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Chapter 5
Initiating a Member
INCE THE DAY when the spiritual children of the Golden Age,
wandering in an earthly paradise were instructed in the arcane laws of life
by visitants from celestial worlds, even down to present-day orthodoxy
with its fantastic and misunderstood ritual, the Mysteries have been conducted in
every land and clime. Their primary object has ever been the same: to impress upon
the soul the vital truths of man's past history and future destiny. Their rightful
purpose is to enlighten the participant concerning his divine source, the nature of his
deific attributes and potentialities, the sublime angelic goal toward which he
struggles, and the manner in which he best can hasten his journey to the heights, and
thus, no longer bound and shackled by sense and environment, come into full
possession of his spiritual heritage.
The ease with which a thing can be remembered depends upon its associations and
the vividness of its impression; a psychological law that ever has been made use of to
implant important truths indelibly in the mind of the candidate. In the first place, the
difficulty of obtaining permission to undergo initiation conveys the impression that
something of tremendous importance is to be revealed in the Mysteries, an
impression subsequently strengthened by the administration of terrible vows and the
acceptance of solemn obligations. Then, with the initiation under way, the situations
are so intense, often terrifying, that their impress is left graven unerasably upon the
tablets of the memory. Thus did the ancients as well as moderns perpetuate their
ideas in never-to-be-forgotten symbolism.
Those whose physical natures were dominant and whose inner perceptions were yet
latent had this symbolism seared on their minds with such vividness as easily to be
recalled and meditated upon at will. Thus the meaning would filter through from the
inner spaces as their soul powers slowly unfolded. To others, of a more sensitive
nature, the stress of the trials, and the mystery surrounding the ritual, frequently
produced a psychic awakening in which there was true illumination. In this higher
consciousness the full meaning and spiritual purport of each symbol was clearly
recognized, and their more acute perceptions opened to them new worlds and a realm
of undreamed of possibilities.
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Now Modern Masonry, no less than Ancient Masonry, explains by its symbolic ritual
that the soul descended from a spiritual Eden into material conditions of toil and
suffering for the sake of experience. Only through experience are Love, Wisdom,
and Self-Consciousness acquired; and only through the conscious application of
love, guided by wisdom, is the soul able to win its way homeward again to realms of
infinite light, a self-conscious, immortal being. There, in full possession of matured
Wisdom and realized Love, it becomes an Angel of the Blest, a Deific Being, the
arbiter and creator of a future universe. Such is the glorious destiny of man as taught
by seers turn.and sages and as revealed by the ritual of Ancient Masonry.
Each Soul Is Responsible for Its
Own Destiny
--Though man is now a pilgrim in a vale of tears, far from his native land, besieged
by perils and hampered by a thousand difficulties, the road to redemption lies straight
ahead. Not salvation by the sacrifice of others! Not a vicarious atonement! Not by the
blood of the innocent! No! Such is not the message of Ancient Masonry handed down
through a million generations. Instead, it teaches the sacrifice of man's animal nature
on the altar of love's devotion, the consecration of the lamb, or creative principle, to a
nobler purpose; to the purpose of building an enduring temple for King Sol, the
indwelling Ego. Such sacrifices alone enable man to atone for past mistakes, and thus
attain salvation, a salvation which frees him from blind fatality and the restrictions of
matter.
Ancient Masonry teaches that each soul is a responsible entity working out its own
deliverance from a voluntary and purposeful incarceration in matter. Freedom can be
obtained only through knowledge of the laws of nature, and conformity in thought
and deed to them. It is the exemplification of these laws relating to the development
of the body, intellect, and soul, that constitutes the paramount message of Ancient
Masonry to the Twentieth Century world. Those who in the long forgotten past
learned in the Mysteries who and what man really is, and the sublime height to which
he may attain, bethought themselves of other souls that in the future would attempt to
climb the same rugged path their feet had trod. When they gained one victory after
another in the struggle for mastery, finally attaining freedom, they therefore left an
outline of the work to be done, of methods to be used in surmounting obstacles, of
laws to be obeyed in order to triumph. This outline of incomparable value is the ritual
of Masonry.
The candidate seeking admittance is called upon to state that his desire for the rites of
initiation is entirely voluntary, free from compulsion, and actuated by a favorable
opinion of the institution. Now in the Bible story, the serpent in the Garden of Eden
represents the wisdom which tempts the soul to leave its spiritual paradise and
descend into matter. The soul realizes that only through partaking of the fruit of good
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and evil, partaking of material experiences, can it develop self-consciousness. This
fruit of its experiences in relative conditions brings to it life, wisdom, and love. The
candidate, therefore, by his statement of voluntary choice, indicates that the soul,
when entering the Cycle of Necessity which constitutes its initiation, is not under
compulsion, but acts through the desire to reap the benefit of material incarnation.
Furthermore, the soul entering upon this cyclic pilgrimage, must abide by the laws of
nature, even though at times this means toil and suffering. Such is indicated by the
candidate's declaration that he promises to conform to all the ancient and established
usages and customs of the Fraternity.
The black and white balls used in balloting to determine if the candidate is acceptable
represent the soul's experiences in material environment preceding its birth into
human form; for before the human state is reached the unconscious mind must
traverse the whole scale of life from mineral upward, subjecting each in turn.
Through the dual powers of attraction, represented by white balls, and repulsion,
represented by black balls, it evolves through all the lower forms of life, in each
progressive organism annexing to its domain the attributes and functions inherent to
that state. Consequently, in the supreme form of man the scale of life is complete, and
he has within his own constitution all types of life, forms, powers, and functions,
expressed upon the planet earth, and likewise the germs of every state in the infinite
realms above.
Having conquered all states below the human, by the law of affinity he is drawn into
the fiery vortex of his parents during their union. The particular soul whose need for
expression most closely corresponds to the polarity and spiritual state of the parents
becomes magnetically attached to the ovum of the mother. One or more black balls
among the white ones indicates the affinity at the time considered is insufficient to
make incarnation possible; but if the ballot is clear, it indicates that no strong
repulsive forces are present, and that conception takes place.
The ballot boxes are passed by the two Deacons, representing Venus and Mars, the
planets of love and passion, of attraction and repulsion. It is the vibrations of love and
passion that attract the soul to its future parents. The ballot box is passed three times
to indicate that the vibrations making conception possible may spring from one or
more of three distinct planes. When vibrations from one plane preponderate a soul of
a very different character is attracted than if the vibrations are chiefly those of
another plane.
If the union is purely physical, the interplay of animal magnetism attracts a soul
whose need for expression is largely physical. If in the union there is love based on
mutual admiration, trust, esteem, and kindred mental qualities, a higher type of entity
will be drawn into the magnetic current. And should there be marked harmony
between the parents on all three planes, engendering soul love as well as magnetic
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affinity and mutual mental interests, the conditions will be fulfilled for bringing into
the world the highest type of mental and moral genius, endowed with a physique
capable of sustaining him in his untiring efforts for the benefit of mankind. From
such unions have sprung the noble philosophers, the inspired reformers, and the truly
great men of all times.
Significance of the Manner in
Which the Candidate Is Clothed
--When the candidate has been accepted he is led into a small room adjoining the
main lodge, where he is prepared by the Senior Deacon for his entrance into the
lodgeroom proper. This small room, or ante-chamber, represents the womb of
woman, where each soul ushered into mundane existence is prepared for its final
earthly initiation. During the period of gestation the fetus briefly passes through the
various stages that correspond to the lower forms of life by which it has ascended to
its present estate, lastly, of course, having passed through and subjected the realms of
animal life. As the Senior Deacon represents the animal soul, the organization of
which in the animal kingdom paved the way to incarnation in human form, we find
him rightly chosen as the one to prepare the candidate for human experience, to lead
him symbolically through the avenue of physical birth into the realm of
self-consciousness.
The animal soul, corresponding to the Senior Deacon, supervises the various
automatic functions of the body. Thus it is that the heart beats, the lungs breathe, and
the processes of digestion, assimilation, and secretion are carried on, largely
independent of conscious thought and direction. When conception takes place, it is
also the animal soul that directs the building of the embryo, the clothing with a
material form the soul soon to see in human form the light of day. Therefore, in the
ante-chamber of the lodge, first making him remove all his garments but his shirt, the
candidate is clothed by the Senior Deacon.
Covering the upper portion of his body, and thus representing the astral form in
which the soul functions just before incarnation, the shirt is not removed. The astral
form, whether in or out of matter, covers the soul through all the various
transformations by which it scales the cyclic rounds of evolutionary life on earth.
His lower garments are removed, and in their stead he is clad in red flannel drawers.
Flannel is made from the wool of sheep, and is therefore under the dominion of the
astrological sign Aries. Aries is the sign of creative energy, and when the Ancient
Masons wished to denote virility, they used as symbol a sheep, a ram, a lamb, or some
garment made from them. Aries rules the head of man, and thus signifies mental
creative energy as well as that physical, but in this instance the color is red, denoting
blood, lust, and carnal desires; the physical aspect of the planet Mars. The shirt,
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which the candidate still wears, indicates that the soul has not evolved high enough to
be free from its astral body. It is still bound and limited by an astral raiment largely
organized by the grosser desires and impulses of the animal realms through which it
has just ascended; the red drawers indicating animal passion and the use of creative
energy for sensual gratification.
To represent the soul's inability to see and comprehend either physical facts or
spiritual truths when first born into human form, the candidate is blindfolded. This
condition is also typical of the masses of humanity who have no knowledge either of
physical science or of esoteric wisdom. They grope through life swayed by every
wind that blows, accepting as fact the assertions of others who pose as repositories of
wisdom, yet who are as destitute of the true light as they themselves.
Such understanding as they have is negative, based upon the authority of others. This
is symbolized by the left, or negative foot alone being unshod, free for action, while
the right is hampered by a shoe made from the skin of an animal. Right understanding
is as yet restricted by, immersed in, the animal propensities. In this stage of
development, as well as at birth, man's emotions and aspirations spring from
material motives. This is shown by the candidate's left breast being bare.
Furthermore, man's works at this stage are executed upon the physical plane. This is
signified by one arm being hampered by clothing, while the left, or negative arm, to
be free to work, is left bare.
Now the ego, or spiritual potentiality, is incapable of descending into material
conditions, which the soul alone can enter; but at all times there is a faint vibratory
line of communication between the two. Thus the soul is vitalized and sustained,
receiving energy from the ego to enable it ever to struggle upward. This line of
rapport, by which the soul at all times is connected with the ego, is represented by the
cable-tow.
This cable-tow is placed around the neck and left arm of the candidate. The neck is
ruled by Venus, the planet of love. The cable-tow placed around the neck, therefore,
points to the power of affection to strengthen the line of communication between the
soul and ego. The arm is the agent of service, and the cable-tow around the left arm
indicates the paramount value, as an agent for strengthening the bond between soul
and ego, of being of greatest possible service to others on the physical plane. The
power of love to lead the soul from the lower to the higher is further emphasized; for
it is the duty of the Junior Deacon, representing Venus, the planet of love, to lead the
candidate to the door of the lodge.
As the candidate enters the lodge, the Senior Deacon, representing Mars, the planet
of strife, presses a compass in a painful manner against his naked left breast. The
mother's love for her unborn child conducts it up to the period of parturition, where
stern and cruel Mars takes charge of affairs. In so far as the higher laws of life have
been violated by passion and sensualism, in that much does the offspring inherit a
body and mind tortured by emotions and desires that conflict with those laws. It is
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only when man's desires are not contrary to the spiritual laws of his being that he is
able to escape misery and suffering, sickness and failure, and the thousand and one
ills to which the flesh is heir. The higher laws are represented by the compass, and the
purely physical desires and emotions that sometimes conflict with these laws to
cause suffering are symbolized by the left breast.
Inside the lodge the candidate kneels while a prayer to the Father of the universe is
offered asking that his life may be consecrated to service, and that wisdom may come
to him. When asked in whom he places his trust, he answers: "In God." It is only
when the neophyte consecrates his life to Deity and places his faith in divine
providence that he may expect the assistance of unseen helpers who will conduct his
initiation and will lead him to the light. Man's inward yearning for something higher
than the purely physical, his devout aspirations and unselfish resolutions, are prayers
that ascend to the upper spheres and attract forces and intelligences that unknown to
himself lead him to the fulfillment of his hopes. It has been truly said that nothing is
impossible to a good and determined man; for faith is the avenue to the soul world.
The candidate is led three times around the room while the Master reads the 133rd
Psalm, which has already been explained. This indicates that man must evolve
through three planes: the physical, the astral and the spiritual. The Junior Warden
represents the spiritual body. Therefore, to convey the thought that on the third, or
spiritual plane, man functions in a spiritual body, the candidate is halted in front of
the Junior Warden. Furthermore, as the Senior Warden represents the divine soul,
and the Master represents the ego, both of which are also present on the spiritual
plane, he is next led to the Senior Warden and finally, as representing the most
interior of all, to the Master.
The Master demands to know from whence he comes and whither he travels. To
which he replies that he comes from the west and travels to the east in search of light.
The answer is entirely correct; for the west, astrologically considered, is feminine,
and thus symbolizes matter, while the east is masculine, and symbolizes spirit. The
soul involved from spirit into matter, but is now on the ascending arc, evolving from
matter to spirit. It therefore is traveling eastward, toward the source of light, toward
spirituality.
The First Step Toward the Light
--Spirituality, however, is not gained by haphazard effort. Its attainment requires
systematic endeavor based upon a full understanding of just what is sought and the
various steps by which it may be reached. The candidate, therefore, is next instructed
in the proper manner of approaching the east. He is taken back to the west, or material
plane, and caused to advance by one upright regular step, to the first step, his feet
forming the right angle of an oblong square, his body erect at the altar.
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This oblong square is made by the candidate stepping forward with his left foot and
drawing the heel of the right foot into the hollow of it, making the feet stand at right
angles. The feet symbolize understanding, and thus placed represent the union of
male and female. The upright body symbolizes will. The first step toward the light,
therefore, according to the Ancient Masons, is the will to understand the mysteries of
generation. This symbolic attitude implies that man should always keep his desires
and passions under the control of a resolute will. He should never be inconsiderate of
the finer feelings and delicate sensitiveness of woman, should never force
unwelcome attentions upon her, but permit her to abide her own pleasure; for in
forming the oblong square it is the left, or feminine foot, that makes the first advance.
The teachings of the Ancient Masons in this respect, as revealed by symbolism, seem
to be this: They regarded marriage as a sacred institution, in which man and woman
should assist each other through arousing tender and sympathetic emotions, noble
aspirations, and spiritual ideals. Undue aggressiveness on the part of either is sure to
defeat this end, because love is not subject to demand, but must be won. The man who
forces attentions upon a woman, even though she be his wife, quickly turns affection
into disgust and love into loathing. Nor should the woman who, as soon as the legal
knot is tied, ceases to put forth an effort to retain the love and admiration of her
husband, expect to arouse in him those higher feelings and emotions that give to
marriage its constructive power.
Love thrives upon kindness and tender consideration. Little attentions,
thoughtfulness for the welfare of the other, and sympathetic understanding, tend to
sustain the warmth of affection between man and wife. Unless the desire for marriage
is mutual there is no fusion of the magnetic forces, and the energies set in motion by
one, meeting with no energies of opposite polarity with which to blend, act as
unbalanced forces that set up discords within the astral constitution. But when
desires are mutual, and the energies aroused are of approximately equal intensity,
finding complete expression by each, there is a fusion of forces that sets up
harmonies within the astral constitution, and these have great constructive power.
Perhaps it should be emphasized, as the symbolism indicates such emphasis, that
both should find complete expression if the energies set in motion are to conduce to
health, happiness, and attainment. But such emphasis may be found in much detail in
the works on psychoanalysis in which the pathological condition that may arise from
such lack of expression is termed the incompletion complex. The advantage of
marriage, from a purely physical standpoint, may also be left to the vital statisticians;
who show that spinsters are much more subject to disease than married women, and
that bachelors are markedly less long lived than married men.
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That magnetic forces, then, may act constructively, and not destructively, it is
necessary that there should be kindred feelings which establish a rapport between
husband and wife. Through this rapport there is an exchange of energies, and a
complete blend that causes the forces to act, not divergently, but in unison. This
principle--that there must be unity of desires, unity of thought, and unity of
emotions--according to Ancient Masonry, is important not alone on the physical
plane of endeavor, but also on the plane of purely mental union and the plane of
purely spiritual marriage.
Aside from this unity, the grade of feeling aroused is the important thing. Like
attracts like. If thoughts are high, if the heart is filled with pure love and sacred
devotion, if the soul outpours in tender blessings, invisible energies are attracted of
like quality. They are attracted at such times even more readily than at any other;
because when the soul is aroused to great intensity it contacts more fully the inner
worlds. The intensity that has the power to contact the astral and draw a soul and
provide for its incarnation is an intensity that at the time places the person directly in
touch with astral forces. If the thoughts be evil, evil energies are attracted; but if the
thoughts be noble, and the aspirations lofty, the higher spheres are contacted and the
energies attracted are spiritually constructive.
Jachin and Boaz are United by
Electromagnetic Boundary-Line
Energy
--The two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, one at the right and the other at the left of the
great Eastern Gateway, divide the zodiac, even as the earth is divided into two
polarities. Extending from one polarity on the earth to the other are lines of force,
constituting a magnetic field, which exerts the commonly observed influence upon
the needle of a compass.
Likewise between Jachin and Boaz, when they are considered as the inner plane and
the outer plane--as well as between man and woman--there are lines of force and
exchanges of energy. And the character of these energies--their trend and rate of
vibration--are pronouncedly influenced by the relations between husband and wife,
as set forth to the candidate in the symbolism of his FIRST STEP TOWARD THE
LIGHT.
Whether or not Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is correct in other particulars
need not here concern us. But according to that theory, and according to theories of
other scientists, the ordinary ideas about time, space and gravitation are applicable to
things which move with the more commonly observed velocities; but when the
velocity of light is approached, the classical laws of gravitation no longer apply,
space no longer has the relations commonly assigned to it, and time slows down.
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In reference to time having different characteristics on the inner plane (the structure
and vibrations of which are fully explained in Course 1, Laws of Occultism), on April
25 of this year (1938) experiments were described to the National Academy of
Science at Washington, which are supposed to prove the reality of the ether (which
we term the BOUNDARY-LINE SUBSTANCE) and to verify the assumption of
Einstein's Theory of Relativity that time slows down as high velocities are acquired.
The experiments were conducted by Dr. Herbert E. Ives. To quote from the report:
The newest (experiment), concerning one of the great mysteries of science, involved
timing events in a vacuum tube. It showed that a moving clock keeps slower time
than one standing still. It gave an inkling to the nature of `ether' as probably a sea of
energy, stationary and filling all known space.
In considering the realms of Jachin and Boaz it should be kept in mind that time
relations, conditions affecting space, and the influence of gravitation which so
commonly limit activity on the outer plane of Boaz, do not thus limit activity and the
range of perception and consciousness on the inner plane of Jachin; and that the only
communication which can be established between the two planes is through utilizing
the BOUNDARY-LINE ENERGY which has a velocity similar to that of light.
As the soul of man is an organization on the inner plane, while man is on the earth he
can affect it in any way only through utilizing the boundary-line energy. This
boundary-line energy is generated by the cells of the physical body. These constitute
miniature electric batteries, of which the nerve cells are most potent. It is utilized as
the nerve currents which direct the physical activity, and as the energy which enables
all types of objective thinking. Through this boundary-line energy thought and states
of consciousness experienced on the physical plane build the structure of the soul on
the inner plane.
Emotion of any kind is due to the presence of an unusual amount of this
boundary-line electrical energy in the nervous system. It is this excess of
boundary-line energy which enables certain experiences of life so powerfully to
impress themselves upon the unconscious mind (which occupies the inner plane) that
they form complexes, fixations, or other mental difficulties. And it is through an
excess of this boundary-line energy that the inner plane is consciously contacted
either negatively or positively; negatively if the potential is low, and positively if the
potential is high and thus subject to the individual's control.
As in affectional relations of any type there is also generated an excess of this
boundary-line energy, the thoughts and emotions then present in the mind, or during
the period in which electromagnetic forces are present in unusual volume, have a
tremendous power to cross from the plane of Boaz to the plane of Jachin and do work
there. That is, they then, because of the volume of boundary-line energy available for
their use, become powerful agents to build or destroy.
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They enable the level of the astral plane to be contacted which corresponds to the
thoughts with which they are charged at the time. And not only does this enable the
intelligence of this level to be contacted, but there is indrawn, to feed the soul,
substance of that vibratory level.
Nutrition on the Inner Plane
--On the physical plane we partake of food by eating. About 72 percent of all
protoplasm, however, is oxygen, a large portion of which is partaken of through
breathing. We partake of food through breathing quite as truly as through eating; and
as a relative measure of the importance of the two methods of food gaining it is
known that we can go without eating or drinking considerable time, but can only
survive a short time without breathing. On the higher astral, and on the spiritual
plane, man no longer must eat organic substance to live, he no longer eats his
fellows--for even plants are his lowly kin. In these higher realms he is nourished
entirely through a process similar to breathing.
Furthermore, even while yet occupying a physical body, his astral body to some
extent, and his spiritual body entirely, is nourished by a process similar to breathing.
Every mental state adds its energies to the astral body. Every mental state also has an
attractive power. Deep thought, or depressive thoughts, cause a person on the
physical plane markedly to lessen his breathing. Surprise, good news, or excitement
causes a person to take a deep breath, or to breathe deeply. Acting on principles not
dissimilar, every emotion, every mental state, affects the breathing on the inner
plane. It affects it not merely as to quantity, but also as to quality. The refinement of
the substance built into the astral body depends upon the refinement of the thoughts
and feelings. And it is only when the feelings and emotions are up to a certain
refinement that they can influence spiritual substance in any way. But if the emotions
are intense, and at the same time lofty, tender, and unselfish, as they are when true
refined love is in the ascendant, they cause a respiration of spiritual substance. They
contact this inner plane and draw to the spiritual body spiritual nourishment which
builds up and strengthens it. Lofty, noble, tender, aspiring emotions build up the
spiritual form by supplying it with spiritual food.
Possessing an understanding of the mysteries of generation, and keeping his desires
under the control of a resolute will, the next step of the candidate symbolizes
wedlock. It is made before the altar, to indicate that of all the acts possible to man, this
is the most holy, sacred, and ennobling, when actuated by love, and its inner laws are
obeyed. It is then that the inner spaces open and the germs of divine power are
contacted. This is the mystery of the Holy Shekinah, so carefully guarded by the
Jewish Kabalists. The candidate steps off with his right foot, and kneels on his left
knee, the knees forming right angles. This position gives the appearance of a hollow
square, or room, above which the body is virtually perpendicular. He then places his
left hand, palm up, under the Holy Bible, and his right hand on the compass and
square that are on the Bible. In this position he is required to take the oath.
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The Bible is the "Oral Law," the compass and square symbolize the "Written Law,"
and the position of his hands symbolize union. His attitude before the altar signifies
his willingness to sacrifice his lower nature to the higher self. Symbolically, he thus
swears strictly to obey both the spiritual laws and the physical laws of generation;
and in token of his sincerity he is required to kiss the book twice.
As the result of obedience to these laws, and the realization of the higher love, his
soul aspires to wisdom and awakens to a knowledge of higher truths. This aspiration
and knowledge draw to him those who are able further to enlighten him. To indicate
this, the brethren clap their hands and stamp their feet on the floor, whereupon the
bandage drops from his eyes. The clapping of hands signifies the work of those who
strive to spread the light, the stamping of feet signifies their understanding, and the
bandage dropping from the eyes indicates the illumination that results from noble
sentiments inspired by pure love.
When love has removed the scales from his eyes the candidate perceives Three Great
Lights which are revealed by Three Lesser Lights. The Three Great Lights of
Masonry, so the Master explains to him, are the Holy Bible, the Square, and the
Compass. The Bible, or Oral Law, contains in its symbolism the knowledge gained
by investigating nature's laws in the remote past. The Compass and Square, or
written Law, represent the actual forces of nature. The square relates to the physical
world, to the realm of effects, and the compass relates to the inner planes, the realm of
causes. Together they embrace all natural law, and exemplify the Hermetic Axiom:
"As it is above, so it is below."
The Three Lesser Lights of Masonry are three burning tapers placed on candlesticks,
standing in a triangular group. They typify man's reason, his physical senses, and his
psychic senses. Man perceives with his physical senses the physical universe. With
his psychic senses he perceives the inner worlds. With his reason he gathers together
the separate strands of experience, outer and inner, and thus gains knowledge of both
exoteric and esoteric law. He can both read the records left in books by men, and read
the records left in the astral world, as well as make independent investigation.
In the universal temple the three greater lights are the Sun, Moon, and Venus; and the
three lesser lights are their corresponding qualities of Life, Light, and Love, that give
purpose to existence, serve as beacons to light the pilgrim on his lonely way, and
beckon him encouragingly to struggle ever upward.
The grip of an E.A. Mason is a pressure of the thumb at the base of the other's index
finger. In palmistry the thumb denotes power of will. The base of the first finger is
ruled by the planet Jupiter, as are also the phrenological faculties of veneration,
benevolence, hope, spirituality, and those impulses that spring from generosity and
the feeling of good fellowship. When, then, the Master says, "I now present you my
right hand in token of friendship and brotherly love," he indicates the paramount
importance of unselfishness and good will in spiritual attainment. The grip
symbolizes the will to be kind and benevolent. Its name is Boaz, and in naming it the
word is halved, the candidate saying the letters "B-O," and the Master saying, "A-Z."
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Boaz is the left hand pillar of the porch of Solomon's Temple. In the cosmic lodge it
typifies the southern half of the ecliptic; for when the sun enters this half the nights
are longer than the days and winter gains victory over summer. In humanity, Boaz
represents the formative powers of woman; in the individual man it represents his left
side and his negative attributes. Even as man and woman each contain within
themselves both positive and negative qualities, so each half of the ecliptic contains a
positive and a negative season, the two being divided by the solstice. Thus the signs
Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, belong to B-O, and Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces,
to A-Z.
Around the Zodiac Through Boaz
and Jachin
--Now as the sun, typifying the soul, reaches the sixth sign, which is an earthy sign,
or six pots of stone, it turns, by means of the vineyard, water into wine. Wine is
symbolic of the creative energy of the Lamb, but as the sun is in the sign of the Virgin
and at the commencement of the feminine season, it here must symbolize the creative
function particularly of woman. The cross upon which the sun is crucified is that
where summer and winter meet, the cross of Libra where the sun crosses the celestial
equator. By this crucifixion the sun is drawn down into the signs of winter, even as
the soul is drawn from a spiritual state into matter, thus entering the region of Boaz.
Consequently, the wine pressed in autumn from the grape, and the blood flowing
from wounds of a crucified sun as his forces wane, both express the redemptive
power of woman's creative periods which make possible the weaving of a material
garment, or shroud, for the incarnating soul.
The sun reaches its lowest point, or place of the soul's birth into matter, at the time it
enters the earthy sign Capricorn, thus being born in the manger of the goat. Capricorn
is ruled by the planet Saturn, therefore, he is persecuted by the ruler of the country, by
Herod. Egypt is the land of darkness and privation, and this is the time of year marked
by dearth and famine, hence the sun flees into Egypt. Nevertheless, the twelfth day
after birth at Christmas, the sun may be perceived to be gaining in power. This
twelfth day is called the Epiphany, meaning appearance; and so we learn that the
Christos, when twelve years old, put in an appearance at the temple and manifested
his true character. During the remainder of his youth, due to the clouds that obscure
the sky at this time of year, although gradually conquering this region of sin as he
moves northward, he is lost to view.
By the Hermetic System of Astrology, one day's movement in the sky measures out
the influence for one year in the life of man. The sun's movement through the 30
degrees of Capricorn equals thirty years of life--thirty years of age before it enters
the sign of the Man, Aquarius. From the urn of Aquarius flow forth the baptismal
rains of winter that melt the snow and ice and purify the earth; and as soon as the sun
is thirty degrees of age, the baptism takes place. Furthermore, as soon as he has left
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the sign of Satan behind him--the sign Capricorn--we find him tempted, but saying;
"Get thee behind me Satan." In Aquarius, the sign of wisdom, of knowledge of good
and evil, his true work begins. The emotions--shown by the water from the Aquarian
urn--lifts his soul to a spiritual baptism, and the Holy Ghost descends in the form of a
dove, sacred to Venus the planet of love, and lights upon him.
As the result of wisdom and inspiration, intuition and reason, the personal love
engendered in Aquarius expands as the sun moves northward toward the region of
Jachin, or spirit, until it becomes the teaching of brotherly love, or love for all
mankind, the utopian ideal of the sign Pisces. From this sign of the fish, then, he
draws his disciples to become anglers of men.
After delivering to the world his spiritual message, as indicated by light
predominating over darkness, the days being longer than the nights while the sun is in
the northern half of the zodiac, the sun again approaches the autumnal cross to enter
Boaz. Judas is there, represented by the sign of death, Scorpio, thirty degrees--thirty
pieces of silver--from the cross of Libra. After the crucifixion the sun descends into
the tomb of Capricorn, the lowest point in its cycle, where it enters this earthy sign. At
this point, which is the winter solstice, the sun in so far as north and south movement
is concerned apparently is stationary. But after three days in the tomb, the stone is
rolled away by the angel of the Lord--the angle of the Law--in this case the southern
angle of the ecliptic. His ascension into the spiritual region of Jachin, into the
summer zodiacal signs, takes place on Easter, which is the first Sunday after the First
Full Moon after the sun crosses the vernal equinox.
Man immersed in frigid materialism has as little genial warmth as the sun after it dies
on the autumnal cross. To be rejuvenated he must experience a higher love, a higher
union, even as the sun is resurrected and rejuvenated on the rosy cross of the vernal
equinox. Union, like that of the autumnal equinox, may result in death and
destruction, the icy selfishness of winter; or, like that of the vernal cross, bring
warmth, affection, and the blush of dawn of a new era. The sun, resurrected by the
virile powers of the Lamb, or Aries, typifies the soul drawn by pure affections from
material winter into Jachin, the realm of spirituality. The true ascension does not take
place in the case of the sun, however, without the assistance of the moon, for Easter
depends upon Full Moon. Likewise, the noblest efforts and highest ideals of man
depend upon the refining influence of woman, and he ascends into the truly spiritual
realms only with her co-operation.
As to the word Boaz, we find in the tarot that the letter "B" is "The Gate to the
Sanctuary," and the letter "O" is "The Lightning Struck Tower." The former pictures
a woman at the gate to the holy of holies, and the latter indicates the destructive use of
the creative forces. The letter "A" is "The Magus," typical of intelligence and will;
and the letter "Z" is "The Chariot of Triumph," illustrating victory over temptation
and sovereignty of mind over matter.
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The letters thus represent the progress of the sun through the negative half of the year,
first descending into darkness, and later ascending in triumph over it. They also
sign-board the way by which the discerning may triumph over physical limitations
and reach spiritual illumination.
Significance of the Lamb-Skin
Apron
--The candidate is told that the lamb-skin apron has been worn by the great men of
earth; and as typifying the virility that must sustain all worthy effort this is
undoubtedly true. It is said to be more ancient than the Golden Fleece or the Roman
Eagle, and more honorable than the Star and Garter. The Golden Fleece is symbol of
the sun's virile powers in the sign of the Ram. The Roman Eagle is symbol of the
sun's fruitfulness in the sign Scorpio; for the eagle is one symbol used for this
zodiacal sign of sex. The five-pointed star typifies intelligent man. The garter, upon
which the Star and Garter order is founded, was originally a girder used by women at
their creative periods. The order thus honors woman's power to mold the destiny of
the human race, and consecrates itself to use its creative energies intelligently.
The shape of the apron is a square surmounted by a triangle. The lower portion is the
passive square, Boaz, typifying the four elemental realms, the four lower sections of
man's constitution, the formative powers of woman, and matter as distinct from
spirit. The trine above, with its point tapering toward heaven, symbolizes the active
Jachin, typical of the higher trinity of man's constitution, the creative attribute of
man, spirit as distinct from matter, and the divine fire of heaven.
The strings of the apron tied about the candidate's waist, the region ruled by the sign
Libra; corresponding to the autumnal cross, divides his body into two halves as the
zodiac is divided by the equinoctial colure. The portion of the body below the waist is
ruled by those signs in which the sun is found in winter. The body also naturally is
divided into right and left halves, this dividing line corresponding to the solstitial
colure, which divides both Jachin and Boaz into positive and negative portions. The
apron strings crossing this vertical division divide the body into four sections. The
candidate thus accurately represents the universe above divided into the four
quadrants that give rise to the four seasons. The apron, a trine above and a square
below, or a full complement of seven, symbolizes the seven planets which move
ceaselessly through the four quadrants of heaven. The point of the apron,
representing the sun, is worn exactly over the solar, or sun, plexus.
In this degree, typical of the material plane of effort, the square only covers the region
of Scorpio. This indicates that the creative energy is expended on the physical plane.
The rapport between body, soul, and spirit, therefore, is imperfect, and the higher
trinity of man's constitution has but little influence over the lower quaternary. The
raising of the creative forces to a higher plane of expression, the process of
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regeneration, is indicated by turning up one corner of the apron. To indicate that the
forces have been so completely spiritualized that the lower quaternary is completely
controlled and directed by the higher trinity, the flap of the apron is permitted to fall
down over the square. This signifies that the ego manifests completely through the
body.
The Candidate Tries to Borrow
Money
--In concluding the initiation the candidate is asked for a piece of money, or for
something metallic. As he has nothing of the kind with him he tries, but in vain, to
borrow. Money represents value, but to the soul the thing of value is wisdom.
Knowledge is earned through experience. Man is born into the world in ignorance,
and by his own efforts he must earn wisdom. He cannot borrow wisdom from another
nor can another learn his lessons for him. Experiences on the physical plane are of
various kinds, and even as metal is of more value than common earth, so are certain
experiences, symbolized by metal, of higher quality and greater value than others.
These finer experiences, though still of the physical plane, are not to be slighted, for
they are necessary steps in progression.
By the same symbol is also conveyed the information that knowledge of the higher
mysteries can never be purchased for material considerations. The candidate's effort
to purchase his way into initiation fails, as it must always fail; for the real truths of
nature are revealed only to the worthy, and without price.
"Knock and it will be opened unto you."