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Topic: The Elysian Fields : A York Rite Lewis in the Realm of Osiris

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The Elysian Fields : A York Rite Lewis in the Realm of Osiris

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Old Kingdom Egypt

 

I have known, for about a year, via my research into Masonry and using the bible as my guide, that Osiris 'died' around 3500 BC.  Egyptologists would, of course, scoff at this, placing the death of Osiris somewhere back in Prehistoria.

 

However, knowing the tenacity of traditions in general and religious traditions in particular (like the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, for instance) and knowing that, as any Archeosociologist would tell you (if there exists such a creature), all myth has some basis in reality, then the mythos of Osiris must have originated at a time when Egypt was divided up into 14 regions which was exactly the case at the start of the Old Kingdom circa 3500 BC as the map above indicates.

 

Osiris in Seraphis form made up nature itself - he was the Nile River personified and, upon his death, he also personified the underworld.  The Duat was the Milkey Way and a person's Ba (soul) would fly up to the heavens after death but his Ka (shadow) would journey to the Tuat (the underworld) on a quest frought with danger by land and by sea to find the House of Osiris.  Both Duat and Tuat were mirrored on earth (see Wayne Herschel's work) and Osiris' body made up the Tuat.

 

Thus, when he died his body was carved up into exactly 14 pieces so, too, was the Elysian Field of Reeds divided into 14 sections (the entire Tuat was divided into 12 regions for the twelve hours of the night).  So, at the start of the Old Kingdom you have exactly that with Egypt divided up into 12 Pyramid Complexes (so R. Hamilton, Ancient Egypt - Kingdom of the Pharaohs map on page 14) along with Thebes (with Abu being an important guard post at that time) proving that Osiris died at the start of the Old Kingdom.  Shortly after this, Egypt was divided up into 42 Nomes which subsequently made its way into their Theology with 42 'Gods' showing up at the Hall of Truth for the weighing of the soul ceremony when, originally, only 12 'Gods' were present as the Hieroglyph of that event shows with the 'Gods' at the top of the panel.

 

Thebes, as the center for the cult of Amin, took the prominence at this very time and tells you the origins for Masonry and the Egyptian Mysteries.  With the death of Osiris, Amin now is left to pick up the Scepter and becomes the prominent religion centered at Thebes.  Thus, we can look to that city for the true origins of the Ancient Egyptian Religion as well as of Masonry as we know it today.

 

At this time, Egyptian views of the afterlife went through drastic changes.  Originally, from the fall, their religion focused on a re-creation (still apparent in the Crata Repoa for the second degrees where the initiate is called a Neocoris or New Creation) of the individual, Seraphis style, where the Initiate is recreated (like the sun) following the seven day creation week.  At this point in time the Field of Offerings was above the Ecliptic and the Field of Reeds below the Ecliptic.  Mummification was a top priority to preserve the body in as high a state as possible in preparation for that resurrection.  The damned were simply burnt up and the good deeds of the Hero were recounted at his death.  Life, or death rather, was a fairly simple matter with Elysium, predominantly, the home of Heros much like Valhalla of the Norse.

 

All of that changed with the Pole Shift and death and dismemberment of Osiris at the second battle for the Tree of Life (circa 600 FC or 3582 BC).  Now, the Field of Offering joined the Field of Reeds below the Ecliptic bringing the total regions in the realm of Osiris up to exactly 15 (The Egyptian Myths, Garry Shaw, page 201 - the Masonic reader should immediately recognize that number but, if not, then, read on).  Now, thought the Ba may travel up to the Duat, the Ka (the person's shadow which was as much a part of the person as was his soul) now made the perilous journey through the underworld (The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Toby Wilkinson, page 91).  Instead of the damned simply being burnt up at the Isle of Fire he, and the blessed, now faced a weighing of the heart judgment (Ibid, page 137) and, finally, it wasn't good enough to list the righteous deeds of the blessed, but a negative confession was now required as well (I haven't lied, slandered, "eavesdropped" etc).  These changes also reflect the fact that, originally, it was mostly the Kings who got to journey up to the stars whereas now, journey through the underworld to face a final judgment and reside in Elysium with Osiris was opened up to everyone, potentially, thus ending the need for an expensive mummification funeral (Ibid, page 128), and stick figures now replaced statues as a home away from home for the spirits Ba (all of which was a result of the large influx of refugees into the Nile River Valley as a result of destruction caused by the Micronova). 

 

An enormous amount of changes in tradition occurred at this time.  Originally, people were buried on the sides facing est to be reborn with the rising sun which gave way to being buried on the side facing west to journey through the underworld with the sun.  Temples, originally, oriented to the true north are now oriented due east and west (Mark Lehner, Complete Pyramids).  Suddenly, though the Egyptians were originally only interested in the circumpolar stars (Muller, Mythology of all races, Vol. 12), now they develop an ecliptical zodiac to rival those of Sumeria.  Any Archaeosociologist (perhaps I'm the first) could tell ya that you don't **** with tradition so some event of primeval power must have hit all of Egypt, if not the entire world, at that time totally changing everyone's global religious world view, subsequently recorded in the Archaeological Records.  The only thing that fits all the facts is the 23* Pole Shift, resulting in precession which needed to be recorded and the movement of the planets around the ecliptic (not just around the pole star) symbolized (so Manley Hall, Secret Teachings) by the origins of the Caduceus (and, in my opinion, the Uraeus), as well as the Bull's Leg motif and loss of the Bull's Head Constellation (as seen on the Cow Palatte) later attributed to Precession by Santillana.

 

All the points above, and many more besides, can be found in York Rite Masonry proving that it was coeval circa 3500 BC with the death of Osiris and the establishment of the Ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools. 

 

The God of both is Amin.  The Masonic Grand Lodge is the Egyptian Per Wer (Great House which looks like a Lodge).  Both were masons (stone).  Both were a cult of the dead, as it were, with high hopes of an afterlife.  Both celebrate the death, burial, resurrection (3*), return (5*), and restoration (4*) as well as triumph over enemies (6*) of Osiris (Ibid, page 131) which is proven by the discrepancies surrounding Herim Abiff - obviously, he is symbolic of someone else.  Both Temples paint their ceilings sky blue with starry constellations (actually giving the name to Masonic Blue Lodges - both Min and Amin were originally pictured as being Blue/Black or what we, today, would call Midnight Blue).  Both celebrated their initiations at night (Manly Hall Secret Teachings, page 62).  Both sets of Lodges face east (which passed on into Judaism and Christianity) and both were built on mounds (Masonic Hills).  So Mote it be perfectly reflects the Egyptian concept of Ma'at (Truth and Creative Will).  Both believe in hell, resurrection and final judgment.  The Acacia Plant (indigenous to Egypt) is sacred to both.  Both hold secret rites in Temples which Osiris was known for.  Both use Ushebtiu ("Answerers") in their rites (who answer for the initiate/departed soul), who conducts (ushers) them through the ceremony.  Both claim a deity's name as their own (Egyptian Book of the Dead, Chapter on Coming forth by Day and Masonic Seventh Degree - I Am That I Am and I Am Ra, I Am Horus, etc).  Both imply a new creation upon initiation.  Both used secret vaults (Foundation Deposits).  Both mummify the initiate (3*) where Osiris was the first mummy.  The all seeing Eye of Masonry is exactly the same as the Egyptian Eye of Ra.  The Ark (Boat) of Masonry is the Ancient Egyptian Funeral Barge.  Both use Boundary Stones.  They both worship the Father (Ptah) as the Great Architect of the Universe.  They both use Passwords.

 

Both use play acting in their rituals (i.e. Hiram Abiff and Horus in Egypt).  Thus (David Silverman, Ancient Egypt, page 135) the World's Oldest Play for Theater is the Play of Horus at Edfu which enacts the power struggle for the "Throne of Osiris" between Horus and Set which is enacted out, to this day, in the fifth degree of Masonry.  So also (Toby Wilkinson, Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, page 131) the Mysteries of Osiris were acted out every year at Abydos which included the 'God's' Kingship, death and resurrection.  This play acting passed on into Masonry and most of the stages above can be found in corrupt form in several of the degrees of York Rite Masonry.

 

The Initiate travels from west to east just as the sun in the Tuat every night (David Silverman, Ancient Egypt, page 118).

 

At night he sailed from west to east through the Duat in his 'Night Boat' to be reborn again in the morning.  The Egyptians saw this - like the night itself - as a time of uncertainty and danger.  The dangers associated with the Duat were personified in the form of a gigantic serpent called Apep who inhabited the entire length of the netherworld and sought to impede the sun's journey at the gates marking the entrance to each of the nights twelve hours.  As the sun passed within each region, his light awoke the inhabitants of the Duat, who were thought to include both demons and the souls of the damned.

 

The points of congruity with the Crata Repoa (Classical Masonry you could call it) are, basically, the same.  A Creator, named Amin (Amoun), New Creation, Resurrection, death cult, 7 degrees, Light, passwords, hand signs, play acting, guards, heralds, two pillars, gauntlet, blindfold, cabletow, mummification, fine arts, symbols, ciphers and archives.  It is obvious, however, that the confusion of the languages did a number on Masonry.  There is no consistency between the Classical degrees, none of the passwords are the original even though the main arch types are still apparent.

 

So, with those points of consistency between Masonry and the Egyptian Mysteries, as well as the score or more points of similarity between Masonry and Narmer's Palatte and the dozen or so hand signs of Masonry that evokes specific Hieroglyphics from Egypt and the fact that the oldest Masonic artifacts discovered to date were found in Alexandria, Egypt, then there really is no question as to the true origins of the fraternity.

 

But, the most striking connection between the two is the symbolism of the second degree of Masonry with its two pillars and 15 Placards that make up the initiates journey.  The placards are symbolic of stairs (so we are told) and fit precisely Osiris, sitting as Judge on his Stairs (so, too, the Grandmaster does in the Lodge).  The Temples themselves (David Brown's discourse on the Purification in the Temples in Ancient Egypt) were designed to be an embodiment of the (creation mound of the) Nile River.  Thus, as one proceeds into the depths of the Temples, the way gets darker (like the journey through the underworld) and narrower and, further, it also gets steeper so that the high point of the Temple is reached when you arrive at the "Great Seat" of the Inner Sanctum - Osiris on his Stairs.

 

The choice of 15, however, tells you the original symbolism for this is the division of the Tuat after the Pole Shift at the start of the Old Kingdom when the Field of Offering passed below the Ecliptic to join the Field of Reeds.  The underworld thus divided up was symbolized by the Labyrinth (Hall, Secret Teachings, page 62 and also see II Esdras believe it or not) and so Djoser (who is Osiris) at his palace at Saqqara had a labyrinth with 14 false doors (Bauval, Imhotep).  Thus, this degree was actually a re-enactment of Osiris trip to the underworld (and probably is the origins for the Greek Hercules similar journey). 

 

This is further supported, appropriately enough, by the two pillars which the initiate must pass through which (we are told) are representative of Boaz and Jachin or the pillars in front of Solomon's Temple however, unlike those pillars, there have two globes on top which represent, "countries, seas, and various parts of the earth, the face of the heaven, the planetary revolutions" (Duncan's Ritual, page 73).  This is exactly what the pillars at the start of the soul's journey are symbolic of, being the pillars of the Tuat otherwise known as the Pillars of Shu who is, basically, the embodiment of the Firmament of the Scriptures.  The pillars are specifically called the Gates of Death in the third degree in the Crata Repoa and are the twin pillars of the Mountain of the West which holds up the sky (see my post on the Origins of the York Rite Lineage) called Manu and, more appropriately, Amen.

 

I arrive at the Island of the Horizon Dwellers.  I go out through the Holy Gate.  What is it?  It is the Field of Reeds which produced the provisions of the Gods who are around the Shrine.  As for that Holy Gate, it is the gate of the supports of Shu.  Otherwise said, it is the Gate of the Duat.

 

The first guard you meet, whose name you must know in order to pass, is none other than Eavesdropper (The Egyptian Myths, Garry Shaw, page 182), believe it or not and, of course, the Tyler in Masonry guards against Eavesdroppers (which they consider pretty important, even deadly, business), and the Junior Warden ensures that the Tyler does his job.

 

In the Masonic Ritual, after passing through the pillars he meets the Junior Warden and gives him the Sign Shiboleth which means waters and would be referring, originally, to the Field of Reeds where Osiris' House is, in a Great Oasis which lakes, rivers and canals.

 

If you decide to journey through the Tuat by boat you have to name the various parts of the Boat of Khnum which includes the Planks (Ibid, page 173) and, of course, the placards in Masonry look just like the planks on a ship.  One might imagine some of these initiations actually took place on a Nile Funeral Barge and this is hinted at, still, in the 6* of the Crata Repoa with the Nile being the River of Death called Styx.  In that rite the scare the **** out of the initiate with snakes and, here, they could do the same with all the crocodiles on the Nile river.

 

The Masons divide up these 15 sections into a group of three, five and seven steps respectively siting various reasons such as the three stages of a man's journey, sphinx like, the five senses and seven sevens, all of which one could imagine as a corruption of the journey through the Tuat which mirrors the journey through life.  There were three regions of Offerings in the Tuat and five regions that were made up of Fire of some kind including the Lake of Fire of the damned and seven regions had some type of Monster one needed to be wary of. 

 

This entire degree of Masonry was reworked by Solomon so as to consolidate his rule and may have included moving it out of its original position into the second degree (because of the immovable landmarks which he then had to force into the Temple building mold he wanted).

 

So, after his initiation the Mason is entitled to the wages of Corn, Wine and the Oil of Joy which, of course, are the Gross National Produce of the Elysian Fields.  He is given the precious Jewels of this degree which are the Attentive Ear, Instructive Tongue and a Faithful Breast all of which one needs for the journey through the Tuat and Osiris Hall of Judgment at the weighing of the faithful heart.  He is now told the big 'G' stands for Geometry with which we can, "trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses" (Duncan's, page 78) which is a near perfect description of the Tuat in a nutshell and calls to mind the precise placement of those placards on the floor.

 

At each stage of the soul's journey, it risked destruction by hostile serpents and demons and ferocious doorkeepers who yielded passage only to those who knew their names.  Once it had arrived at the Hall of Judgment, the soul was obliged to name, not only doorkeepers, but door bolts and floorboards as well.  Central to the Egyptian conception of the underworld was the notion of a divine tribunal presided over by the 'Great Gods'.

 

Later, this Great God was Osiris but originally it was Ra or even Ptah and Amin himself presided over the weighing of every heart.  So, after the initiate had passed the gates and been initiated, the Grandmaster goes on to finish his lecture about the Big 'G' with these words : "This letter has a higher signification.  It alludes to the Sacred Name of Deity to whom we should all, with all sincerity, humbly bow, with reverence most humbly bow" as if he were standing in the Osirian Hall personally looking Osiris right in the Eye.

 

Thus, it is obvious that the second degree of Masonry was a re-enactment of Osiris' Journey to the underworld exactly as the 3* enacts his death and this, then, presents the obvious conclusion that the 7*'s of Masonry reflect the life, death, dormition and resurrection of the Angel who guarded the Tree of Life, as well as his return in the future to judge all Masons and to restore the Lost Secrets of Masonry.

 

You really didn't think that Legend was talking about Solomon, did you?



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