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Phoenix
01-04-2009, 05:58 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by thisisnecessary.

I guess this would be a sort of call-out to all Freemasons out there. I would like your thoughts on how alchemy and Masonry interact. I am a Mason with an esoteric and mystical bend, and would love to hear what you guys think. Even if they are simple, I'd like to see how others view this.
You can find in my introduction- a comparison between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin to the strength card within the tarot here. (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=242) The rites of initiation have more in common with alchemy then many are led to believe. If you have a specific question feel free to ask or send a private message.
If a Freemason reads this, answer this "does freemasonry today teach about alchemy? maybe in a different way? look at the Templar, rebirth, freemasonry rebirth! the phoenix, rebirth. what does the two headed eagle/phoenix represent? all the different stairs/levels to the top of the 33 degrees all represent something, as well as both the Scottish rite and York rite, Prince Hall, and the female freemasonry. TEMPLAR... since king Solomon, Egypt, Alexander's library, Maya, Aztecs, Atlantis.
I am more interested in the alchemical connections to the Blue Lodge(first three degrees) but of course any details that touch upon the other bodies are welcome as well.
the only degrees that are known to detain by non masons is the blue lodge. the real alchemy is learned after the blue lodge. when you learn all the symbolism with all previous masons en-graven symbolics, where once learned you will find it in almost all megaliths including Egypt Greece Rome and many others, including cathedrals. but the first three degrees of freemasonry is there to confuse the adept before he learns what is really going on. tell me what you know of the blue lodge?
It would be best if you had a specific question, a whole book could easily be written about the blue lodge. I don't know the depths of your alchemical knowledge- and without this point of reference any citation I can provide might be lost on you. To the Hermetic Alchemist, it's a very brash statement to say the "real" alchemy is learned after the first three degrees, especially considering the whole of Freemasonry is founded on them. The history of the Scottish Rite has a less then flawless nativity and just because the numbers are higher, does not mean they are above a master mason...if anything after the third degree- it is best to view the remaining degrees as moving sideways and not upward.
"but the first three degrees of freemasonry is there to confuse the adept before he learns what is really going on. tell me what you know of the blue lodge?"

I'm going to have to heartily disagree with you there. Are you a Mason? I doubt any true Mason would be able to ignore the profound lifelong lessons, and also the esoteric lessons if you read between the lines and practice the work in lodge. The sublime degree of Master Mason is considered the highest, with all other degrees expanding on the specifics of the lessons and whatnot. As it was already stated before I could reply, whole books can, and have been written about the first 3 degrees alone, much can be gained from it...lifetimes of study and application.

As far as I have studied, the York and Scottish offer lessons that get even more detailed and esoteric, but that doesn't mean that the first 3 are obsolete, or there to "confuse" anybody. That's one point you won't sway me on. But if you claim to know "what's really going on", please, enlighten us.

Anyways, Carabric I do not know much about alchemy at all. I am halfway through Dennis Haucks Sorcerors Stone and do not have much under my belt. Should I learn more before attempting to link together my Masonic experience with the world of alchemy? I take Freemasonry very seriously and I always hear about alchemical and also kabbalistic connections but never any specifics, thus my curiosity.
Well more knowledge certainly wouldn't hurt, I would stick to the classics for a more universal approach. I'm not fond of modern views on alchemy, and while it may seem like you are being introduced to alchemy via Hauck, Bartlett or any of the newer contemporary "alchemists"- to me, their ways are tantamount to swimming backwards feet first. But this is just an opinion so take it with a grain of salt. If you want to learn their take on alchemy, then just learn it their way...to many it may or may not by synonymous with Freemasonry, for me their ways aren't related to either. If anything, ask yourself this...why would you learn alchemy from someone who hasn't accomplished the true aim of alchemy. But then again you might need to remedy the goals you have concerning the art.
However if your intent is to rectify the two (Freemasonry and Alchemy) and see them as one, then you have much reading to do. I would start off by buying a Hebrew, Greek and Latin dictionary and attempt to discover the phonetic cabala. There are articles elsewhere about what it is, but what it isn't- is Kabbalah (Hebrew for receiving). Freemasonry is unique in that it's whole system is based upon it in such a way as to drive a person to understand it, even if they are unaware of what it is. While this is not always the case, I believe that it was the intent of the founders. Stick to alchemist that are highly esteemed, instead of reading someone who bases their work on Paracelsus, just read Paracelsus. The same goes for Philalethes, Flamel, Hollandus or whomever you fancy. Once you grasp some of the fundamentals of true alchemy- then you will see that they easily apply to the allegories within Freemasonry.

I guess this would be a sort of call-out to all Freemasons out there. I would like your thoughts on how alchemy and Masonry interact. I am a Mason with an esoteric and mystical bend, and would love to hear what you guys think. Even if they are simple, I'd like to see how others view this.

I wouldn't say that they interact, but more that Masonry (especially American ritual) is strongly based on Alchemical philosophy. Aside from the prospect of making our minds as Living Stones, as is the case with alchemy - there is no practical application of Freemasonry. It is philosophy only.

However, the next time you're in lodge, notice the number three and the significance of what it alludes to throughout the Blue Lodge ritual. Once you get into the upper degrees in York Rite, there are certain designs and symbols that seem very enigmatic but relate directly to Alchemy. In York Rite Council - the Master of the Lodge is referred to as Thrice Illustrious (or Thrice Greatest) - similar to Hermes Trismegistus.

One source (I forget where I read it) compared the name Hiram Abiff with Hermes Ibis. This makes sense when you consider Hiram's role in the ritual.

The pillars of Solomon's temple were said to be hollow to serve as safe repositories for records and archives against fires and floods. According to one tradition, Alexander the great found the Emerald Tablet within a pillar of a temple of the Hermetic cult. That being said, if you consider the hero of Freemasonry - Hiram Abiff - and his land of origin (as well as King Hiram's land) being Phoenicia, the Hermetic Cult was very strong there during the time of Solomon. In fact, several temples as well as King Hiram's tomb evidence Hermetic designs throughout. The most notable design is that of the temples' trademark pillars outside of the entrance. Now, being that Hiram Abiff was the architect of Solomon's temple, it stands to reason that the said temple would reflect the same designs as the Phoenician ones. As Freemasons, we imagine ourselves as the Masons who built Solomon's Temple.

We also know, according to the Old Testament, that Solomon at one point built "high places" to certain "gods", the most notable being Ashtoreth (equivalent to Babylonian Ishtar, equivalent to Greek Venus). These "high places" were not temples, as they were not directly referred to as temples like other "heathen gods" buildings were. My personal theory is that they were Observatories whereby Solomon was able to discover the mysteries of the Universe, thereby able to obtain the "Wisdom" he was so well known for.

Brother Arthur Edward Waite wrote an Encyclopedia of Freemasonry which is quite interesting. I just stumbled upon a copy that has been handed from Brother to Brother for the past thirty years. He also translated most of what we have as Paracelsus' work into English.

PM me if you would like to talk about anything more detailed.

If a Freemason reads this, answer this "does freemasonry today teach about alchemy? maybe in a different way? look at the Templar, rebirth, freemasonry rebirth! the phoenix, rebirth. what does the two headed eagle/phoenix represent? all the different stairs/levels to the top of the 33 degrees all represent something, as well as both the Scottish rite and York rite, Prince Hall, and the female freemasonry. TEMPLAR... since king Solomon, Egypt, Alexander's library, Maya, Aztecs, Atlantis.

Just to be clear, Hermetic Alchemist, do you understand that there is a distinct difference between Scottish and York Rite? The only real difference between a 32nd degree Mason and a 3rd degree Mason is about $150. It's the same between a Knight of the Temple and a Master Mason.

As for Atlantis, Plato wrote about Atlantis before the organization of the Freemasons was ever contemplated. The Mayan and Aztecs were not Freemasons though their knowledge does reflect an abundant knowledge that was reflected in many ancient civilizations. Personally, I think we don't give enough credit to our ancestors. Just because we have more effective weapons now doesn't necessarily mean we are more civilized, intelligent, or even wise.

look at the Templar, rebirth, freemasonry rebirth! the phoenix, rebirth... ...since king Solomon, Egypt, Alexander's library, Maya, Aztecs, Atlantis.
I wouldn't say that they interact, but more that Masonry (especially American ritual) is strongly based on Alchemical philosophy.
A lot of rites come from people who themselves are alchemical by nature i.e. the link!

Swedenborgs Swedish Rite and Cagliostros Egyptian Rite for example...

There is NOT a Masonic conspiracy in the world, but there is indeed a conspiracy by an elect few corporate CEO's - no question about that - and yes some of the happen to be Masons. But the Masonic other itself is actually of no great significance in these matters!

It is not strange to see alchemical symbolism in Masonry since we can find alchemical symbolism in almost ALL THINGS!

It is a very ancient art, in fact in my opinion it is The Art!

Such a thing does not go through history unnoticed... even the people who made this film use alchemical symbolism, even if they themselves are unaware:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/other/18572010.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_on_a_Plane)
Let me throw out a quote from A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry by Arthur Edward Waite:

The descent from the Mysteries of Egypt into those of the classical world has been compared with the descent of the soul into material things. It is a false analogy...

The quest for Persephone is not the quest of Isis; the story of the rending of Iacchos has no real connection whatsoever with the dismemberment of Osiris; and those Masonic virtuosos who mistook accidents of analogy for root-identity and essential consanguinity were misled herein, as in most of their other reveries. It goes with out saying that there is a general likeness between all mystical traditions and all modes of mystical symbolism because there is a verdical and vital likeness in all mystical experience.

...there came a time when the claims of the work on metals had fallen into serious disrepute and when there was - by the evidence of literature an increasing tendency to use the terminology of Alchemy in a transcendental and spiritual sense... Jacob Böhme... used largely the symbolic language of Alchemy as a... method of expression.

...many forms of faith in science, religion and philosophy gathered under the Masonic Banner in the eighteenth century, above all in France and Germany. It drew within its ranks such Alchemy as there was at the period... in due course... Hermetic Grades and Hermetic Rites grew up.

...there is very little to connect either founders or members with a serious pursuit of the practical side of metallic Alchemy.
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0517191482.01._AA_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Sacred Text's Freemasonry Index (http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/index.htm)
Excellent! You found the book. Good read. Keep in mind though that Brother Waite was English. Like I said, much of (if not all - I haven't finished researching) the ritual for American Freemasonry is based largely on philosophical Alchemy. After the American Revolution, the US was cut off socially from it's English Freemasonry roots. The ritual is slightly different and there is a greater emphasis on the number 3 for very specific reasons - starting mainly with the idea that one needs only to go through the first three degrees. In England, however, one must have had the fourth degree of York Rite conferred in order to attend a Grand Lodge meeting. It is a slight but significant difference.

There are also several similarities that I made above which are more than mere coincidence. As for the founders of Freemasonry, it can hardly be determined that they were NOT alchemistically inclined as there is no evidence that there even was an initial group of men who suddenly decided to start Speculative Masonry. It is suspected that the Speculative Masons slowly evolved from Operative Masonry meetings.

That being said, I will agree with Brother Waite:

"It goes with out saying that there is a general likeness between all mystical traditions and all modes of mystical symbolism because there is a verdical and vital likeness in all mystical experience."

Gottfried Leibniz termed this concept the Perennial Philosophy.

Aside from the prospect of making our minds as Living Stones, as is the case with alchemy - there is no practical application of Freemasonry. It is philosophy only.

I will look at the intent of words rather then the letter, because for me, alchemy is philosophy even within the tangible practice. We should all exhaust every effort before we come to conclusions like yours above...but then again it's not like we all agree on the goals of alchemy/Freemasonry, even though I feel they have been laid out quite plainly (though I suppose- more then a passing glance is needed to see). With that, I would like to compare the two (Alchemy and Freemasonry) and let everyone else be the judge, so take it with a grain of salt if you disagree.

I will only cover a small section of one degree of initiation in an attempt to come to my point, obviously the rite I will describe has more to it then the simple description I give below.

Hiram Abiff lives, dies, and is (by some accounts) resurrected all within the third degree initiation of Master Mason. The phonetic cabala is a useful tool in discovering the essence of this rite and I will demonstrate why. Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum are the three ruffians that murder Hiram Abiff in an attempt to learn the secret word from him. The three all share the same prefix Jube within their names, or the same "root" word...within alchemy this is described as, from three- one. Or more succinctly: salt, sulphur, and mercury or Sun, Moon, and Mercury (source (http://www.alchemywebsite.com/ripsecretissimus.html)) and we are given a further clue by the term ruffian, which they are all described as being. Ruffian, a tough and rowdy person, is derived from the Old French rufien and from the Old Italian ruffiano the word itself descended from the Latin rufulus (reddish, somewhat red) and rufus (red, ruddy). Furthermore the suffixes la, lo and lum can be interposed almost musically with the terms la:high lo:lower lum:lowest...or the firmament of heaven, the water of the sea, and the terra firma of earth. We can even extract the last suffix lum, to the term lump...as in our lump of red earth. Of which we cut the head off (throat), penetrate to the heart of, and: bash, grind, and commingle the la and lo of the material onto the head of. The term for what is being performed is called...multiplication within the annals of alchemy. Why do I suggest it is multiplication? Because it is happening within the third degree, or redness which is to some understood as the final stage, although after successive multiplications it transitions to a royal purple. Within multiplication the king is murdered and later resurrected, it is the allegory of the phoenix who is fed, grows old, dies, and is reborn in it's nest. The Allegory of Merlin (http://www.alchemywebsite.com/merlin.html) is an excellent treatise describing this process as well, if you doubt it, so be it- I am through arguing.


I will look at the intent of words rather then the letter, because for me, alchemy is philosophy even within the tangible practice. We should all exhaust every effort before we come to conclusions like yours above...but then again it's not like we all agree on the goals of alchemy/Freemasonry, even though I feel they have been laid out quite plainly (though I suppose- more then a passing glance is needed to see).

Good point. Yes, I agree that alchemy is philosophy - but this does not mean that philosophy is alchemy. Therefore, when looking at Alchemy we can see it in two distinct lights - Philosophical and Physical. One could think and consider the philosophical without ever attempting the physical, but the same should not be true for the opposite. The proper work would just not get done and it would be reduced to modern chemistry (the spirit of the work is removed).

It may have been rash for me to say that Freemasonry is philosophy alone, because we do indeed try to physically improve ourselves (i.e. our spirit) as well as those around us, but we do not portend to hold the secret of a physical stone which cures disease and/or prevent death. Neither is it true that we provide instruction as to how to go about developing such a thing outside of the mind.

Also, thank you for pointing out about the ruffians. I have often felt the musical intonation of the names but could never articulate it.