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Topic: The Masonic Symbols of the Third and Seventh Degree

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The Masonic Symbols of the Third and Seventh Degree

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The Symbols of the Third and Seventh Degree of York Rite Masonry are not arbitrarily selected but tell a complete story once you know how to read them. With the exception of one or two, these symbols have remained unchanged for over 5,000 years but before we get to the story they are trying to tell we should, perhaps, examine the one symbol that has changed.

 

 

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In the Third Degree all of the symbols seem to fit together except the one above attributed to Euclid (circa 300 BC). Since we have shown that Masonry dates to about 3500 BC then this symbol is certainly not original and was added to the pool by one of the Councils in the Fraternity's History and, if I had to make a guess, it would be the Islamic Masons who revived the Greek Culture while Western Europe was still in the Dark Ages.

 

 

The Modus Operandi of these Councils in the past, as with the original password, was, if they made a change, they left us a trail that we could follow.  They would not have included Euclid's Symbol if there was not already a symbol in place.  In this case, however, the original symbol had long lost its meaning and significance so they replaced it with the square above which had more meaning to them.  Now, the original symbol will be similar to this and it will be drawn from Ancient Egypt so it is not surprising that the Hieroglyph for a City (first symbol below) is basically similar to Euclid's Problem.

 

 

 

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They did not totally discard this original symbol but, instead, moved it to the start of the Masonic Journey as recorded in Duncan's Ritual in the First Degree where the discussion centers on, "a point within a circle" in reference to the symbol of the City.  You can see that the two lines from the City were removed to the outside of the Circle and used to represent, eventually, the Pillars of the Temple and then to John the Baptist and John the Evangelist with the Scriptures added for good measure.

 

 

As with the first symbol, this, "additional teaching" is certainly not original to the system and was added at a later date, nor do they explain exactly what that point in the circle originally meant but I think you can see where it originated and when we get back to those symbols you will see the harmony involved.

 

 

Now, it is also possible that even this symbol was actually used to replace another ancient symbol that had lost all meaning and that is the Egyptian Cartouche itself.  The reason I say this is that the symbolism of the Cartouche is that of a Rope forming an Oval in which was contained the person's name.  It was drawn from the Ships that sailed the Nile which, originally, were held together with ropes and became symbolic of a person's soul (ba) as the ship itself symbolized the person's body.  Thus, originally, when a Candidate was Initiated, he was given a new name and it would have had a dramatic effect for the Initiate to see his new name - his Mark, if you will - in that cartouche.  The habit of choosing a new name via a ceremonial initiation is still practiced today in various cultures as well as in the Apostolic Churches upon Baptism.  The rope then becomes synonymous with the rope used during the initiation ceremony itself and is referring to the Egyptian Cord of the Tongue to the Heart and is assuredly what Y'shua was referring to when he said that he was the one who searches the Reins of the Hearts which is exactly how the (Elder) Horus Falcon on the Narmer's Palette.

 

 

Now that we have determined the original symbol used amongst the others in the Third Degree, we can tie them altogether into the story that they are trying to tell but to understand this properly you need to see symbols the way the Church has seen their own, similar, symbols for the last 2,000 years.

 

 

What Protestants have forgotten is that the Church has used its symbols - Icons - for two thousand years to 'transport' the worshiper into the very presence of the Creator in the Throne Room in Heaven.  You must remember that, for the majority of that time, most people were illiterate so they used pictures for this process and it is a very real process which one can see, to this day, in the Eastern Churches (Orthodox and Oriental) more then in the Western Churches due to the Icon war when the West, for the most part, forgot this long lost art.  Now, as with some of the symbolism itself, this practice of using Symbols to transport the person's spirit was assuredly borrowed by the Apostles from Masonry itself via Judaism and, thus, when we look at the symbols of the Third and Seventh Degrees, we will see this same pattern established which, then, serves to help us understand Masonry's original story and teaching.

 

 

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The Three Steps brings the Initiate from the ground floor of the Temple to the Third floor which, of course, represents the Throne Room of Heaven itself.  This is also synonymous with the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple which is where the Censor would be displayed as we find it here in the Third Degree.  When you enter the veil you hear the buzzing of all the Bees that went before you for the Initiates in Ancient Egypt believed that the bees would take your prayers to the dearly departed (note the funeral dirge in this section just previous to these symbols).  You then find the Book of Works guarded by a Sword where you deeds were recorded as well as the Sword pointing at the heart which may have been the Ancient Egyptian Symbol of Heart and Trachea which is exactly where the Cord of the Tongue and Heart comes from and supplements the previous symbol indicating a judgment of sorts to determine if the person is ready for communion with the Creator exactly as in the Christian Apostolic Churches.

 

 

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Now the Initiate has reached the Throne Room of Heaven itself with God the Father (Ptah) symbolized by the All Seeing Eye, God the Son by the Sun, God the Spirit by the Moon, the Holy Angels by the Stars and the Glorified Saints by the Shooting Star.  The Ark was, of course, the Ancient Ship of the Nile that Osiris sailed and which has safely arrived in Port and is called the Ship of Millions of Years by the Ancient Egyptians and which is pictured by Argo in the Heavens and is just another symbol for the Throne Room of Heaven itself which Christians call the New Jerusalem, the Sumerrians called it Nibiru, the Burmese called it the Silver City, the Dogon called it Nommo's City, the Jews call it Mt. Zion and which, originally was named Eden with the Garden named after the City.  This is implied by the next symbol which we have determined was the Egyptian Hieroglyph for this very City.  In Heaven, there is no more Time but everything is in the perpetual Now and New in the Presence of the Creator where there is no more Death holding the Scythe  (below) and, as the Byzantines still sing to this day, all Earthly cares have been left behind and Death itself has been judged by the Omnipotent Gavel and buried in its own Grave with the Tree of Life growing in victory over it.

 

 

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So, in this way, the Initiate was prepared for an encounter with the God of Masonry, Y'BA'AL AMIN just as the Christians who worship this same God as Y'shua Messiah and this outline of the Symbols of the Third Degree will only be further supported and explained when we look at the Symbols of the Seventh Degree.

 

 

 

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To understand the Seventh Degree of Masonry one must understand that, as with the Symbols of the Third Degree, there is a consistency to the choice of symbols and they are all telling the same story and leading the Candidate down a specific path with a desired goal in mind. The story starts with the Three Jewels (Square, Egyptian Square Level originally and Compass - all three v shaped) which would symbolize the Masters of the Three Veils and which, originally, would have been the Angels helping Osiris guard the way of the Tree of Life. Now, one needs to understand a little bit about what the Apostolic Churches call Apostolic Succession before they can understand the story behind the Seventh and last Degree of York Rite Masonry.

 

 

In the Apostolic Churches the Priest himself is the Vicar of Christ in a very real way and the Anointing he received upon Charismation through the direct laying on of hands actually transferred the Presence of the Lord himself upon the Priest and his ministry to the point that it is as if the Lord himself is verily present in the Church via the Priest himself. This Apostolic Succession was implemented by the Apostles and has continued in an unbroken chain down to our day and age and the Apostles, themselves, received this practice via the Levitical Priesthood itself which was commissioned under Moses himself on orders from Y'hava and included this laying on of hands ceremony. Moses, as an initiate himself, further, would have got his Anointing from his own Masonic Initiation so that the Masonic Succession is, literally, about five thousand years old and in a direct and unbroken chain back to its founding so that, when a person makes it to the Seventh Degree and is Initiated, it is as if Osiris himself and his Guardians are present through the Three Masters of the Veil at his Initiation and some of the Spirit of Osiris and Amin himself is transferred to the Inititate.

 

 

So, the Ark was, originally, the Sarcophagus of Osiris and represents his presence at the ceremony. The Keystone was originally a Capstone (Pyramidion) and represents the Initiate who has made it to the Seventh Degree. The Book of Life indicates the person has, "passed from death unto life" and is ready for immortality (originally) and, if there was a symbol where the Ten Commandments are now, I suspect it is actually a residue reference to Narmer's Palette via the Masonic Trestle Board. The Key is exactly equivalent to the Keys of the Kingdom given to Peter (the keys of David) meaning he is now qualified to bring others into the Masonic Fold and, also, exclude others. The Omnific Word actually and literally calls the presence of the God of Masonry Y'BA'AL AMIN to the event making the Initiate His (adoptive) Son exactly as portrayed in the Book of Revelation ("I shall be his father and he shall be my son"). Aaron's Rod was originally the Tree of Life itself symbolized by the Acacia Planet in Masonry and the Pot of Manna would have been, originally, a Pot of Fruit from the Tree of Life which, today, via Israel, is exactly the equivalent of the Real Presence in the Eucharist in the Apostolic Churches for two thousand years and which has led to the interesting phenomenon known as the Incorruptibles. Thus, it implies that some people ("one in a thousand" - Elihu in Job) upon achieving the Seventh Degree, may have been awarded for their faithfulness by being granted immortality itself.

 

Duncan's Ritual :

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/dun/



-- Edited by Theoferrum on Tuesday 19th of November 2013 10:10:48 PM



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