Masonic Symbolism

August 11, 2015
Masonic Symbolism is now
I reproduce here the ultimate plate in some six copperplate engravings based in the archives of the masonic lodge in Bamberg in Germany. They were however of British origin, being engraved by P. Lambert R.A. and released working in london in 1789. This sixth plate in the series is particularly wealthy in meaning and because that has apparent hermetic undertones it especially attracted my interest. Thx to Joscelyn Godwin for getting this item to attention. I'm not a masonic scholar so am in no sense capable of analyse the meaning from that perspective, however, you will find a lot of hermetic resonances that It might be instructive to look at the symbolic content in the hermetic point of view. At the minimum we are able to observe how hermetic ideas were woven in to the complex meaning recently 1700s Masonry in England.

This engraving shows an egg-formed space set inside a square frame, here stylised into an architectural form. Three sides of the square setting is really a message spelt in the Royal Arch cipher or secret masonic script. The important thing for this is succumbed the very best right and left hands corners from the square


Thus using the angles from the relevant square C is , E (as it is dotted) is , F is , G (dotted) is , and so forth, K is , S is , while in the central square we have seen that B is , D is , and O is notated . This specific arrangement from the letters is really a blind however, and doesn't decipher the written text, but basically serves as one example of the key from the cipher without offering the key message too easily. I haven't taken time to sort out the cipher, there being barely enough text to perform a letter frequency analysis, but there appear to become three separate encipherings each section being separated with a key symbol. I realize, however, the texts were decoded within an article in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol III, 1890, pp. 36-37, though I haven't had the ability to consult this in planning this short article.

The low side from the square has in British "Nothing with no V point and also the true Title of ", while below this around the plinth is presented "This really is to approve the Title of is presented within the Workplace Stone K". Within the circular radiance that seems from behind the square setting we've the Latin phrase "If you're able to comprehend this stuff, you realize enough", as well as in the center at the end from the plinth we've "Unless of course the bottom line is not missing". Such tease claims have course available on early hermetic and alchemical emblems, a common example being Khunrath's Amphitheatre Engravings designed to use similar phrases to taunt the readers, however this would be a common device in lots of earlier works. I realize these particular phrases are located written around the regalia of the Companion from the Royal Arch.

Round the circumference from the oblong space we discover an infinitely more understandable statement:

Who shows us to create and speak,
To talk in fair and soft terms,
To differentiate truth from falsehood,
To reckon and count all manners of amounts,
The mensuration of lines, superfices, solids,
The proportion, harmony and discords of seem,
The motion of luminaries, planets,
And just how to determine their magnitude
and see the length from the Infinite.
[word(s) in cipher]
Through the seven science from the 7 levels from the Workplace Stone,
Whatever is, is appropriate.

At nighttime space inside the oblong, is positioned:

No Kadosh No Heredom
No Heredom No Knights in combat Templar

No Royal Arch No Knights in combat Templar
No Symbols No Royal Arch

Connecting towards the statement in the center bottom from the plate

"Unless of course the bottom line is not missing"

The central space is adopted with a pattern of eight squares bearing elaborate meaning. A couple of they are shaded to look as 3d blocks instead of flat planes-the main one around the left to be the Brute Stone, although that around the right is labelled the Workplace Stone. The six remaining squares form a design, which may be ended to create a cube.


The panel within the lower corner from the outer square shows the Mithraic mysteries having a 'priest' honoring in an altar created from two flat square gemstones along with a cube. This picture can also be located on among the squares. First we'll think about the 'Brute Stone' and also the 'Cubical Stone'. The Workplace Stone shows the cosmic space from the planetary spheres and also the arena of the heavens. On earth stands Diana the 'Queen of Heaven' bearing seven breasts. Four symbolic objects are proven-the square, compass, plumb-line and scales, recommending the geometric designs of harmony which are based in the cosmos. Beneath her ft may be the 'Physical, Moral, Natural Philosopher's Stone'. This picture echoes the meaning of 1 of Robert Fludd's well-known diagrams.
Contrasting with this particular around the left side from the diagram may be the Brute Stone.
Here a tree is viewed upside lower spanning the mobile phone industry's, its roots under the sun, its branches distributing downwards with the arena of the Moon for the earth. Again this calls in your thoughts another of Fludd's famous diagrams.
The Brute Stone also bears various masonic symbols - the pickaxe and broom, the metronome or pendulum precisely beating time, whilst in the lower left we have seen a mallet, square and level. This is actually the realm around the globe bounded by measurement (each of space and time). In the lower center of this can be a temple with two support beams and central sanctuary and obelisk, recommending the spiritual are available in our planet of measurement through the right use of the cosmic spiritual concepts of mensuration and proportion. At the very top center of the stone is viewed an electric cord with tassels set across two rings. This suggests a type of veil or barrier between your cosmic realm of the planetary spheres and also the outer physical world below, this gulf being spanned through the inverted tree, the descent from the spiritual concepts previously mentioned for a job pressure, instead of abstract concepts.

The six other squares make up the surfaces of the cube when folded away, therefore we can claim that this will be placed upon the Brute Stone, representing the earthly world, and assigned through the Workplace Stone, to create an altar of aspiration. This altar thus consists of inside a coded make up the essence from the work of spiritualising the fabric world (the square between both of these gemstones has at its top center a sketch of the altar). This group of six faces from the cube appears to operate particularly with the meaning from the Three, the 4 and also the Seven.


Thus the cheapest square includes a triangular pyramid, a square tower of three storeys (connected with Truth, Egality, Liberty - Hermes, Moses and Solomon) along with a seven runged ladder. You will find also found other archetypal symbols familiar in alchemy - the serpent, the double-headed bald eagle, the skull and also the tetramorph.
Architectural symbols are repeated on a few of the other squares. Thus, the 2nd from bottom shows us the wall of the three-storeyed building, each storey getting three arched openings or niches. Below around the created a nonagon bears nine letters possibly connected using these niches. Twin support beams, another symbolic element present with this group of squares frame the triple building, and (once we have noted earlier) within the central space above may be the archetypal type of an altar created from the cube and 2 foundations of stone. It has a triangular with nine letters set around it in cipher and from this radiates out beams of sunshine, and just what seems to become a rainbow (also bearing nine letters in cipher) forms an arc round the tower. Within the small detail of the square we discover a menorah (seven-branched candlepower unit) in addition to a chalice.

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