The Secret Power of Masonic Symbols: The Influence of Ancient Symbols on the Pivotal Moments in History and an Encyclopedia of All the Key Masonic Symbols

Overview

For more than 500 years, the symbology of Freemasonry has fostered a secret stream of radical ideas running just beneath the surface of popular culture today. These ideas, illuminated by public symbols hidden in full view, have influenced and shaped the society we have today. Despite this ongoing record of inspiration, no illustrated guide book to the basic ideas of Masonic Symbology has even been published and the story remains mysterious—until now.

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The Secret Power of Masonic Symbols: The Influence of Ancient Symbols on the Pivotal Moments in History and an Encyclopedia of All the Key Masonic Symbols

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Overview

For more than 500 years, the symbology of Freemasonry has fostered a secret stream of radical ideas running just beneath the surface of popular culture today. These ideas, illuminated by public symbols hidden in full view, have influenced and shaped the society we have today. Despite this ongoing record of inspiration, no illustrated guide book to the basic ideas of Masonic Symbology has even been published and the story remains mysterious—until now.

This authoritative guide reveals how this symbology has been the backdrop to key historical events in the history of humanity from ancient times and how, in more recent times, inspired leaders have harnessed the symbols' power to bring about change in society. Renowned Freemasonry historian Dr. Robert Lomas takes you inside the Secret Order and shows you how Entered Apprentices first learn their craft, and how continual exposure to these mystical symbols can change the way you think. You'll explore the six mysterious Tracing Boards that are at the heart of every Masonic Grand Lodge, ending with the final, most mystical symbol, known as "the Centre." Let The Secret Power of Masonic Symbols be your personal guide and show you how these symbols have made their indelible mark on the past, and how they will continue to influence society in the future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592334506
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Robert Lomas is the author of Turning the Templar Key, Turning the Solomon Key, and several other titles. A Freemason, he lectures at Bradford University in England.

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Read an Excerpt

Symbols Made Us Human

A symbol is a pictorial device that evokes a concept in its entirety. It bypasses the intellect and talks straight to the heart. Our intellect analyzes, but our heart synthesizes. So a symbol evokes understanding without needing to convey verbal information.

Around 120,000 years ago, a new species of primate appeared in Africa. Its scientific name is Homo sapiens, but we know this creature as the modern human. When this species appeared on the earth, there were already other similar but more widespread species of humanoid apes, such as the Neanderthals. Yet the Homo sapiens were different. They were different because they could tap into the mystic power of understanding that is inherent in symbols. Symbols have helped humans develop a unique form of consciousness that no other animal has.

All the races of humans are much more closely related than most of us realize. You might be even more surprised to know how closely we are related our primate cousins, the African apes. Our genes are about 98 percent identical to those of an ape, and we share large chunks of our DNA sequence with all other life forms on the earth, even bacteria.

All humans are descended from a single female that lived in Africa less than 200,000 years ago. She is popularly called “Mitochondrial Eve.”2 As geneticist Bryan Sykes puts it: “‘Mitochondrial Eve’ … lies at the root of all the maternal ancestries of every one of the six billion people in the world. We are all her direct maternal descendants.”3 Our common maternal ancestor lived only a few thousand generations ago. And her earliest descendants drew the first symbols and tapped into their power.

In the following chapters, you will learn about the power of these symbols, the history of their interaction with humans, and how humans’ differential advantage came about because they evolved a type of brain that benefits from a direct relationship with the symbols. This symbiotic relationship began during our early evolutionary history and continues to influence our development in ways most of us are often unaware of.

There is, however, a secret group of specialists who have spent the last 500 years working with these symbols. They learned how symbols can advance the human condition by enabling us to share understanding. This group is the Freemasons, and their declared purpose is to study and understand symbols.

Ask any Freemason the question What is Freemasonry? and you will get this answer: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. For 500 years, Freemasons have used a system of allegorical ritual and exposure to the mystic power of symbols to sensitize their members to the life-changing power these symbols have. Freemasons continue to experience the deep understanding that symbols can inspire and their power to change the way humans develop.

When humans were first exposed to symbols’ mystic power, they changed from brute animals into human beings in a way we still struggle to understand. James Shreeve, a well-known anthropologist, sums up the puzzle presented by this abrupt change:

“Human beings—modern humans, Homo sapiens—are behaviorally far, far away from being “just another animal.” The mystery is where, how, and why this change took place. … An “all-important transition” did occur, but it happened so close to the present moment that we are still reeling from it. … Something happened that turned a passably precocious animal into a human being.”

Anthropology records how and when this change happened but offers no explanation. It is my contention that humanity came into contact with a powerful force outside itself that has interacted with our collective mind ever since. This force is carried and communicated by symbols. In later chapters, we will discover that symbols are part of a great cosmic language that transmits deep understanding about the secrets of the universe.

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Table of Contents

preface The Hidden influence of Ancient symbols 9

Part 1 The Secret Influence of Symbols 14

chapter 1 why symbols are More powerful Than words 16

symbols Hade us Human 16

symbols Began in Dark caves 20

The Heaven of perfect symbols 23

How Humans Learned to Live with symbols 25

The Ancient symbols still work 26

pictures can Transfer Thoughts 29

symbols Taught us How to Think 31|2 chapter 2 How symbols Turned Hunters into farmers 33

symbols Let us communicate with the Dead 33

symbols Helped Hunters 35

symbols Taught farming 38

Ancient symbols found in a Birthing chamber 41

chapter 3 How symbols created Kingdoms 47

The importance of counting 47

The first symbols 50

The symbol of Newgrange 52

The importance of writing symbols 52

Fortune favors the symbol writer 57

A New Alphabet Appears 59

chapter 4 The power of symbols on the Human Brain 61

Humans Have Two Minds 61

symbols Have sex Appeal 63

The influence of stone symbols 65

stone symbols Have sacred power 66

chapter 5 How symbols created Freemasonry 68

symbols and Myths work Together 68

Buildings are symbols 68

How the True cross inspired the first freemasons 71

How symbols Taught the first freemasons 74

The Emotional power of symbols 75

How symbolic Teaching spread 78

chapter 6 symbols can penetrate the Mind of god 80

A symbol That Analyzes Equality 80

Masonic slide Rules and early Arithmetic 81

why Equations are a Mystery 84

The Great Architect 87

symbols are the Key to the Mind of god 88

The Heaven of pure symbols 91

chapter 7 The secret symbol of political stability 95

The pillars That inspired Republicanism 95

The pillars That formed freemasonry 98

The symbols That Taught George Washington 98

The Masonic Meanings of the Two pillars 99

The pillars That Established Ancient Egypt 101

The pillars and the concubines 104

The pillars That influenced the English civil war 105

The pillars That support the U.S. presidents 107

The pillars That Reconciled England and the united states 108

A present-Day symbol to strengthen the Euro 109

chapter 8 Masonic symbols that changed the U.S. constitution 111

The symbolic solution to the corruption of power 111

How symbols can separate powers 113

How Masonic symbolists influenced James Madison 116

why Three pillars of state underpin the U.S. constitution 118

chapter 9 How symbols and Mankind Took a Great Leap Together 122

Masons and the Apollo space progra 122

why the Moon is a powerful symbol 123

How symbols Assisted project Apollo 126

How symbols Helped put Man on the Moon 129

Part 2 A Practical Introduction to Masonic Symbology 132

chapter 10 symbols of the first Degree 134

The square

The Level

The plumb Rule

The Altar

The volume of the sacred Law

The compasses

The sun

The Moon and the stars

The Northeast corner

The glory at the center

The Left-Hand pillar

The Master of the Lodge

The 24-Inch gauge

The common gavel

The chisel

The form of the Lodge

The pillar of wisdom

The pillar of strength

The pillar of Beauty

The celestial canopy

Jacob's Ladder

faith

Hope

charity

The Mosaic pavement

The Blazing star

The Indented or Tessellated

Border

The Tracing Board

The Rough Ashlar

The perfect Ashlar

The point within a circle chalk, charcoal, and clay

The Lewis

The square and compasses with Both points covered

chapter 11 symbols of The second Degree 196

The square and compasses with one point covered

The Right-Hand pillar

The Two pillars at the Entrance to King solomon's Temple

The chapiters

The Net-work

The Lily-work

The pomegranates

The globes

The Middle chamber

The spiral staircase

The wages

An Ear of corn Near a pool of water

The five Noble orders of Architecture

chapter 12 symbols of the Third Degree 220

The square and compasses with Both points Revealed

The open grave

The perfect cube

The porch

The Dormer

The square pavement

The skirret

The pencil

The compasses

The sprig of Acacia

The Emblems of Mortality

The Bright Morning star

chapter 13 General symbols of the wider craft 240

The Equilateral Triangle

The Double Triangle (The seal of solomon)

The Triple Tau

The Triangle within a circle

The Keystone

The vault

The uncompleted Temple

The pillars, circle, and center

Part 3 A Practical Introduction to the Tracing Boards 254

chapter 14 The Tracing Boards 256

The first-Degree Tracing Board

The second-Degree Tracing Board

The Mark Tracing Board

The Third-Degree Tracing Board

The Royal Arch Tracing Board

The Tracing Board of the center

The center

Endnotes 262

Acknowledgments 266

About the Author 266

Index 267

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