Masonic Symbolism of the Compass

In this installment of the Symbols and Symbolism of Freemasonry, we consider a vital emblem of Freemasonry, the compass or compasses. Albert G. Mackey, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, gives context to this meaning of this mysterious symbols meaning and history. Mackey, writes:

As in Operative Freemasonry, the compasses are used for the measurement of the architect’s plans, and to enable him to give those just proportions which will ensure beauty as well as stability to his work; so, in Speculative Freemasonry, is this important implement symbolic of that even tenor of deportment, that true standard of rectitude which alone can bestow happiness here and felicity hereafter.

Hence are the compasses the most prominent emblem of virtue, the true and only, measure of a Freemason’s life and conduct. As the Bible gives us light on our duties to God, and the square illustrates our duties to our neighborhood and Brother, so the compasses give that additional light which is to instruct us in the duty we owe to ourselves-the great, imperative duty of circumscribing our passions, and keeping our desires within due bounds. “It is ordained,” says the philosophic Edmund Burke, “in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate passions cannot be free; their passions forge their fetters.”

Those Brethren who delight to trace our emblems to an astronomical origin, find in the compasses a symbol of the sun, the circular pivot representing the body of the luminary, and the diverging legs his rays.

In the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century, the compasses are described as a part of the furniture of the Lodge and are said to belong to the Master.

Some change will be found in this respect in the ritual of the present day.

The word is sometimes spelled and pronounced compass, which is more usually applied to the magnetic needle and circular dial or card of the mariner from which he directs his course over the seas, or the similar guide of the airman when seeking his destination across unknown territory.

Of the spheres and heavens

Pike, in Morals and Dogma, defines the compass as an emblem that describes circles, and deals with spherical trigonometry, the science of the spheres and heavens. The former, therefore, is an emblem of what concerns the earth and the body; the latter of what concerns the heavens and the soul. Yet the Compass is also used in plane trigonometry, as in erecting perpendiculars; and, therefore, you are reminded that, although in this degree both points of the Compass are under the Square, and you are now dealing only with the moral and political meaning of the symbols, and not with their philosophical and spiritual meanings, still the divine ever mingles with the human; with the earthly the spiritual intermixes; and there is something spiritual in the commonest duties of life.

Freemasonry in Vietnam

Masonic Square Club, Vietnam, 1969

Freemasonry in Vietnam

The following is a remembrance sent in by Archibald A. H. Crawford. Arch was raised in New York in 1964 and spent several years around the lodge taking his passion for the fraternity on a deployment to East Asia. His remembrance serves to memorialize his time there and capture the memory of his labor for the craft abroad in 1969.

On the Formation of a Masonic Square Club in Vietnam, 1969

I was under Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) in a Mobile Advisory Team (MAT) in Four Corp (Southernmost) headquartered in/near Cần Thơ on the sacred Mekong river. Our team of four American soldiers were stationed at a mud outpost of Local Force South Vietnamese on a tributary East of the city and our HQ. We scrounged enough material from our HQ base camp to build a small house within the company-controlled patch of land. The local people were of a recent Buddhist subset called Hòa Hảo (pronounced Wa How).

We had become relatively good scroungers and lived well compared to everyone within a few miles (which is not saying much at all). Our pride and joy were having traded with a unit no longer needing their 50-caliber machine gun, which was the strongest piece of weaponry in our district.

As one of our best at finding ‘stuff’ that made our lives better, I ran into a substantial number of

Masonic brethren in our military and also civilian support staff in and around headquarters. Most important for this story was a Naval Lieutenant Silver from Pennsylvania. We discussed Masonic backgrounds and he also knew quite a few members from the area.

We thought about how we could get a few together, simply for fellowship and considered some sort of ‘square club’ might be the way to go. A handful of us got together to plan an introductory meeting at some point, perhaps a couple of weeks. I had heard about the only Masonic Lodge in Vietnam located in Saigon under the auspices of the Philippines, which were in turn under the U.S. Southern Jurisdiction, and had travelled to Saigon and met the Master there. I proposed that he might come down and give at least an atmosphere of respectability and semi-official sanction.

Lt. Silver had mentioned our goings-on to the Sargent-Major, (Highest level non-commissioned officer in the army), and personal assistant to the Four-Corp General in charge. The Sargent-Major offered to take a helicopter up to Saigon and bring down the Lodge Master to our humble get-together!

It all came together, and the meeting was accomplished in the Fall of 1969 with roughly 40-60 brothers in attendance. I was transferred out not long after and (sadly) did not keep in touch. That lapse caused lasting effect, whether if, or how long it lasted, remains deficient.


If you have a memory of this Square Club, or one like it, drop a note in the comments below. Do you have a remembrance of Freemasonry you’d like to share? Send us a note.

Submitted and written June 10, 2019, by Arch Crawford
Past Master of Chancellor Walworth Lodge #271, New York City. First Lt. at the time, mustered out in 1969 as a Captain in the Inactive Reserve. Arch took the York Rite degrees in New York before Vietnam and the Scottish Rite degrees on R&R from Vietnam to Manila in 1969. He says that while he was in Los Angeles in late 1970 waiting tables at the huge Scottish Rite Temple he was introduced and shook hands with Bro. John Wayne.

A sojourner post from Carlos Francisco Ortiz

The Light of Reason

A sojourner post from Carlos Francisco Ortiz

A Sojourner’s post by Carlos Francisco Ortiz, Equality No. 88 and Lodge Fraternal Action No. 42 under the Grand Lodge of Chile.

“Cogito ergo sum”

Rene Descartes

How does man think to himself and think of the universe, when you try to answer, between dogma and reason, the crucial questions of human existence?

Let’s think and briefly develop some ideas:

"The dream of the reason produces monsters"  Engraving nº 43 of the Caprices (1797-1799).Francisco de Goya
“The dream of the reason produces monsters” 
Engraving nº 43 of the Caprices (1797-1799).Francisco de Goya

First was dogma, then reason. First was dogmatic thinking, since it is born and obeys the law of least effort, presenting itself as a way of understanding the natural world. Then the logos is born, intelligent thought with meaning, which seeks to understand the natural world through reason and explain it through words.

In this way, dogmatic thinking and rational thinking arise, and both are aware of themselves and of their ability to symbolically link with the universe. For this reason, there is a dogmatic reason that is founded on the speculation of an imaginary – individual or collective, and an adogmatic reason based on the certainty of facts and logic.

In the imaginary of dogmatic reason, religion is found as a great worldview that represents that set of beliefs of an indisputable nature, held by certain to be undeniable and obligatory principles for its followers. Thus, ignorance is born, which tries to be saved by the hope of faith and by the fear of Divine punishment.

Ignorance is the worst of all evils, as Plato says. From ignorance derive all evils and from knowledge all goods. Plato advises human beings to concern themselves with being rich in virtue–knowledge.

Faith, certainly respectable, does not save from ignorance, since the laws of nature are amoral and governed by causality.

In mythological stories and in biblical literature, the metaphor teaches us that the Deity tries to make man develop his existence in ignorance, the biblical account of genesis points out “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die ”, Genesis 2:17.

The Titan Prometheus, who stole the fire of the gods to deliver light to men, suffered Zeus’ punishment, and was taken to the Caucasus where he was chained so that an eagle would eat his liver, and being immortal, his liver returned to grow every night, and the eagle ate it again every day.

The angel of light was condemned to the lake of fire and brimstone for drawing light from darkness, for gaining wisdom by breaking infinite ignorance, for awakening consciousness of the unconscious.

If ignorance of dogmatic thinking about Deity is subjected to the judgment of reason, it does not successfully save the examination of the logic of the Epicurus paradox, since the attributes of Deity–created by man–such as his omnipotence , omniscience, omnipresence and omni benevolence, do not solve the problem of evil and disease in the world, so why call him God.

If Pascal’s wager in his argument states that in the face of the probability of the existence of God, the rational thing is to bet that he does exist in order to obtain as a reward the great gain of eternal glory, the absurdity of trading the light of the reason for obscurantism and ignorance, in order to live with the hope of an assumption that is based on a matter of chance. 

In the absence of evidence and certainties, the real thing is that man has created God in his image and likeness, seeking salvation and existential security that allows him to give meaning to suffering and human misery, seeking to justify his lack of courage to assume their animal condition and nature.

In the thought of adogmatic reason, philosophy and science are found as great worldviews that have pushed human reason to the limit of its critical possibilities; Thus, reality is born.

Nature is the real, its laws obey principles demonstrable by the empirical-analytical method; and homo sapiens, whose reality about his nature exists in the homo sapiens-demens dialectic, masterfully illustrated by the anthropologist Edgar Morin, has real existence–not possible existence–in his culture.

The dogma-ignorance dialectic does not obey sociocultural reasons – education–or socioeconomic reasons–wealth–it is a dialogue that takes place depending on the level of consciousness of each homo sapiens-demens. 

The level of consciousness is to the adogmatic thought, what the ignorance is to the dogmatic thought, conditio sine qua non, for the evolution of the human species. 

Theism and atheism, in their apparent antagonism, are and are part of the tireless search for human reason to reach the truth, those conscious truths that the human species is building, both with its ideofactures and with its manufactures, in its desire to know itself herself, a longing that has often led her to the extreme of delirium, or as Richard Dawkins would say, to the “Mirage of God.”

Dogmatic thinking has its roots in fear, according to the philosopher Bertrand Russell, fear is the basis of everything, fear is the father of cruelty and, therefore, it is not surprising that cruelty and religion go from hand. 

On the contrary sense, the adogmatic thought is born from the courage to conquer the world through intelligence, it is a rebellion against the moral of Tartufo, when José Ingenieros declared, “Hypocrisy is the art of gagging dignity… it is the guano that fertilizes the vulgar temperaments, allowing them to prosper in lies… “. In Robert Pirsig’s words “when a person suffers from delirium, we call it madness. When many people suffer the same delusion, we call it religion. “

The adogmatic thought is the great achievement in the evolution of the human mind, it is the one that allows us to distinguish between light and darkness, between knowledge and ignorance, between truth and error; he is the one who values ​​life, builds a world and symbolically links himself to the universe from this side of death: “Citerior.”

Thus, reflecting on dogma and reason, it can be said that dogma does not create science or evolution in the human mind, the reality of our world is in the facts and in the certainties that we have about reality.

“Evolution is to generate and expand consciousness, in such a way that the gradual and progressive evolution of the parts is the evolution of the whole, otherwise the existence of the universe and humanity would not make sense.”

Freemasons and the New World Order

Is Freemasonry part of the New World Order?

To the unassuming public, the Freemasons are a society of likeminded men who come together to donate and raise money for good and charitable causes. But is this really true? Is the government a component of an underground Masonic society whose whole organization is a plot to form a new-world order?

Let’s look at the evidence.

A New World Order

The one world government, also referred to as the New World Order, is a theory that a select few elite people have a globalist agenda and aspire to rule the world as an authoritarian world government. This will replace sovereign nations and states and every country will become one under the same government. Culled in modern times out of Woodrow Wilson’s speech to Congress on January 8, 1918, in his Fourteen Points statement of principles for peace, he called for a League of Nations on the heels of World War I. In his list, point XIV calls for the formation of:

A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

He closes that speech, saying:

An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak.

Unless this principle be made its foundation no part of the structure of international justice can stand.

George Bush, in 1991, took up the phrase in a speech to Congress, not ironically in reference to making the world safe. In the address, he said:

I come to this House of the people to speak to you and all Americans, certain that we stand at a defining hour. Halfway around the world, we are engaged in a great struggle in the skies and on the seas and sands. We know why we’re there: We are Americans, part of something larger than ourselves. For two centuries, we’ve done the hard work of freedom. And tonight, we lead the world in facing down a threat to decency and humanity.

What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind — peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children’s future. (minute 6:40 in the video below)

He says further on,

We will succeed in the Gulf. And when we do, the world community will have sent an enduring warning to any dictator or despot, present or future, who contemplates outlaw aggression.

The world can, therefore, seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order, where brutality will go unrewarded and aggression will meet collective resistance.

(minute 49:42 in the video below)

You can read the full text of the speech at The American Presidency Project

Seemingly, this had less to say about world domination and more to insinuate peace, security and prosperity.

So where do the Freemasons come in?

Freemasonry and the New World Order

Great Seal of the United States, novus ordo seclorum

As one the world’s oldest secular fraternal organizations, the Freemasons have been at the heart or involved in a number of the world’s most pivotal moments. Let’s take the United States for example. The most powerful country in the world and yet on of the newest. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Freemasons, and the influences of this society are seen throughout American state craft and culture.

Take a closer look at the Great Seal of the United States or the one dollar bill, The Great Seal bears the Latin phrase ‘novus ordo seclorum’ on the reverse, as proposed by non-mason Charles Thomson, translating to ‘new order of the ages.’

Ben Franklin, seal, united states
Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

Yes, Ben Franklin was on one of the early committees to craft the early seal, but in the end, it was not his seal that was selected. Franklin’s seal, chose the more modest motto of “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God” Some believe that the final motto selected alludes to the phrase New World Order and is a preamble for “Freemasonry is the Church of Satan masquerading as a fraternal mystical philanthropic order.” and are “fronts for Illuminati (Masonic & Cabalist Jewish) central bankers who started the US as a vehicle to advance their New World Order” pinning the phrase to “Illuminati bankers [who] have been plotting the ‘new order of the ages’ (featured on the US dollar along with the uncapped Masonic pyramid) for thousands of years.”

Was the American government created with the purpose of one day becoming the one world government?

One of the main reasons that the Freemasons have been the subject of the New World Order theory is that they rejected the traditional and orthodox authority because it didn’t fall into line with their idea that all people were equal. Not just this, but Masonic societies around the globe been known to treat all people, regardless of religion, as equals. This belief is often seen as highly un-Christian and, therefore, made masons a focus for people who believe in the one world government.

Secret World Government

But why are the Masons so secretive? What do they have to hide?

In this day and age where men and women are equal, why aren’t women invited to the Lodges all over the globe where these meetings take place? Many people believe that they are hiding something. Because of this secrecy, no one knows what really goes on except those who are involved in them. The Freemasons claim to be a charitable group yet they make no claims on the charities they donate to, and they ask for no official recognition. Why be so secretive?

Perhaps it comes out of another organization that has been linked to the Freemasons, the Illuminati.

Illuminati, founder, Adam Weinhaupt, philosopher
Adam Weishaupt

The Illuminati was founded in 1776, which coincidentally is the same year that America became independent. The main focus and beliefs of the Illuminati was a mixture of several different religions, mysticisms and even heavily borrowed the Freemasons ideologies. The main goal — that they spoke about — was to make people happy and people could become happy by becoming good. They want people to reject judgment and prejudices and believe that everyone should out for everyone. Sound familiar?

The Illuminati and the Freemasons are closely linked, and their beliefs are very similar, and its founder tried to infiltrate his organization into the contemporary Masonic lodge, but Weishaupt’s dream never say its full manifestation. Despite this fact, this is another reason why many believe that, together, they are one organization working together to bring about the New World Order. Because they want everyone to be treated as equals regardless of status, religion, gender, race or background, people believe that they are looking to create a world in which everyone is the same. What better way to do this other than create a one world government? If one government ruled the entire world then none of those things would matter and people would be truly equal.

American Founding Fathers

One of the other big reasons that people believe that Freemasons are looking create a one world government is because of what happened in the founding of the United States.

In the 1776, the United States of America didn’t exist. It was simply known as Mundus  Novus (New World) from a pamphlet written in 1503 by Amerigo Vespucci. The term was in opposition to the notion of an “old world” from which the age of exploration sprang. As the “new world” grew it took shape to include the 13 British colonies — each isolated from the other with degrees of different beliefs, different ideologies and even different religious practice (again, to a degree). They were made up of different races and ethnicities and all held widely differing political and societal beliefs. It was the organization by the Founding Fathers that sought to unify these disperate colonies under one government into a country that, after much bloodshed and heartache, would become known today as the United States. And what do we know about the founding fathers? That they were Freemasons.

founding fathers, America, history, new world order

It was the work of these founders that many see as the Freemasons unifying America under one government to be spread to the rest of the world. They started out with the United States, which many people dub the “practice country” and now have their sights set on the rest of the world.

The Big Picture

Obviously, none of these plans for world domination are proven fact.

Yes, the founding fathers were Freemasons and yes they did work together to unite the 13 colonies to become the United States. And yes, the Illuminiaiti sought to infiltrate European Masonic lodges to spread their ideology across the globe, but there is no real evidence that they did so because they wanted to rule the world under a “one world-government” despite what Wilson and Bush said in front of Congress to the American people (neither of whom were Freemasons).

The Freemasons are not a secret society, they are simply very traditional — a fact that many people don’t understand. And in that tradition, world domination is the last thing on its mind, unless that domination is in the form of doing good works and promoting civil society.

Ultimately, masons do a lot of good in the world and they do it without expectation of anything in return. There could stand to be a few more people who aren’t in it for the glory and just in it for the good of mankind. And really, if it were to come to light that they were looking to establish a world free of judgement a prejudices, would that really be the worst thing in the world?

Selected Sources

flat earth, freemasonry, conspiracy

Is Freemasonry Behind Flat Earth Theory?

This article is one in a series exploring some of the ‘iconic’ notions of Masonic conspiracy theories.

As a Mason, there’s nothing better than a plausible conspiracy theory. However, one that makes even less sense now than it did a few centuries ago. This conspiracy says that the Earth is flat as a pancake and, for the really dark and mysterious, that it’s been one of the many attempts made by Freemasons to stifle intellectual progress and ignore scientific proof that says otherwise. So, with this in mind, let’s explore the conspiracy that says the Freemasons are behind Flat Earth Theory.

The Flying Pancake

Freemasons cooked this one up some time ago. The argument is that, since the Earth is flat, the place we call home is in fact the shape of an average pancake. If you were to fling that pancake across a room, you would be closely replicating the orbit of the Flat Earth which would account for tidal action and all kinds of weird tilting activity on the planet.

A flying flat earth pancake would certainly help to explain why rain and snow sometimes comes down sideways as opposed to straight down.

via GIPHY

The Ice Edge

Thanks to the wonderful minds of the wizards of Freemasonry (or is that magicians?), they claim that there is a reason why all of the water in the oceans don’t suddenly fall off the edge of the Flat Earth pancake. That’s because the edge of that pancake is encrusted with ice. The ice is so thick. In fact, that nothing can pass through it and slip off the edges. In other words, the Earth is more or less similar to a raised crust pizza. Just like the thick crust of a pizza keeps your toppings from slopping elsewhere, the crusty ice edge contains all the things on the planet.

The Solar System

By the way, wouldn’t you think that if the Flat Earth Pancake/Rising Crust Pizza was spinning through the air that it would eventually smack into another flat planet going the other direction? Well, the Freemasons have thought of an answer for that. Simply, there is no solar system.

We are the only pancake/pizza planet floating, or spinning, through the universe. In fact, we really aren’t spinning, rather we are, more or less, hovering around a section of space that is just big enough for our flat planet to exist in.

Did Hieronymus Bosch know know something about the Flat Earth when he painted The Garden of Earthly Delights tryptic exterior?

Hollywood Science Fiction Is Fake

Spoiler Alert! Movies produced in Hollywood that hint at anything related to life outside of the tiny atmosphere our flat pancake/rising crust Earth is hovering inside is straight up bunk. We know this because Freemasons created the sci-fi genre to entertain the masses and to make us all feel insignificant in a ginormous universe that does not exist outside of the imagination of Hollywood. The same goes for the small screen, too. Star Trek is a fine example. Why was it that each ‘foreign’ land that the Enterprise explored had gravity, people who resembled humans — most of whom could speak and understand English and oddly enough looked like an Earth landscape? Simple. Because none of it is real.

NASA is in On It

It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see through this one (pun intended). All the work put into creating the fake solar system and the equally fake landings on the Moon and other space exploration is part of the façade.

If the Earth is like a pancake, why do we see pictures and video of other planets that don’t look like our flat one? That’s because the top astronauts and scientific officials at NASA are all deeply involved in Freemasonry. Their goal is to keep us thinking that there is more out there and, by giving us round looking objects to gaze at with wonder, we grow to appreciate our flat pancake we call home just a bit more. Don’t even get me started on the fake Space Shuttle.

via GIPHY

Flat Earth Has a Meaning

The word ‘flat’ has a secret meaning to Freemasons.

It’s sort of a secret code word, you know, part of the ever-growing list of secrets that include special handshakes, phrases, riddles, symbols and games used to identify one Freemason from another. F.L.A.T. stands for “Freemasons Live Above the Rest of You.” Admittedly, Freemasons are supposed to be brilliant but Mensa intelligence may not be part of that package. Otherwise the statement would really read F.L.A.T.R.O.Y.

via GIPHY

Freemasons Have Infiltrated the School System

One place where Freemasonry has gained its best foothold is in the education system. With a particular focus on Earth Sciences, have you ever wondered why maps of the world are flat? That’s not because it makes them easier to draw on. It’s because Masonic teachers in your educational past were slowly planting the seeds of doubt into your young and impressionable minds. Sure, there were globes present in the classroom, but that was just to satisfy the non-believers. Take a look at any published atlas, road map or tourist street map — They’re all flat.

via GIPHY

Sure, if you can ever figure out how to fold them back up you may sense why flat maps work so well in keeping the theory alive.

The Flat Earth – Theory or Reality?

Well, there you have it. The flying pancake/rising crust pizza of a planet of ours could very well be flat. We’re just not all that interested in racing off to the ice edge to find out for sure. So, we’ll just accept the things we have learned and dream about the possibility that Freemasonry has screwed it up from the start in an attempt to dumb us down and take over the world. The entire flat world. We can’t really explain sideways snow or rain nor can we say for sure whether there are other planets as flat or round as we’ve seen pictures because we really only have pictures and video to go by. CGI may have been invented by Freemasons in order to solidify the Flat Earth Theory. We’d like to think of our planet as a round marble spinning around other, brighter space marbles but the pizza analogy keeps grabbing our attention. Especially the rising crust part. Maybe Freemasons cooked that up idea to distract us with a tasty food example to keep us off their trail.

Are Freemasons behind The Flat Earth Theory?

To say there is a Flat Earth Theory to begin with is an absurd enough notion. To suggest the Freemasons are behind the Flat Earth takes things down that conspiratorial rabbit hole of suspended belief in reality. The earth isn’t flat. Freemasonry isn’t hiding that it is. Freemasons celebrate the round globe atop one of its pillars when entering the masonic lodge (something the ancient world did, too) and utilize the compass (or dividers) as one of its key symbols. If you think the earth is flat, you probably need to get off the internet and spend some time in a text book.

via GIPHY

Why are freemasons secretive?

Why Are Freemason’s Secretive?

What is Freemasonry hiding? Is there some great mystery at work in the secret workings of the Masonic Lodge? Why are Freemasons so Secretive?

Many masons will not answer questions about the fraternity as they believe it is supposed to be a secret. In the end this becomes a loss for the fraternity as any time someone asks a question about Masonry, it’s a great opportunity to talk openly about it.

A common reaction to this idea is that Masonry is a “Society with Secrets”, rather than a “Secret Society”, but this is equally confusing. There are aspects to Freemasonry that are kept and taught to only those who go through the initiations and ceremonies so as to keep them in a proper perspective and contextual meaning. These aspects are not secrets but instead knowledge that is best communicated in a specific and concise manner.

Many of the secrets have been published and written about, in many instances by Freemasons themselves, but the foundations of the teachings can be found throughout the spectrum of faiths and philosophical teachings of the past and present. It is in the process of their teaching that it could be best suggested where they are truly secret.

More in the series:

What is Freemasonry? – Part 1: What is a Freemason?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 2: How Old is Freemasonry?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 3: Why are Freemason’s Secretive?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 4: Is Freemasonry a Patriotic Body?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 5: Why Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 6: Why is Freemasonry a Ritual Practice?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 7: Why Does Freemasonry Use Odd Symbols?

From the ebook: What is Freemasonry?

Who are the Freemasons and what do they do?

What is a Freemason?

One of the oldest fraternities in the western world, a Freemason is the common name for those initiated into the fraternity of Freemasonry. But, what elements are at work in ones decision to become a one?

From the What is Freemasonry ebook, a Freemason is a man who, in searching for life’s ineffable questions, finds his way into the company of fellow seekers. Comprised of men from every nation, races, social and economic level, all hold similar ideals and beliefs.

The uniting idea is a faith in the divine founded in the certitude in an afterlife. This “belief” is grounded by certain landmark tenants and virtues which ultimately lead in exploration of those invisible questions, leading ultimately to the betterment of all mankind.

More in the series:

What is Freemasonry? – Part 1: What is a Freemason?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 2: How Old is Freemasonry?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 3: Why are Freemason’s Secretive?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 4: Is Freemasonry a Patriotic Body?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 5: Why Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 6: Why is Freemasonry a Ritual Practice?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 7: Why Does Freemasonry Use Odd Symbols?

From the ebook: What is Freemasonry?

The Meaning of Freemasonry

In this Sojourners post, a observant brother from the Prince Hall tradition asks a very important question about access in the modern age of Freemasonry – Who has it, why, and should it be exclusive? This piece, while brief, explores at least in part these ideas as more and more of a diverse audience is gaining exposure to the meanings of Freemasonry.

The Meaning of Freemasonry

A Sojourners post by Richard E. Gordon III

Many things have been said of the Craft, as such, I will not attempt to reiterate them here, but will attempt to express what freemasonry means to me.

My journey began long before I was made a Mason. There was a longing in my heart to understand the deeper mysteries of the world, their respective interrelations and manifestations, and a desire to know the Truth. I would spend many hours reading books of seemingly different natures, only to be delighted to discover a connection between subjects. These associations were meaningful to me because, as I had worked to achieve insight and understanding, I came closer to a more enlightened view of reality. I felt as if I was coming out of the darkness into something a little more distinguishable, a little more clear.

My worldview began to change. I read The Hiram Key, by Robert Lomas and Christopher Knight in college, as the first book about freemasonry I read as a non-mason. I had sensed a continuous stream of knowledge, some would say, from time immemorial, but this book put into focus what I had already sensed. I had realized I wanted to join the Order, out of curiosity, but also to further development, and to honor those wise men that had gone on before me. One could say that, I was seeking to revive the spirit of the Adept within myself. To be a vessel of the divine spark.

Upon being Raised, I was struck at how real it seemed, as during my initiation, I called out and protested as if I was actually the Master in the Temple. My answer to those who would accost me for the secrets of the Temple, was simply ‘Kill Me’. For I knew I could not get away, and I knew I could not oblige them. As the final blow came, I was thrown backward onto my death shroud, and accidentally caught my foot on a brother. My foot was wrenched aside, twisted, my senses not knowing of where the pain and darkness was truly from. I must say this experience changed me. I truly felt death had come, and the embrace of the shroud was comforting. The Lion’s Paw I had received from my father, and it was a very special moment in my life. This cemented my Quest.

From that point on, I strived to the higher ideals of the Order, subduing my passions and improving myself in science and history. Knowledge is a wonderful gift, but it means nothing if it is not put into practice for the benefit of All. Freemasonry then, helped me to become a man, instilling the virtues that, if all possessed, would surely rebuild the Heavenly Temple on Earth. The meaning of freemasonry is to give purpose. This in turn, gives us the ability to, hopefully, transcend into a Higher and more Lofty state of Society, in the spiritual/alchemical sense of the Philosopher’s Stone. There is one drastic hitch or impediment to this dream, however, and that is the insistence of the rules and regulations of the Craft to deny women, the fairer sex, entry into the Order. How can we as Masons do this injustice to over half the population of the world?

I want my brothers to consider this in earnest. Can we rightly deny our sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, lovers, the joys and spiritual guidance that Freemasonry has to offer? Eastern Star is separate but not equal. It is simply not enough, and in the long run, will hurt the progression of establishing the Temple Cornerstone of the World, for all to enjoy and benefit. Freemasonry is more then just a fraternity, and should be recognized as such, but that task will be thwarted if we deny others the right, who are already Masons in their heart, the opportunity to join the Craft. Was it not Mary of Bethany Jesus’s most beloved disciple? Is not Venus the birther of all Men? Why do we close our doors to her?

I shall simply say that, the meaning of freemasonry is that of continuation, of the hopes and dreams of the Adept.


Richard E. Gordon III

Richard E. Gordon III

Richard E. Gordon III, was raised a Master Mason in 2010, in Golden Square Lodge #23, 4th Masonic District, Prince Hall Affiliation, Urbana, Ohio, and is a member of Miami Consistory #26 in the Valley of Dayton. He holds a Masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Wright State University and won the “Outstanding Graduate Student Award” (2010) in the Applied Behavioral Science (ABS) program. He also obtained his Bachelors in Psychology in 2007 at Wittenberg University, where he founded and led the Society for Extraordinary Phenomena (SEP). Richard worked as a medical lab researcher at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in the STREAMS program, which is dedicated to fostering biomedical research experiences for minority students, and studied the biomedical effects of intermittent hypoxia in neonatal rats, with implications for conditions such as sleep apnea and aerospace industry considerations. He is a Research Associate with Vision Genomics, LLC.

You can find more from Br. Richard E. Gordon III on Tumblr.

Evidence of Hidden Meaning in Masonic Ritual

rebisA Sojourners post by W. Bro. Rob Lund.

Albert Pike once wrote: “Freemasonry is the subjugation of the human that is in man, by the Divine; the conquest of the appetites and the passions, by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle, and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual.” Morals and Dogma, Sublime Prince

I found this definition of Freemasonry to be an appropriate introduction to what I am about to present.

I have always sensed that our ritual had a deeper significance than what appears on the surface. Through my association with other esoteric bodies and their knowledge, I have been able to recognize phrases, analogies, allegories, and symbols from these ancient teachings. Many Masons have either lost sight of, or are not aware of, what our ritual is indicating to us. I have made it my mission to share this discovery with all Masons, and would now like to expose, to you, in the coming chapters, some of the deeper meaning behind the ritual of our degree rituals, in the hope that you will propagate this information to others.

I have come to understand that there are three aspects to our ritual: physical, mental, and spiritual. The first degree is mostly related to the physical; the second degree to the mental (or intellectual), and the third to the spiritual. Also, each degree is built on the one before, so there are three levels: 1st degree – physical also (representing birth), 2nd degree – mental (also representing growth and development), and 3rd degree – spiritual (also representing death).

However, each one of the degree rituals has, within it, those same three levels. The physical relates to the actions and symbols; the mental relates to the moral and intellectual aspects; and the spiritual is what is explained in the following chapters.

First, I must tell you that there is no official view regarding this deeper aspect of our ritual. Grand Lodge cannot provide you with any standard book that contains these explanations (in fact, few Grand Lodge publications refer to the deeper, more esoteric, side of Masonry). Therefore, there are a few different interpretations that you may come across. It doesn’t matter – what matters is what is meaningful to you.

Next, I must put forward some arguments that provide evidence that there is a deeper meaning.

Our ritual tells us that there is. At your initiation, you were announced at the door of the lodge as “a poor candidate, in a state of darkness, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry.” What are these mysteries? Is Freemasonry ancient?

I will remind you that, during the examination before passing to the second degree, you were asked: “What is Freemasonry?” The answer you were to give is: “A beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” Brethren, in this statement are the first clues that there is something that is hidden. Let’s examine this statement further.

A “System of Morality…” – Are the rituals of Masonry there merely for the purpose of teaching morals: Temperance, Prudence, Justice, Charity, and Brotherly Love. Was Masonry instituted to teach these elementary virtues? As you well know, those who are “fit and proper people to be made Masons” must be “Just and upright men …… and strict morals.” So, ask yourself if Masonry was meant to teach morals to those who are already moral?

Veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols…” – “veiled” means “hidden or covered,” and that is another clue. “Allegory” means “a story that has a deeper or more general meaning in addition to its surface meaning,” and that is another clue. A symbol is “something used for or regarded as representing something else,” which is yet another clue.

As you can see, this statement of the definition of Masonry refers to something hidden. This is a clear indication of something deeper hidden in our ritual.

What is it that is veiled? The Junior Warden’s Tracing Board lecture begins,

The usages and customs of Masonry have ever corresponded with those of the Egyptian Philosophers, to which they bear a near affinity. Unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, those philosophers concealed their particular tenets and principles under certain hieroglyphic figures and expressed their notion of government by signs and symbols.

What this is suggesting is that, as in the ancient Egyptian mysteries, something is concealed in our customs.

These points indicate the real secret of Masonry: that our ritual hides deeper, more esoteric, spiritual lessons, based on various ancient mysteries and teachings that have been taught throughout the ages, in different forms, and is still being taught today.

These mysteries are not written or taught within Freemasonry. They are embedded for the use only of those who seek the light, through education, contemplation, understanding, and assimilation. It does not matter what religion, if any, you may follow, as these mysteries apply to all. The candidate, if he is to benefit by the light to which the Craft leads, must be prepared to keep his mind open, and seek those mysteries. They contain information which is of vital importance to us all.

The sources of our Initiation Ceremony, while based, perhaps, on old Operative ceremonies, are a blend of various streams of influence, usually called the Ancient Wisdom or “Secret Doctrine“, which is common to all the Ancient Mysteries and Initiation systems from the dawn of history. These are combined with elements from more recent systems, such as Hermeticism, the Hebrew Qabalah, Rosicrucianism, Muslim Sufism, Christian Mysticism, Buddhism, Theosophy, Anthoposophy, and others, drawing symbols from all of them.

Researching these, and there are many books regarding them, it becomes clear that all these sources have been promoters of the same Mysteries, and that they proclaim the same truths. Many of them also have rituals with layered meanings, and many correspond to our Degrees. Some of the founders of Freemasonry, as we know it today, were Rosicrucians, who are teachers of the ancient wisdom. Having studied their teachings myself, I can clearly see the signposts embedded in our ritual. I encourage you to do your own further research to verify this for yourselves. I will go so far as to say that it will be the most important thing you do in your life.


Rob Lund.

Rob Lund.

Rob Lund is a Past Master of Kilwinning Lodge #565 in Toronto, Canada, where he serves as Secretary. He has served as the Chairman of the Toronto West District Education Committee and on the Grand Lodge of Toronto Committee for Masonic Education. He is also the author of the new book The Hidden Code in Freemasonry: Finding Light through esoteric interpretation of Masonic Ritual, published in 2016.

You can follow Rob on Facebook.

Illuminati,Adam Weishaupt,freemasonry,Congress of Vienna,Freemasonry

A Brief History of the Illuminati

Illuminati,Adam Weishaupt,freemasonry,Congress of Vienna,Freemasonry
Freemasonry and the Illuminati
eye, god, all-seeing, triangle eye, money eye

The Illuminati is one of those well-known shadowy organization shrouded in myth and legend. They are credited with behind the scenes manipulations of world events and seen as the secret power that controls everything. The Illuminati has become the modern day catch all poster child of the political evils in the world. All of which is highly ironic, as the group historically was founded on May 1, 1776, with the goals of opposing superstitions, religious influence over public life, and the abuse of power by the state.

The Illuminati, along with other secret societies like the Freemasons, were seen as subversive in the late eighteenth century, due in large part to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Since then, the idea of the Illuminati has come to be associated with any secret organization that proclaims to have links with the original society, though in many cases these links are unsubstantiated.

Organized in a way very similar to that of Freemasonry, the Illuminati very likely used the Masons as a pattern for which to their model their own society. Indeed, some present day Illuminati groups claim to have origins far older than the historical 1776 account, using their connection to Freemasonry in their principal argument. Some groups even lay claim to connections that trace back to ancient Egypt and the Ra and Isis cults that thrived in antiquity.

It is difficult to trace the history of the Illuminati much of what it did was in secret. After the original society was outlawed, what was left, allegedly, went underground to continue its work in secret. These claims include involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and were considered, by some, as responsible for the French Revolution in 1789.

Many believe that the subversive goal of the Illuminati was to form a one world government. The Congress of Vienna was, according to these beliefs, brought about by the Illuminati who hoped to achieve their goal by forming a League of Nations. When Russia refused to join, however, their plan was foiled creating, supposedly, a great deal of animosity towards the Russian powers within the Illuminati rank and file.

Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna, 1814-15

The Illuminati are said to have devised a plan for there to occur three world wars over the course of the twentieth century that would lead, ultimately, to the formation of a one world government. In line with this theory, they orchestrated the tensions that led to World War 1. With the goal of destroying Imperial Russia and get revenge for the failed Congress of Vienna. World War II was likewise planned by the Illuminati to strengthen communism. There was to be a third war between political Zionists and the leaders of the Muslim world, which was to have weakened everyone to the point where a one world government was the only feasible option left. This makes for an interesting theory given the present state of geopolitical affairs at hand in the world today.

Adam Weinhaupt, Freemasonry, Illuminati
Weishaupt

While this is, by far, the most sensational account of the Illuminati available, very little of it can be verified historically. What we do know is that the Illuminati were founded by Adam Weishaupt, who was raised in Bavaria and educated at Jesuit school graduating ultimately from the University of Ingolstadt in 1768 with a doctorate in law. Interestingly, the Jesuits have been accused of broader conspiracies, subversive methods and conspiratorial practices.

Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge in Munich in 1777, the year after he founded the Illuminati. Once he joined, he reorganized the Illuminati in order to attract more Freemasons to its ranks. While the Masons brought more influential members into Weishaupt’s society, it also led to disagreements between his ideals and those new members. Seeing trouble and seizing an opportunity, the Bavarian government acted on disquiet at the prominence of members in governmental positions, stepped in and disbanded what was left of the Illuminati.

And still, this secret society was not unknown in the world. Letters from George Washington show that he was aware of the Illuminati’s plan to overthrow all current governments. Despite the large number of Masons among American’s founding fathers, Washington was confident that none of his allies were interested in pursuing that agenda. Washington wrote, on October 24, 1798,

…It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned….

Washington's letter about the illuminati
George Washington’s letter about the illuminati

In a modern context, as a secret society, it is impossible to say if the Illuminati still exist today or not, due to their very nature. How do you disprove something that is said to not exist? There are many organizations that claim to have roots that trace back to the Illuminati though they currently exist under different names. The formation of a one world government does not, however, seem like such a far-fetched notion with increasing globalization and the strong presence of multinational businesses and governmental styled agencies including the IMF and the United Nations. But, how much of this is merely a perpetuation of the idea that a shadow society is calling the shots by orchestrating the maneuvering of progress. Perhaps in some respect, the ethos of the Illuminati is its legacy of its continuation in the modern world.

illuminati symbol on american money

The use of Illuminati symbols in modern day culture helps to perpetuate the belief that the secret society is still operating in the shadows and controlling many of the world’s events. The obvious symbolism of the All-Seeing Eye is linked pervasively with the Illuminati as seen in many places, including the currency United States. The inclusion of on the currency is an obvious chicken before the egg analogy that conspiracy theorists have latched onto as an obvious and overt sign.

The pyramid, once again present on the American $1 bill, is said to represent the hierarchy of the order. It is left unfinished to show that the goals of the society have not yet been accomplished. The Bavarian society did indeed have pyramids displayed at their meetings though once again the same symbol is often attributed to the Masons.

The owl, too, is the symbol of the goddess Minerva who was the goddess of wisdom. The Bavarian Illuminati who had reached Minerval status (in between Novice and Illuminated Minerval) especially considered it a very important symbol and included it on their medallions.

Some contemporary pretenders find a more nefarious image suggesting links to the occult. In these instances, the pentagram is also sometimes said to be a symbol used by the Illuminati in the practice of black magic. But the Bavarian society had no occult practices that we know of in comparison to this modern day context. If a modern day Illuminati group claims the practice of magic, they most likely have no true connection to the original order.

The reality behind the Illuminati is as shadowy as its existence. Their secret nature, combined with the vast number of groups that claim lineage with them makes it impossible to trace their activities through history. Much of what is currently known about the Illuminati is little more than guesswork and greatly influenced by the sensational depiction of them in popular culture.

Top Illuminati Conspiracies

  1. Everyone famous is in the Illuminati, including Jay-Z, the Pope (all of them), Usain Bolt, Glenn Beck, Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, and Lady Gaga are members. Taylor Swift and Howard Stern are some of its biggest promoters. Stanley Kubrick was an insider who tried to expose it in his film Eyes Wide Shut, and the patron saint of the Masonic silver screen, Nicolas Cage, makes films in promoting its ideals.
  2. That a “global elite” society that is either in control of, or is seeking to take control of, the world.
  3. That Freemasonry and Satanism are the driving forces behind the Illuminati.
  4. That they seek to form a one-world government, a one-world monetary system and a one-world religion.
  5. The entertainment industry is controlled by the Illuminati.
  6. Organizations like the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations are pawns of the New World Order.
  7. Denver is an Illuminati world domination layover site to off the grid blacked out labor camps.
  8. Gay Activism and feminism are an Illuminati Conspiracy.
  9. That the Illuminati is governed by a race of shape-shifting reptilian pedophiles who are ultimately behind an “Orwellian Global Super state”
  10. The moon is the home base of the Illuminati.

10 Notables of the Bavarian Illuminati

You can read more on the top 10 at Terry Melanson’s Conspiracy Archive.

And, to see how deeply these ideas are held, David Icke has some thoughts on the Conspiracy of the Lizard Illuminati from Vice Magazine.


More Masonic History.