VI VERI VENIVERSUM VIVUS VICI


dimanche 30 janvier 2011

The Companion's Jewel of the Royal Arch


Symbolism


The Companion's Jewel of the Royal Arch is a double triangle, sometimes known as the Seal of Solomon, within a circle of gold; at the bottom is a scroll bearing the words, Nil nisi clavis deest - "Nothing is wanting but the Key;" and on the circle appears the legend, Si talia jungere possis sit tibi scire satis - "If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest enough." On the triangle is inscribed EYPHKAMEN (Eurekamen) - invenimus cultor dei civis mundi - "We have found the worship of God, O citizen of the world." On the reverse of the circle are engraven the words, Deo, regi, et fratribus; honor, fidelitas, benevolentia - "For God, king and the brethren; honour, fidelity and benevolence;" and on the reverse of the triangles, Wisdom, Strength, Beauty, Peace, Concord, Truth.

Within these is another triangle, with the sun in the centre, irradiated; a pair of compasses issue from the sun, suspending a globe representing the earth, beneath these is , the triple Tau, signifying, among other occult things, Templum Hierosolyma, the Temple at Jerusalem. It also means Clavis ad Thesaurum - "A key to the treasure" - and Theca ubi res pretiosa - "A place where the precious thing is concealed," or Res ipsa pretiosa - "The precious thing itself." It is usual to add on the scroll the date of the exaltation of the wearer to the Companionship of the Holy Royal Arch.

This Jewel, by its intersections, forms a given number of angles, to be taken in five several combinations, which, being reduced to their amounts in right angles will be found equal to the five regular Platonic bodies, representing the four elements and the Universal Sphere. These combinations will be found respectively to correspond in geometrical value with the five regular solids contained under equal and equilateral triangle equal squares and equal and equilateral pentagons, viz., the Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Cube, Icosahedron and Dodecahedron, which were used by the Platonists to express the four elements and the sphere of the Universe. It may be proper here to state that the Platonic theory was this, that the Universe itself, as well as its subordinate parts, both animate and inanimate, were created by the Deity from the four elements - Fire, Air Water and Earth. It was conceived according to this theory that all created matter must be both visible and tangible. Now, considering Fire as the source of light, it was plain that nothing can be visible without it; and since nothing can be tangible but what is solid, and that the earth is the most properly solid of all the four elements, therefore, all created matter was constituted of Fire and Earth.

Again, it was supposed by the Platonists that no two bodies could unite and cohere without some intervening medium to consolidate them; that two planes required one such medium, and solids two. Therefore, the Deity constituted two intervening elements between fire and earth, viz., air and water, in such a manner that there might be an exact analogy between the four' i.e., as fire is to air, so is air to water, and as air is to water, so is water to earth; thus forming a regular and harmonious gradation from the lightest and most penetrating of the elements to the heaviest and most obtuse. Now all the elements except the earth are without form in themselves; yet, in order to assist the mind in arranging its ideas, it is necessary to attach some form to them. Therefore, since the elements are bodies, and all bodies are solid, and bounded by superficies which consist of triangles either equilateral or otherwise, the

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Platonic theory assigned to each of the four elements the form of a solid, bounded by plane surfaces constituted of triangles; for although one of those solids is bounded by square and another by pentagons, yet it will be evident that equilateral rectilineal figures may be resolved into as many triangles as the sides have united by their vertices in a common centre.(See Figs.1 and 2)

Having thus stated the general outline of the Platonic theory, we proceed to show that, by the assistance of the Key , the Jewel forms by its various triangles and intersections an equivalent in geometrical value for the five regular solids expressing the four elements and the sphere of the universe. The hermetic T was a most ancient hieroglyphical representation of the Deity, and consequently the , denotes His triunessence, and in geometrical value is eight right angles, viz., two on each of the exterior lines, and two at the point of union in the centre.

In this figure (Fig. 3) which is similar to that in which the six lights are arranged, there will be found a geometrical value equivalent to the , for since the interior angles of every triangle are together equal to two right angles, the whole triangle here displayed resolves itself into four equal and equilateral triangles; that is, three on the extremities (a, b & c), and a fourth (d) by their union at the centre. It follows, therefore, that the triangle thus resolved is equal to eight right angles, and consequently to one .

If you look at the Jewel, or on this figure (Fig. 4), where it is represented, you will perceive that it consists of two larger equal and equilateral triangles, A B C and D E F, inscribed in one circle and equally intersecting each other and of a smaller triangle in the centre, G H I, which divides or resolves the larger inverted triangle, D E F, after the manner explained in the former figure.

First, then, the central triangle G H I, resolved into its elements according to the first figure, will be equal to eight right angles, or , and these are equal in amount to those found in the Tetrahedron - a solid figure contained under four equal and equilateral triangles. This body (each of the solid angles of which is formed by the union of three plane acute angles), on account of its lightness, as well as its acute and pyramidal form, is used by the Platonists to express the element Fire.

2dly The two larger triangles A B C, D E F, considered without regard to their intersections, and resolved upon the foregoing principles, will be = 2 , or 16 right angles, which are equal in amount to those contained in the Octahedron, a solid figure comprised of eight equal and equilateral triangles. This body (each of the solid angles of which is formed by the union of four plane acute angles), being next in lightness and acuteness to the Tetrahedron, was used by the Platonists to express the element Air.

3dly. The triangles A B C, D E F, and G H I (i.e., the two larger and the small central triangle), considered without regard to intersections, and resolved by the same rule, will be found = 3 , or 24 right angles which are equal in amount to those contained in the Cube, a solid figure contained by six equal squares. This body (each of the solid angles of which is formed by the union of three plane right angles), being the most substantial in form, as well as the firmest and most immovable on its basis, of all the solids, was used by the Platonists to express the element Earth.

4thly. Consider now the inverted triangle D E F, as divided into 4 lesser ones by the central triangle G H I, and add to these the other large triangle A B C. These five triangles, considered again without regard to intersection, and resolved in the same manner as before, will be = 5 , or 40 right angles, which are equal in amount to those contained in the Icosahedron, a solid body bounded by 20 equal and equilateral triangles. This body (each of the solid angles of which is formed by the union of 5 plane acute angles), being the heaviest of the solids contained by triangles, and the next in weight to the Cube, was used by the Platonists to express the element Water.

Thus 1st, the central triangle G H I = , is equivalent to the Tetrahedron which expresses the element Fire. 2d, the two large triangles A B C, D E F, = 2 , are equivalent to the Octahedron which expresses the element Air. 3d, the 3 triangles A B C, D E F, G H I, = 3 , are equivalent to the Cube, which expresses Earth. 4th, the five triangles A B C, E G I, F H I, D G H and G H I = 5 , are equivalent to the Icosahedron, which expresses Water.

It now remains to find an equivalent in the R.A. Jewel for the solid expressing the sphere of the Universe, which is the Dodecahedron, a solid body bounded by 12 equal and equilateral pentagons. (See Fig. 5)

The 6 small triangles round the circumference of the Jewel (formed by the intersections of the 2 larger triangles), together with the central triangle G H I, if resolved in the same manner as the former, will be found to be = 7 , or x 8 = 56 right angles; to these add the external angles of the before-mentioned 6 triangles formed by the intersections of the 2 larger triangles = 16 right angles. For since the exterior angle of every triangle formed by producing one of its sides is equal to the sum of 2 interior and opposite angles, and every angle of one equilateral triangle is equal to one third of two right angles; and as they are 12 in number, their amount in right angles will be 16, that is 12 x 2/3 of 2 = 12 x 1 1/3 = 16. Then 16 added to the before-mentioned 56 right angles will make 72. But by a corollary to the 32d Prob. of the 1st book of Euclid, the interior angles of every rectilinear figure are equal to twice as many right angles - 4 as the figure has sides; hence the interior angles of the 5 sided figure, called a pentagon, are 10-4 = 6 right angles; whence the solid figure called a Dodecahedron being contained by 12 equal and equilateral pentagons, will be 12 x 6 = 72, corresponding with the number of right angles contained in the 7 triangles before mentioned, and the 12 exterior angles of intersections. Thus the Dodecahedron (each of the solid angles of which is formed by the union of 3 plane obtuse angles), approaching nearer to the form of a sphere than any of the other solids bounded by plane superficies, was used by the Platonists to express the sphere of the Universe.

Thus it is proved, by the assistance of the Key , that the R.A. Jewel is equivalent to the five geometrical solids, which were used by the Platonists to express their 4 elements and the sphere of the Universe. In conclusion, let our attention be directed to the fact that the R.A. Jewel thus presents us with an emblem of those great attributes of the Deity - his eternity and triunessence. The former is represented by the circle which surrounds the Jewel, the latter by the relation which its component parts bear to the ; while by the equivalent we find in those parts for the 5 solids expressing the 4 elements and the sphere of the Universe, we are further reminded of His Omnipotence and Creative power, who first formed the elements out of nothing, and from them constituted that mighty frame within whose comprehensive sphere are included myriads of worlds, each containing millions of animated beings dependent on His will and mercy. The Jewel which every Companion wears on his breast should inspire him with profound veneration for that Incomprehensible Being at whose command the world burst forth from chaos into light, and all created matter had its birth; whose Infinite Wisdom directs, and whose unspeakable Goodness preserves and blesses, every work that has proceeded from His hands.

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