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Thursday, March 2, 2006

Stone Masonry

Stone Masonry Cover One set of books attribute the legend of king Arthur as being a creation of the templars, supposed fore runners to freemasonry. In this regard, the sword excalibur was imbedded in stone. In the New Testament Jesus said he came not in peace but brought a sword. I was looking for the masonic version of the 'truth', set in stone.

I was not looking for any Christian ideal or support for the same, I was specifically looking for the satanic/cathar connection. I found several sites especially revealing.

One place in particular was of interest. Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland has been attributed by many popular books as being an early building by the templars, or at least by their sympathisers. Is it in fact of interest to freemasons today? Certainly there are frequent masonic day trips to the place by the bus load.

It was never recognised by the Catholic church as a place of worship, which of course would make sense if my theory were correct. Interestingly, during the Protestant Reformation, the surrounding castle was laid waste but the chapel itself was not damaged. I wondered if the reason for this could have been the revelation of an anti-Catholic message within the chapel. This would certainly explain why the church was spared. According to documentation there were at least discussions between the chapels guardian and the leader of the army at the time. However the reason it was spared is not known except for the popular notion that it was because it was so intricate and beautiful. However this didn't stop the same army destroying some of the finest cathedrals throughout Britain.

Upon my first visit to Rosslyn I wanted to verify the things I had read in the books and also the photographs I had seen. By and large the books focus on the apprentice pillar. However, in one particular and popular pro-masonic publication, a number of things were cited which simply 'didn't fit' or weren't there. The obvious tactic being that very few readers would actually verify what was 'reported'? I had almost become used to such by this time, in a literary sense. Mis-information is extremely common in this particular area :-smoke. Yet it only served to make me more curious.

Certainly many religions are depicted there and are highlighted by the tourist publications. Free Masonic Symbolism is also present and is happily described by the information which can be bought over the tourist counter.

Are there any depiction's which could directly relate to catharian beliefs? Many. One in particularly caught my attention, not because it was a particularly fine example but because it was mentioned in the pro-masonic publication I referred to above. It showed 'Moses' holding the ten commandments with horns on his head (obviously hinting that he represented the devil). The book referred to it in a jocular fashion asking the question why should this be? Ho-ho very funny.

I have mentioned that numerous religions are depicted. However I was interested in verifying my theory that the core masons held the belief that the devil was responsible for creating the ancient religions and the Judaic. It was not difficult. Through-out the chapel there are depiction's relating to many religions, summarian, egyptian, celtic and probably others I havent even heard of. The primary figure in the chapel is of the cletic fertility deity commonly known as the green man. There are hundreds of carvings of this figure. The most striking of which is on the eastern most wall looking down over the altar. This in itself is significant and I will go on to explain the significance of the location. However considering that the chapel was supposed to represent a Christian ideal the number of such carvings seemed strange.

At this stage I was happy that my theory was reasonably sound. That is that the core masonic belief system was one which attributed the ancient religions and the Judaic religion to one source i.e. that of the devil. However this was not all.

Like many people, including freemasons, I then adopted the position that Rosslyn had a message to reveal. Therefore I used an old formula.

Traditionally churches are built with the alter towards the east, towards God if you like. Good is traditionally on the right hand side and evil on the left looking from the east of course. Good flows towards God and evil away. Interestingly this approach also supported the imitative yet opposite theme as I will go on to explain.

I attempted to piece together the 'story' told by the carvings. While I cannot say I deciphered the place by any means, I had reasonable success and enough to say that I am satisfied that the formulae is partially sound. Here are some examples.

The two primary pillars were of interest in themselves. In accordance with the mechanism I supposed that the one on the right, or north, represented good, it being of straight and true construction and containing or restricting some form of growing 'vine' or vegetation within. The one on the left is literally imitative and the opposite of the other, twisted by seven serpents at its base (the masonic seven stars) with the growing vine or vegetation bursting forth and being the dominant feature. Indeed, in accordance 'legend' it is said that the apprentice pillar is so named because the masters apprentice completed it on his own while his master was away on business. Upon his return the master was so full of rage, envy and self pride he killed the apprentice. The legend only served to support the idea that the left hand side represented evil. In addition there was curious damage to the foot of the pillar on the right, consistent with kicking (the damage being reminiscent of stories of some masonic initiations involving the kicking and spitting on the cross, the chapel still being used by the order of the templars). Even more interesting was the fact that this damage was active, i.e. each time I went there, there was a little bit more damage and a little bit more stone dust on the floor. However I wouldn't say that it was consistent with centuries of kicking. Perhaps it is only a tourist gimmick. Perhaps it is the tourists themselves responsible for the kicking.

On the eastern wall and to the right the devil bound and held upside down. Towards the left an angel, unique to all others in that it doesn't wear clothing. Instead it is covered with fur (like a beast) and apparently awakening. Further to the left the same figure, Masonic Symbolism in hand rising and looking towards the twisted apprentice pillar on the left. This figure is typically the one quoted as showing the freemasonic symbolism although there are others in the chapel.

The whole area around the altar is full of symbolism consistent with the New Testament Revelations. These of course are most commonly associated with the apocalypse and the rise and defeat of biblical beast. In this regard it should be noted that a depiction of the masonic hiram abiff (or the apprentice) is to the left and as far from the east as possible within the chapel. The nature of the apprentices death and that of the masonic hiram abiff is consistent, ie a blow to the head. Yet it is also reminiscent of another. It is consistent with the fatal wound to one of the beasts heads and yet it lived.

The seven sins and virtues are represented. However, curiously ,they have been mixed up (imitative yet opposite?). The tourist information attributes this to an error of construction. However when it is considered the amount of time and detailed planning required for the rest of the chapels construction this is frankly illogical.

The virtually subterranean chamber, holy of holies, on the left and past the eastern wall, interestingly contains occult graffiti scratched into the walls. Above the entrance to the chamber is a male and female impression of what could arguably be the same entity (male/female aspects of the same deity?).

Within this chamber is the curious depiction of a female form preventing onlookers from observing the goings on within the chamber, perhaps representing a female guardian? Regarding the feminine aspect I was also curious about the engraved metal burial cover dedicated to one of the male protectors of the chapel which is clearly female. There are other carvings to support this theme together with a vast amount of written material. The principle remains imitative yet opposite

One of the most important themes I considered throughout, as far as this article is concerned, was that of the 'vine', or vegetation. Issuing from a dragon/dogs mouth it entangles everything. There are numerous depiction's of it growing and progressively engulfing a mans head until the head is smothered. Considering the number of depiction's of the green man, a fertility and vegetation deity, this theme seems logical. However it also reminded me of the catharian attitude towards the tree of knowledge of good and evil and one interpretation of the name of the supposed templar deity baphomet - absorption into wisdom. Is this imitative yet opposite of the Christian Representation of growing faith? And is the interpretaion of the name baphomet, imitative yet opposite in itself?

There are many examples (of course 'Moses' with horns was on the left ) but without pictures description is pointless. It could be argued that there are so many carvings within the chapel that a person could adopt any theory they wanted and find supporting evidence for it.

I could go on and on, exploring Judaic legend, the masonic hiram abiff figure head, the construction of Solomons temple and looking for and finding evidence in stone. There is a huge amount of suggestive evidence. However, how can something be proven when essentially the issue comes down to faith? In this regard I will tell a personal story and what, for me, was the litmus test.

I had already burned the material and wanted to forget what it contained as quickly as possible, it felt like I had been infected somehow. By coincidence I was invited to a retirement party in an old Ayrshire hotel called the Bell Isle. Whilst eating dinner I gazed at the surrounding room, particularly the carved decorations on the wall/roof which were relatively sparse. I quickly recognised the theme of the place as being 'Rosslynesk' if you like. I decided to investigate further. Upon reviewing the main lobby I saw four, three to four foot high pans, horns, hoofs and all, positioned high on the walls to 'support' the roof together with other typical catharian themes. Of course it could be argued that in fact I had already seen those figures, however briefly, upon my entrance and so it was only my subconscious at work. However they are not in the usual line of sight and I certainly didn't see through the back of my head when I entered to see a depiction of the catharian supper. In hindsight even the name of the place should have been a clue, reminiscent of the biblical Belial (Bell Isle).

For myself it was conclusive. I followed a theme carved in stone but which proved to me beyond any doubt and with no ambiguity to be accurate. There can be no mistake in interpretation when looking at great big devils. However, I was rather disturbed and mystified that such a blatant satanic theme could be presented in a public place.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Of Geomancy
Gerald Cremonensis - Astronomical Geomancy
Nick Farrell - Notes On Geomancy
Anonymous - The Mysticism Of Masonry
Aleister Crowley - To Man