Council and into the presence of twelve veiled priests, as also of a wooden statue vested in their manner.
(3) The statue was indicated as he was directed to salute the King, but it was only to test his discernment.
(4) He had then to salute the veiled priests individually, by name and title, without prompting. (5) A certain seat was offered him, but had he forgatten their dignity and sought to rest thereon he would have found that it was of burning stone.
(6) Having prevailed over this temptation, he was relegated for the night to a certain Dark House, where he was provided with a lighted torch and a cigar, also alight.
(7) His duty was to see that neither went out and that both were to be returned unconsumed on demand the following morning.
(8) The alternative was chastisement and even death.
(g) The next experience took place in a House of Spears, where each candidate had to withstand the attack of a skilful spaerman - as it is said - through the whole night, as welt as to produce " certain rare flowers," neither obtaining them surreptitiously from without nor bringing them about his person.
(10) These difliculties surmounted, there followed the Ice-House trial, in which he endured for yet another night the danger of freezing to death.
(11) The fifth ordeal - also a night's length-took place in the Tiger-House, encompassed by wild tigers and liable to be torn in pieces..
(12) This gave admission to a night in the House of Fire, described as a burning furnace, from which the Candidate must issue unscorched
(13) It led to the seventh and last labour of initiation, in the Hous of the Bats, fult of death dealing weapons, where the got of the bats, coming from on high, appeared and beheaded the Candidate, " if off his guard."
Illusory Magic. Such is Le Plongeon's recitat, but of that which awaited the Canctidate, supposing that he issued triumphant from alt the abodes of horror it happens that we hear nothing and nothing of the " Sacred Mysteries " to which they led by the hypothesis. It will be seen that the experience of the torch, cigar and the rare ftowers connotes apparentty the idea of magic, as if he had attained atready a certain grade of facitity therein, in which case the other ordeals rnight not be beyond his skill. It is more probable, however, if we take the account literatty, at the vatue of its own pretensions, that the whole ordeal was an advanced triat of native skill, of trickery matched against trickery and of personal endurance raised to a supertative grade. Those who triumphed therein were fit for the inner circle, which ruled the people by its arts of illusory magic. I should add that in addition to the POPOL-VUH there is the TROANO MS., which has been published by the Smithsonian Institute. It is not however concerned with the Mysteries, being " an ancient treatise of geology," one of " the four known books which escaped destruction at the hands of Bishop Landa and other fanatical monks who accompanied the Spanish invaders. It is held to describe the cataclysm in which Atlantis disappeared, the mysterious island of Plato being represented in the hieroglyphs by the figure of a black man with red lips.
Masonic Analogies. -Le Plongeon's commentary on the Mysteries unfolded in the POPOL-VUZ proposes that they are " an exact counterpart of what happened in a milder form at the initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries." They are of course nothing of the sort and the sole analogy consists in the obvious fact that all initiations involve and connote some kind of ordeal as a test of merit and fitness: its figurative shadow remains in the Rites of Masonry, practically without exception. There is something to do and to suffer, something to seek and find, something to have and to hold: initiation is a reward of endeavour, and one of its mottoes might well be: No cross, no crown. The ordeal of the POPOL-VUH is an extravagant and impossible folly: there is about as much and as little ground for taking its record literally as there would be for regarding the visions in the BOOX OF ENOCH in the sense of an historical narrative. Amidst a cloud of errors and fatuities, it happens fortunately that Le Plongeon does not compare it with Masonic ceremonial procedure, yet his thesis is that the so called Sacred Mysteries of Mayas and Quiches are an illustration of Freemasonry " in times anterior to the Temple of Solomon." Here is my sole reason for commemorating his archaeological explorations and the speculations by which he has unfortunately confused his issues. The illustrations in question are confined to points of symbolism.
(1) The Lodge is an oblong square which represents the universe, and the Mayas selected the same geometrical figure to symbolise the earth.
(2) The broken statue of a priest found at Uxmal in Yucatan shews something like an apron worn over the dress and having in its midst a large hand with the palm turned in- ward and the fingers straight: it is said that the Masonic Fraternity will recognise this symbol, but there is no such apron in Masonry and the hand is making no sign.
(3) The numbers 3, 5 and 7 were important among the Mayas as they are in the Masonic Brotherhood, but except in a few of the more obscure High Grades there is no numerical mysticism in Masonry, though numbers of course occur. It is after such a lean manner, and so only, that Le Plongeon endeavours to shew us that Freemasonry dates " from a period far more remote than the most sanguie students of its history ever imaghed."
Conclusion. The truth is that he knew this side of his subject at second hand only, not beig himself a Mason, and his preliminary account of the Craft swarms with blunders. We hear
(1) of Stuart partisans creating the Grade of Grand Master, which does not exist in Masonry; but the reference intended is to the THIRD DEGREE;
(2) of the Chevalier Ramsay tracing the origin of Masonry to the Knights Templar, whom he never mentioned;
(3) of Templars taking refuge in Portugal, assuming the title of Knights of Christ and keepig the Order alive " in defiance of the Pope's thunderbolts; " but the Order of Christ was instituted by the King of Portugal to replace the Temple, and there were no pontifical anathemas. After this manner the reverie of Le Plongeon melts in our hands and passes into thin air.
-A. ° .L.°.1421 Wekroep, Gasthuisveldstraat 18, werkt op Ma.
In de beide groothertogdommen vond de Vrijmij.°. reeds vroeg ingang, en wel reeds in 1754, en heeft daar tot heden stand gehouden. Ook de Strikte Observantie en het klerikaal-systeem (z.d.) vonden daar een vruchtbare bodem, hoewel slechts voor betrekkelijk korte tijd. Heden heeft het Groothertogdom Mecklenburg Schwerin 9 Loges en Mecklenburg-Strelitz 2 Loges. Verscheidene regerende vorsten van deze landen behoorden tot de O.°..
Ook bij VV.°. MM.°. bestaat de gewoonte, ter herinnering aan belangrijke feiten, of ook als erkenning van bijzondere verdiensten, medailles of gedenkpenningen te laten slaan; maar voor 1733 vinden we hiervan geen spoor. De beste bron voor de geschiedenis van deze medailles is Merzdorf "Denkmunzen der Freimauerbrüderschaft"Oldenburg 1851. Het archief van de Nederl. Gr.°.O.°. bevat een zeer belangrijke, hoewel geenszins volledige, verzameling gedenkpenningen.
(Een werkend) een Loge, is een Broeder, die door zijn werkzaamheid en kontributie, tot het onderhoud en de bloei van een Loge bijdraagt, en alle voorrechten daarvan geniet.AIIeen werkende medeleden, hebben stem bij de beraadslagingen, en zijn verkiesbaar tot ambten.
MEDGEZEL. De Schotse
Medgezel (De) Deze tweede graad van de Vrijmetselarij van alle systemen, dient tot de overgang van Leerling tot Meester. Een Medgezel wordt hij genoemd die zijn tijd behoorlijk en wettig heeft uitgediend, en het verlangen heeft, door de aanneming van Medgezel, zich in de Vrijmetselarij te volmaken. De verplichting, of gelofte voor de Medgezellengraad, is in enige stelsels de volgende:
" Ik zweer (beloof), in tegenwoordigheid van de grote Bouwheer van het heelal, dat ik de mij toevertrouwde geheimen van de Vrijmetselarij op geenerhande wijze zal bekend maken; dat ik als Medgezel-Vrijmetselaar zal arbeiden, volgens hetgeen mijn pligt mij voorschlijft, beoefenen hetgeen ik als leerling geleerd heb, en onderwerp ik mij aan al die straffen, welke de billijke vergelding van de meineedigen zijn."
De Medgezellengraad is later ontstaan dan de Meestergraad, en maakt de overgang van Leerling tot Meester uit. Van deze graad maakt men gebruik, om de Medgezel met de 7 wetenschappen, en met de leer van de vijf kolommen-Orden, bekend te maken. De aanneming tot Medgezel, is het beeld van de zedelijke vordering van de mens, op de baan van het leven. Zij voert hem de onderwijzeressen en troosteressen des levens, van de mensenkennis, van de schone kunsten, van de veredeling van de geest en van de gezellige echte vriendschap in de arm.
In de katechismus van de eerste graad van de Orde van.HERODOM worden als oorzaken, waarom 5 Broeders een Loge uitmaken , opgegeven:
1°. Omdat er vijf afdelingen van de tijd zijn, naar welke wij onze handelingen inrigten, als: minuten, uren, dagen, maanden en jaren.
2°. Omdat er vijf Orden in de Bouwkunde zijn, die de gebouwen versieren, als: de Toskaanse, de Doriese, de Joniese, de Korintiese en de zamengestestelde.
3º Omdat er vijf punten in het Meesterschap zijn, welke de Vrijmetselaren verenigen, of verenigen kunnen, als: hand in hand, voet aan voet, wang aan wang,-knie aan knie en de omarming.
In enige oude Engelse oorkonden voert de Gezel de naam van Journeyman, daglooner, en op de vraag, naar de oorzaak van zijn aanmelding, wordt geantwoord: om onder de vrije lieden (freemen, werkelijke medeleden) van het koninklijke gilde te worden optgenomen. Verder zegt de Gezel, dat men naar zijn diensttijd nauwkeurig onderzoek gedaan, en bevonden heeft, dat hij zijn Meester zeven jaren lang trouw gediend heeft (served), en in het bezit zij van goede aanbevelingen, ten aan zien van zijn vlijt en nuchterheid (sobriety). Volgens het onderzoek van KRAUSE, heetten voorheen Fellows en Fellow Craffs (Medgezellen en gilde-Gezellen), alle uitgeleerde bouwkunstenaars die, onder de leiding van de Meesters en Architekten, gezamenlijk als vrije mannen aan de bouw arbeidden; ook betekende de naam Fellow (Genoot of Gezel), in de meest algemene zin, elk lid van de Broederschap, zelfs de ereleden of beschermers, door de Staat aangesteld, zowel als Fellowship (het lidmaatschap). Zelfs de Fellow-Crafts, waardoor, na 1717, de Gezellen werden aangeduid, in tegenoverstelling van de Meesters, schijnen al de medeleden in zich te bevatten. Onder de Fellows konden Metselaars wezen, die zelfs het opzicht over de bouw hadden gehad, en als zodanig, mochten zij Leerlingen hebben en aannemen, ofschoon niet de naam van Meester voerende, daar er slechts een, die het hoofd van de bouw was, bij uitnemendheid Meester werd genoemd.
MEDGEZEL. De Schotse De 4e graad van het systeem van Zinnendorf
Mediteraans gebied I.O.G.V.M. "
A.°.L.°.nr 815 Athina O.°.Thens 1926
A.°.L.°.nr 915 Apollan O.°.Thens 1929
A.°.L.°.nr ... Thiseus O.°.Herakleion 1932
Dit waren de eerste Loges in Griekenland tot 1935.
In 1936 verbood de dictator Metaxas de Intern. Orden en moesten de meeste leden overstappen naar de Gr.°.O.°. van Griekenland. Alleen de Loge Athina bleef over tot W.O.1, maar arbeide weer in 1947 en was tot 1964 de enige Griekse Loge. Recent (1996) is deze Fed. teruggevallen van 900 naar 300 leden.
Italië L.D.H was al gesticht in 1904 in Italië en had in 1913 al 35 Loges. Echter door opeenvolgend de anti-Maçonerie, Mussolini, Nazi-Duitsers voor en tijdens de 2e W.O.en de Communistische en Chr.Dem. overheden na deze oorlog die het concordaat tussen de Paus en Musselini voortzetten bestaat er nu geen officiele Loge meer in Italië.
Ibirisch schiereiland Spanje : hier werd door Franco en de Duitse nazi`s de paar bestaande Loges uitgemoord en verwoest. Pas op 20 Juni 1978 kreeg de Vrijmij.°. weer de kans om zich op te richten met de Loge Francisco Ferrer in het O.°. Barcelona. In Portugal is hetzelfde te verhalen al was hier de dictator Salazar. In Jan. 1980 werd hier de Loge Humanidad O.°.Lissabon opgericht.