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.
There are some interviewees that make life difficult for you. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get them to open up and expound on a question.
Michael Schiavello, an experienced broadcaster, writer and author is not one of those. When you ask him a question he takes off and runs with.
Here is an author who has blended the esoteric thought of Freemasonry with the practical application of its philosophy. Schiavello reminds me a lot of Dr. John Nagy with his Life Application and his questions at the end of each chapter. Nagy, however, writes strictly for Freemasons while Schiavello writes for Masons and non-Masons alike. And that is what makes this book so universal. It deals with universal truths time proven from Masters of ancient times to the current age. Freemasonry is a way of life. And Schiavello writes a primer on how to live the noble life. He urges us and shows us how to pay equal attention to our spiritual side as well as our earthly side. He promotes a life of Balance.
Freemasonry makes good men better and this is one of the few books that will actually show you how that can be done using the symbolism of the Craft. This is not only a must book for Freemasons it is a handbook for anybody and everybody, Mason and non-Mason alike. There is no doubt in my mind that Know Thyself: Using the Symbols of Freemasonry to Improve Your Life will become a classic standing tall with the works of Wayne Dywer, Mitch Albom. Scott Peck and Neale Donald Walsch.
In this installment of Symbols and Symbolism, we look at Albert Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry definition of the Great Architect of the Universe, more aptly know as the deity or God. While an obvious connection to the cosmic power at hand in in the mysterious workings of the cosmos, his definition is an interesting skirting of an obvious connection to a Christian appellation and connection to the Christianization of Freemasonry as he opines “… it cannot be denied that since the advent of Christianity a Christian element has been almost imperceptibly infused into the Masonic system, at least among Christian Masons” So then, how does Mackey define the aspect of deity at work in the doings of Freemasonry – as a Great Architect of the Universe.
You can read more installments of Mackey’s Encyclopedia under Symbols & Symbolism here on this site and video of these segments on YouTube.
From Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:
The title applied in the technical language of Freemasonry to the Deity.
It is appropriate that a society founded on the principles of architecture, which symbolizes the terms of that science to moral purposes, and whose members profess to be the architects of a spiritual temple should view the Divine Being, under whose holy law they are constructing that edifice, as their Master Builder or Great Architect. Sometimes, but less correctly, the title “Grand Architect of the Universe” is found.
In this edition of Symbols and Symbolism, we look at a reading from Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry on the subject of Riding the Goat.
Goat riding is one of those superstition that permeates most every corner of fraternal initiation. Not exclusively a Masonic institution, goat riding or making candidates “ride the goat” has been an aspect of hazing fueled initiation meant to scare and embarrass neophytes and initiates joining the institution. Yet, the practice seems to have a more succinct history involving ancient pagan practice and ritual.
The vulgar idea that “riding the goat” constitutes a part of the ceremonies of initiation in a Masonic Lodge has its real origin in the superstition of antiquity. The old Greeks and Romans portrayed their mystical god Pan in horns and hoof and shaggy hide, and called him “goat-footed.” When the demonology of the classics was adopted and modified by the early Christians, Pan gave way to Satan, who naturally inherited his attributes; so that to the common mind the Devil was represented by a he-goat, and his best known marks were the horns, the beard, and the cloven hoofs. Then came the witch stories of the Middle Ages, and the belief in the witch orgies, where, it was said, the Devil appeared riding on a goat. These orgies of the witches, where, amid fearfully blasphemous ceremonies, they practiced initiation into their Satanic Rites, became, to the vulgar and the illiterate, the type of the Masonic Mysteries; for, as Dr. Oliver says, it was in England a common belief that the Freemasons were accustomed in their Lodges “to raise the Devil.” So the “riding of the goat,” which was believed to be practiced by the witches, was transferred to the Freemasons; and the saying remains to this day although the belief has very long since died out.
That secret portion of Masonry which is known only to the initiates as distinguished from exoteric Masonry, or monitorial, which is accessible to all who choose to read the manuals and published works of the Order. The words are from the Greek, εσωτερικός, internal, and εξωτερική, external, and were first used by Pythagoras, whose philosophy was divided into the exoteric, or that taught to all, and the esoteric, or that taught to a select few; and thus his disciples were divided into two classes, according to the degree of initiation to which the had attained, as being either fully admitted into the society, and invested with all the knowledge that the Master could communicate or as merely postulants, enjoying only the public instructions of the school, and awaiting the gradual reception of further knowledge. This double mode of instruction was borrowed by Pythagoras from the Egyptian priests, whose theology was of two kinds-the one exoteric, and addressed to the people in general; the other esoteric, and confined to a select number of the priests and to those who possessed, or were to possess, the regal power. And the mystical nature of this concealed doctrine was expressed in their symbolic language by the images of sphinxes placed at the entrance of their temples. Two centuries later, Aristotle adopted the system of Pythagoras, and, in the Lyceum at Athens, delivered in the morning to his select disciples his subtle and concealed doctrines concerning God Nature, and Life, and in the evening lectured on more elementary subjects to a promiscuous audience. These different lectures he called his Morning and his Evening Walk.
One of the greatest enigmas of contemporary Freemasonry, the Chamber of Reflection is a little-used aspect in the rituals of a newly made Mason. Yet, the symbolism of the Chamber has roots in Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism and other occult traditions.
In the French and Scottish Rites, a small room adjoining the Lodge, in which, preparatory to initiation, the candidate is enclosed for the purpose of indulging in those serious meditations which its somber appearance and the gloomy emblems with which it is furnished are calculated to produce. It is also used in some of the advanced degrees for a similar purpose. Its employment is very appropriate, for, as Gädicke well observes,
It is only in solitude that we can deeply reflect upon our present or future undertakings, and blackness, darkness, or solitariness, is ever a symbol of death. A man who has undertaken a thing after mature reflection seldom turns back.
Manly P Hall, in his Secret Teachings of All Ages, writes of the use of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. – beginning with the word VISITA and reading clockwise, the seven initial letters of the seven words inscribed in the outer circle read: VITRIOL. This is a very simple alchemical enigma but is a reminder that those studying works on Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, alchemy, and Freemasonry should always be on the lookout for concealed meanings hidden either in Parables and allegories or in cryptic arrangements of numbers, letters, and words.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
That they seek to form a one-world government, a one-world monetary system and a one-world religion.
The entertainment industry is controlled by the Illuminati.
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.
Denver is an Illuminati world domination layover site to off the grid blacked out labor camps.
In this installment of Symbols and Symbolism, we look at the brief entry on the magical and mystical word know today as the word of prestidigitation. While over used in more modern times, the word itself is seen as a hex, an incantation or the lead up to the punch line of a parlor trick. Believed to be an Aramaic word, it’s suggested to have derived from the phrase “”I create as I speak.” Like so many words, it represents a vestigial memory cloaked in a syncretic mythology.
From Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:
A term of incantation which was formerly worn about the neck as an amulet against several diseases, especially the tertian ague (known today as tertian malaria).
It was to be written on a triangular piece of parchment in the following form:
It is said that it first occurs in the Carmen de Morbis et Remediis (The full text being called De Medicina Praecepta Saluberrima- Carmen de Morbis et Remediis) of Q . Serenus Sammonicus, a favorite of the Emperor Severus in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and is generally supposed to be derived from the word abraxas (ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ).
In this installment of Symbols & Symbolism we look at a reading from Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry on the meanings behind Clandestine, Clandestine Lodge and a Clandestine Freemason.
The video, deals with the first two subjects, the third is a subject of much contention creating clear vernacular delineation of what IS and what IS NOT considered by the various denominations of the fraternity.
The ordinary meaning of this word is secret, hidden. The French word clandestin, from which it is derived, is defined by Boiste (Pierre-Claude-Victor Boiste – Dictionnaire universel de la langue française, first published in 1800) to be something:
fait en cachette et contre les lois.
Translated to mean – done in a hiding-place and against the laws (or, as translated by Google Translate – made secretly and against laws), which better suits the Masonic signification, which is illegal, not authorized. Irregular is often used for small departures from custom.
The Frontispiece to Noorthouck’s 1784 Constitution.
A body of Masons uniting in a Lodge without the consent of a Grand Lodge, or, although originally legally constituted, continuing to work after its charter has been revoked, is styled a “Clandestine Lodge.” Neither Anderson nor Entick employ the word. It was first used in the Book of Constitutions in a note by Noortbouck, on page 239 of his edition (Constitutions, 1784). Irregular Lodge would be the better term.
One made in or affiliated with a clandestine Lodge. With clandestine Lodges or Masons, regular Masons are forbidden to associate or converse on Masonic subjects.
In the Book of Constitutions, Noortbouck’s comments read, first under the Abstract of the Laws Relating to the General Fund of Charity
IV, page ii:
No person made a mason in a private or clandestine manner, for small or unworthy considerations, can act as a grand officer or as an officer of a private lodge, or can he partake of the general charity.
Interestingly, they tell us their reasons:
And then Under the Making of a Mason (page 394 and 395), ART V
A brother concerned in making masons clandestinely, shall not be allowed to visit any lodge till he has made due submission, even though the brothers so made may be allowed.
and, ART VIII, page 395:
Seeing that some brothers have been made lately in a clandestine manner, that is, in no regular lodge, nor by any authority or dispensation from the grand master, and for small and unworthy considerations, to the dishonor of the craft; the grand lodge decreed, that no person so made, nor any of those concerned in making him, shall be a grand officer, nor an officer of a particular lodge; nor shall partake of the general charity, should they ever be reduced to apply for it.
From a Short Talk Bulletin, Vol.XIII, No, 12, from 1935 says definitively (for that time) that,
Today the Masonic world is entirely agreed on what constitutes a clandestine body, or a clandestine Mason; the one is a Lodge or Grand Lodge unrecognized by other Grand Lodges, working without right, authority or legitimate descent; the other is a man “made a Mason” on such a clandestine body.
In this installment of Symbols & Symbolism, we look at a reading from Albert G. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry on the Christening of Freemasonry, a sentiment that Mackey feels “… does not belong to the ancient system” of Freemasonry.
You can read more installments of Mackey’s Encyclopedia under Symbols & Symbolism here on this site and video of these segments on YouTube.
The interpretation of the symbols of Freemasonry from a Christian point of view is a theory adopted by some of the most distinguished Masonic writers of England and this country, but one which I think does not belong to the ancient system. [William] Hutchinson, and after him [George] Oliver – profoundly philosophical as are the Masonic speculations of both – have, I am constrained to believe, fallen into a great error in calling the Master Mason’s Degree a Christian institution. It is true that it embraces within its scheme the great truths of Christianity upon the subject of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body; but this was to be presumed, because Freemasonry is truths and all truth must be identical. But the origin of each is different; their histories are dissimilar. The principles of Freemasonry preceded the advent of Christianity. Its symbols and its legends are derived from the Solomonic Temple and from the people even anterior to that. Its religion comes from the ancient priesthood; its faith was that primitive one of Noah and his immediate descendants. If Masonry were simply a Christian institution, the Jew, the Muslim, the Brahman and the Buddhist could not conscientiously partake of its illumination. But its universality is its boast. In its language citizens of every nation may converse; at its altar men of all religions may kneel; to its creed disciples of every faith may subscribe.
Yet it cannot be denied that since the advent of Christianity a Christian element has been almost imperceptibly infused into the Masonic system, at least among Christian Masons. This has been a necessity; for it is the tendency of every predominant religion to pervade with its influence all that surrounds it or is about it, whether religious, political, or social. This arises from a need of the human heart. To the man deeply imbued with the spirit of his religion, there is an almost unconscious desire to accommodate and adapt all the business and the amusements of life – the labors and the employments of his everyday existence-to the indwelling faith of his soul.
The Christian Mason, therefore, while acknowledging and appreciating the great doctrines taught in Masonry, and also while grateful that these doctrines were preserved in the bosom of his ancient Order at a time when they were unknown to the multitudes of the surrounding nations, is still anxious to give to them a Christian character; to invest them, in some measure, with the peculiarities of his own creed, and to bring the interpretation of their symbolism more nearly home to his own religious sentiments.
The feeling is an instinctive one belonging to the noblest aspirations of our human nature; and hence we find Christian Masonic writers indulging in it to an almost unwarrantable excess, and, by the extent of their sectarian interpretations, materially affecting the cosmopolitan character of the Institution.
This tendency to Christianize has, in some instances, been so universal, and has prevailed for so long a period, that certain symbols and myths have been, in this way, so deeply and thoroughly imbued with the Christian element as to leave those who have not penetrated into the cause of this peculiarity, in doubt whether they should attribute to the symbol an ancient or a modern and Christian origin.