VI VERI VENIVERSUM VIVUS VICI


dimanche 24 mai 2009

POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE

This is a symbol of great interest and importance, and brings us into close connection with the early symbolism of the solar orb and the universe, which was predominant in the ancient sun-worship. The lectures of Freemasonry give what modern Monitors have made an exoteric explanation of the symbol, in telling us that the point represents an individual Brother, the circle the boundary line of his duty to God and man, and the two perpendicular parallel lines the patron saints of the Order-Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist.

But that this was not always its symbolic signification, we may collect from the true history of its connection with the phallus of the Ancient Mysteries.

The phallus was among the Egyptians the symbol of fecundity, expressed by the male generative principle. It was communicated from the Rites of Osiris to the religious festivals of Greece. Among the Asiatics the same emblem, under the name of Miriam, was, in connection with the female principle, worshiped as the symbols of the Great Father and Mother, or producing causes of the human race, after their destruction by the deluge.

On this subject, Captain Wilford (Asiatic Researches) remarks "that it was believed in India, that, at the general deluge, everything was involved in the common destruction except the male and female principles, or organs of generation, which were destined to produce a new race, and to re-people the earth when the waters had subsided from its surface. The female principle, symbolized by the moon, assumed the form of a lunette or crescent; while the male principle, symbolized by the sun, assuming the form of the lingam, placed himself erect in the center of the lunette, like the mast of a ship.

The two principles, in this united form, floated on the surface of the waters during the period of their prevalence on the earth; and thus became the progenitors of a new race of men." Here, then, was the first outline of the point within a circle, representing the principle of fecundity, and doubtless the symbol, connected with a different history, that, namely, of Osiris, was transmitted by the Indian philosophers to Egypt, and to the other nations, who derived, as is elsewhere shown, all their rites from the East.

It was in deference to this symbolism that, as Godfrey Higgins remarks (Anecalypsis ii, page 306), circular temples were in the very earliest ages universally erected in cyclar numbers to do honor to the Deity.

In India, stone circles, or rather their ruins, are everywhere found; among the oldest of which, according to Moore (Pancheon, page 242) is that of Dipaldiana, and whose execution will compete with that of the Greeks. In the oldest monuments of the Druids we find, as at Stonehenge and Avebury, the circle of stones. In fact, all the temples of the Druids were circular, with a single stone erected in the center. A Druidical monument in Pembrokeshire, called Y Cromlech, is described as consisting of several rude stones pitched on end in a circular order, and in the midst of the circle a vast stone placed on several pillars. Near Keswick, in Cumberland, says Doctor Oliver (Signs and Symbols, page 174) is another specimen of this Druidical symbol. On a hill stands a circle of forty stones placed perpendicularly, Of about five feet and a half in height, and one stone in the center of greater altitude. Among the Scandinavians, the hall of Odin contained twelve seats, disposed in the form of a circlers for the principal gods, with an elevated seat in the center for Odin. Scandinavian monuments of this form are still to be found in Scania, Zealand, and Jutland. But it is useless to multiply examples of the prevalence of this symbol among the ancients. Now let us apply this knowledge to the Masonic symbol.

We have seen that the phallus and the point within a circle come from the same source, and must have been identical in signification. But the phallus was the symbol of fecundity, or the male generative principle, which by the ancients was supposed to be the sun, they looking to the creature and not to the Creator, because by the sun's heat and light the earth is made prolific, and its productions are brought to maturity. The point within the circle was then originally the symbol of the sun; and as the lingam of India stood in the center of the lunette, so it stands within the center of the Universe, typified by the circle, impregnating and vivifying it with its heat. And thus the astronomers have been led to adopt the same figure as their symbol of the sun.

Now it is admitted that the Lodge represents the world or the universe, and the Master and Wardens within it represent the sun in three positions. Thus we arrive at the true interpretation of the Masonic symbolism of the point within the circle. It is the same thing, but under a different form, as the Master and Wardens of a Lodge. The Master and Wardens are symbols of the sun, the Lodge of the universe, or world, just as the point is the symbol of the same sun, and the surrounding circle of the universe.

To the above observations by Doctor Mackey, Brother Charles T. McClenachan adds these two paragraphs:

"An addition to the above may be given, by referring to one of the oldest symbols among the Egyptians, and found upon their monuments, which was a circle centered by an A U M, supported by two erect parallel serpents; the circle being expressive of the collective people of the world, protected by the parallel attributes, the Power and Wisdom of the Creator. The Alpha and Omega, or the will representing the Egyptian omnipotent God, surrounded by His creation, having for a boundary no other limit than what may come within his boundless scope, his Wisdom and Power. At times this circle is represented by the Ananta (a Sanskrit word meaning eternity), a serpent with its tail in its mouth. The parallel serpents were of the cobra species.

It has been suggestively said that the Masonic symbol refers to the circuits or circumambulation of the initiate about the sacred Altar, which supports the three Great Lights as a central point, while the Brethren stand in two parallel lines."

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

MEMENTO MORI - THE SYMBOL OF THE SKULL WITH CROSSED BONES

The symbol of the Skull and Crossbones, often called the Memento Mori, is a grim reminder of our own mortality. The Latin phrase Memento Mori is generally interpreted as “Remember that you must die”[i], and is often associated with other fatalistic expressions[ii] such as Hora Fugit (The Hour Flees) or Tempus Fugit (Time Flies). The first Masonic adoption of the Memento Mori appears to have its roots in the York Rite Chivalric Orders, especially the Order of Malta and the Order of the Temple. The establishment of these Orders coincides well with the periods in which the Memento Mori was reaching its zenith as an expression of Christian belief concerning death and dying. This paper will examine the evolution of the Memento Mori, its historic representations of death in the Christian belief system, and its adoption and use by Freemasonry. The reader is asked to be keenly aware that I am writing this strictly within the context of the Christian tradition; I am of course aware that many Masons are not themselves Christians, and I do this not out of religious conceit, but rather out of a need to narrow the scope of my investigation to that which is manageable in a paper of this type. I respectfully ask that my perspective not be construed as bigoted or intolerant.

see: http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/skull-bones.html

dimanche 3 mai 2009

Antiguos Documentos Masonicos

QQ:.HH:. y Estimados Lectores:


Aquellos que nos hemos interesado en el origen e historia de la Mas:. sabemos muy bien que su origen y fundación es tan compleja como apasionante.

En esta ocasión pongo a su disposición una lista en formato PDF de los "Early Masonic Documents". Estoy seguro que sera de gran interés para completar colecciones o archivos Mas:. .

Ademas de esta lista, tienen también a su disposición un PDF en Ingles de las Constituciones de Anderson. Aprovecho esta oportunidad QQ:.HH:. y estimados lectores para recordar que la Masonería cuenta con leyes y lineamientos claramente establecidos. Lamentablemente a lo largo de la historia miembros de nuestra augusta institución siempre han cuestionado el valor de dichos lineamientos. En la extensa lista de documentos que dictan y guían la reglas universales de la Masonería encontramos los Landmarks. Estoy seguro que todo hermano que desee comprender y practicar Masonería de manera universal y por el bien de la Humanidad entenderá que estos "antiguos limites" permiten una convivencia libre y fraterna entre los diferentes OOr:. y OOb:. que deseen trabajar de modo Regular. Ciertamente algunos miembros de la Orden consideran que la evolución de la Orden pasa por la modificación de lineamientos o reglas, pero aquí debemos preguntarnos a quien beneficia esto realmente. Lamentablemente la ignorancia esta presente aun dentro de nuestras filas, dado que la mayoría de los "HH:." que están en contra de los Landmarks ni siquiera se han tomado la molestia de leerlos antes de opinar.

La Masonería es vista y vivida de diferente modo por cada H:. pero al ingresar a ella se hacen juramentos, los cuales tienden a olvidarse con los años. La Mas:. esta diseñada para el beneficio de cada H:. y su desarrollo personal pero JAMAS a costa de otro H:. . Debemos interrogarnos entonces si el "miembro" de tal o tal Log:. al solo utilizar la Orden para su propia conveniencia no debería ser llamado al orden por su Taller, o incluso suspendido hasta que cambie de actitud. Esto es bastante difícil en la practica cuando sabemos bien que los intereses mezquinos infectan también las altas esferas de nuestras OOb:. . Seguramente algunos HH:. deben estar ofuscados por tales propósitos pero el cerrar los ojos no es una solución y esta situación es un claro reflejo del laxismo y desinterés de los Log:. en el momento de las elecciones.

Esta situación es simplemente consecuencia del distanciamiento entre LLog:. y Principios Básicos de la Orden. Es tiempo de retomar lo que le dio sus letras de Oro a la Orden, pulir nuestra piedra y alejarse de los ambiciosos e hipócritas.

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Early Masonic Documents
PDF

Las Constituciones de Anderson (English)
PDF

THE FOUNDATIONS OF REGULAR CRAFT RITUAL

In 1740 throughout Europe was circulating a Masonic oath written on a pamphlet invoking that the Freemason will protect and preserve the Traditions, Uses and Costumes of the Craft.

In order to preserve and avoid losing the original meaning and to prevent any further deviation and other foreign innovations from taking place, forced upon us by those not knowing the Traditions of the Craft, its uses and customs of Ancient Freemasonry, the Masonic High Council the Mother High Council issues the following Craft Document under the name and title of “The Foundations of Regular Craft Ritual”, to be used as the guidelines of Ancient and Regular Craft Masonry constituting the basic requirements for the perpetuation of Regular Craft Freemasonry.

1. All Craft Freemasonry Rituals had their origin in England.

2. That there be no debarment from membership because of nationality, of race, of colour, of sectarian or political belief; that a belief in the G.A.O.T.U. and His revealed will shall be an essential qualification for membership.

3. That all initiates shall take their Obligation on or in full view of the open Volume of Sacred Law, by which is meant the revelation from above which is binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being initiated. At all times the book of Kings must be present as this is where the record of the building of Solomon’s Temple is first given and constitutes the base of the Craft legend.

4. That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the Lodges under its control, i.e., that it shall be a responsible, independent, self-governing organisation with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft or Symbolic Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to, or divide such authority with, a Supreme Council or other Power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.

4.1 That preserves, works and performs the complement ceremonies of the Mark Man, Mark Mason to the Fellow Craft Degree and Installed or Past Master Ceremonies to the Master Mason Degree, of which all this workings or ceremonies of Ancient Craft freemasonry must be used in complement to all Regular Craft Rituals of EA, FC and MM.

4.2 That no Master Mason shall be allowed to take the Chair of the WM of a Regular Craft Lodge if he has not been installed.

5. In accordance with earlier Craft English ritual the three Lesser or Movable Lights of the Lodge being the Sun, First Quarter Moon and the Worshipful Master shall always be on display when the Grand Lodge or its constituent Lodges are at work; to light man to, at, and from their work, the chief of these being the Worshipful Master.

6. That the three Great Lights of Freemasonry shall always be on display when the Grand Lodge or its constituent Lodges are at work: the Square, Compasses and the chief of these being the Volume of Sacred Law, these being the fixed lights of the Lodge.

7. As per the usage of the Grand Lodge of London (1717-1723) the two Wardens are situated in the West of the Lodge, and represent the two pillars at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple, and the Brethren must always enter the Lodge between this two pillars, that the Masonic Delta with or without the all seeing eye must be placed above the altar or table of the Worshipful Master, (no other altar or extra altar exists in Craft Freemasonry).
Only wax candles are used on the altar or desk of the WM, SW, JW, Secretary, Orator, and around the Tracing Board of the Lodge.
The Sword a Masonic symbol its use must be preserved and maintained.
The Tracing Board must always be placed in its traditional place the centre of the Lodge.

8. That the principles of the Ancient Charges, Customs, and Usages of the Craft shall be accordingly observed.

8.1 That the Grand Officers and Officers of a Craft Lodge must be elected every year.

9. Master Masons Aprons can also be painted depicting the symbols of the Craft Freemasonry.

10. That a Grand Lodge must be multi-ritualistic.

10.1 That a Regular Craft Ritual has to have a Opening an Initiation and a Closing;
that it must make allusion to the G.A.O.T.U.;
that it must have at least the book of Kings must be present as this is where the record of the building of Solomon’s Temple is first given and constitutes the base of the Craft legend;
that the Legend is of the Craft Degrees is that of Hiram Abif or Adoniram and of no other.

11. That all Freemasons must believe in the Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man and the immortality of the Spirit.

11.1 That the Ancient custom of Masonic Songs in Lodge should be encouraged and be maintained has it serves to further strength the Spirit of the Fraternity and deepen the Bonds of Brotherly Love among all Masons.

12. That the discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge shall be prohibited.

These Masonic principles constitute the Foundations of Regular Craft Ritual.

Lastly, this our Regulations shall be Recorded in our Registry, to show posterity how much we desire to revive the Ancient Craft upon true Masonical principles.


www.rgle.org.uk

The Order of the Royal Arch

The Order of the Royal Arch has long been considered a necessary part of Freemasonry, completing the Master Mason degree.1 And many claims have been made for the antiquity of the Royal Arch degree—based on a legend of rebuilding the Temple under Zerubbabel2—but unfortunately for promoters of the order, there is no evidence for either of these beliefs.

James Anderson, in his legendary History in 1723, wrote
"...wherein the Forms and Usages of the most ancient and worshipful Fraternity are wisely propagated, and the Royal Art duly cultivated, and the Cement of the Brotherhood preserved ; so that the whole Body resembles a well built Arch...."3
This has been cited as a reference to the Royal Arch degree by promoters of the order, but a dispassionate reading of the text does not support this interpretation. So, what are the earliest references?

The first known reference to the Royal Arch is found in Faulkner's Dublin Journal 10-14 January 1743 'which reported that Youghal Lodge No. 21 celebrated St. John's day with a parade in which "the Royall Arch was carried by two Excellent Masters".'4


In 1744, Fifield Dassigny published at Dublin a book entitled A Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland in which he refers to the Royal Arch as a "false system" of "ridiculous innovations" brought to Ireland from York.5

Laurance Dermott, long time Secretary of the Ancient Grand Lodge of England, wrote that he had received the Royal Arch Degree in Ireland on 16 April 1746.

These three are the only known references to the degree prior to 1752, although, for about a decade prior to the latter date, the degree seems to have been conferred on Past Masters at York, London and Dublin.6

The first record of conferment of the Royal Arch degree was George Washington in the lodge at Fredericksburgh, Virginia, on 22 December 1753.7

Masonic scholars have long been in disagreement on the Royal Arch degree's relationship to the Master Mason degree. Although Herbert F. Inman wrote "that it is the proper completion of the Craft Third Degree none can deny,"8 Coil tells us : 'There is no evidence that any part of the Royal Arch Degree was ever part of the Third or other Craft degree, or that anything was ever lopped off from the Third Degree by Thomas Dunckerley or anyone else.'9 In the main, this historical legend can be ascribed to Dr. George Oliver. Again, while Alexander Lawrie, in his History of Freemasonry (1859) held that the Craft degrees were complete in themselves, Dr. W. J. Chetwode Crawley was firmly convinced that the Royal Arch degree was the completing part of the masonic legend.

The Premier Grand Lodge of England signed a Charter of Compact on 22 July 1766 which constituted the Grand and Royal Chapter of the Royal Arch of Jerusalem. In this document, and the records leading up to it, Harry Carr, and many masonic writers of the latter twentieth century agreed with Harry Mendoza who wrote : "there is not the slightest evidence that the Royal Arch is the completion of the M.M.'s degree."10

In the face of this, we're told, in the earliest editions of the Laws for the Society of Royal Arch Masons issued by the Supreme Grand Chapter from 1778 to 1807, that "...by the instructions received in passing through the several probationary degrees of the Craft, (we) are prepared for our most sublime one — namely, Speculative Masory, or the Royal Arch...."11

Note should be made of the language used in the Act of Union when it was "declared and pronounced that pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, vizt., those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch."12

While Laurence Dermott had described the degree as "the Root, Heart and Marrow of Freemasonry"13 and the Antient's Royal Arch regulations of 1794 stressed the importance of "the fourth degree, the Holy Royal Arch"14, the Act of Union refers to the Order but does not qualify it as a degree. The minutes of a Special Convocation of the Supreme Grand and Royal Chapter on 30 November 1813 record their understanding that "by Those Articles the Royal Arch was acknowledged as the perfection of the Master's Degree...."15

Masonic authors such as J. E. S. Tuckett and Count Goblet d'Alviella have argued for the antiquity of the Royal Arch degree and its use as a completion of the Hiramic Legend, while A. F. A. Woodford, Albert Mackey and George Oliver maintained that the Third degree was "mutilated" to create the Royal Arch degree. Bernard E. Jones points out that this opinion is not supported by fact: "There does not seem to be any evidence to support the statement that the Royal Arch was originally a part of any Craft degree."16

J. Heron Lepper, says that he is unable to "accept the theory that the Royal Arch formed an integral part of the ancient masonic tradition." This view is supported by W. Redfern Kelly, William James Hughan and others.17 Gould describes it as a "side or bye degree", a "new degree of Continental origin".18

"Douglas Knoop, a professional historian of marked ability, stated definitely that there is no evidence that our Third Degree legend and our R.A. legend were ever combined in one ceremony."19 This would appear to be the consensus of scholarly opinion today.

This is not to denigrate the value or appropriateness of the Royal Arch degree within Freemasonry. The real history of its growth and development is worthy of study, as are the lessons contained in its teachings.

Source: freemasonry.bcy.ca