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Serial Lesson 18

From Course IV, Ancient Masonry, Chapter 13

Original Copyright 1939, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2010, The Church of Light

To purchase the print book Ancient Masonry click here

 

Subheadings:   Three Methods of Acquiring Information From the Inner Plane    Mediumship     Two Methods of Independent Psychic Work     Feeling ESP     Intellectual ESP     Age of a Prince of Jerusalem   Knights of East and West    Knight of Rose Cross     Grand Pontiff     Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges     Chief of the Tabernacle     Prince of the Tabernacle    Knight of Brazen Serpent     Prince of Mercy     Sovereign Commander of the Temple     Knights of the Sun    Knight of Kadosh    Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret    Knight of the Sword    Sovereign Grand Inspector General    Conclusion

Birth Charts:  The Church of Light Chart    The Brotherhood of Light ESP Research Department Chart

Chapter 13

Historical Degrees

IN CONNECTION with the historical degrees, mention should be made of the origin of both Scottish Rite Masonry and York Rite Masonry. I do not wish it implied that I agree with Albert Churchward in archaeological matters. But as he seems to be correct in his opinion of the origin of these two orders of Masonry, and is himself a high degree Mason, I take the liberty of quoting from his Arcana of Freemasonry.

“Chevalier Ramsay stated that modern Masonry had its beginning in the Society of Architects founded in Scotland under the protection of King Robert Bruce, and the title of ‘Ancient and Accepted Masons of the Scottish Rite’ may have possibly been formed in Scotland there and then; but if that is so, we must trace the origin of this to the Order of Knights Templar, who fled to Scotland, and through them to the ancient Mysteries practiced in the East. From whence did these Templars receive them? It is well known that one of the charges made against Jacques de Molay and his associates was that ‘they used sacred rites in their initiation’.” Their four oaths are well known, but who knew their rites of initiation? The aim of the Society of Architects was to perpetuate the ancient order of the Temple, and they continued to use their initiations of members, symbols, signs, and some parts of the initiatory rites, which had been obtained in the East, but they only knew three degrees out of the seven lesser and ten greater. The next question is: From whence did the Templars receive those symbols, and their esoteric meaning, in which we plainly trace the doctrines of the old Egyptians? No doubt from the Christians, who, like the Emperor Julian, the Bishop Sinnesius, Clement of Alexandria, and many other philosophers, had been initiated into some of the mysteries by the Priests of Egypt before being converted to Christianity. In this way we can trace how part of the religious mysteries of Egypt, signs and symbols, etc., came to Scotland.”

Speaking further concerning the Egyptians he says:

“There were also many who crossed over to Europe from Egypt, and spread from Italy into France, who possessed and clung to the true doctrines, endured torture, and some even death, by the early Roman Priests, who tried to usurp the temporal power by destroying the spiritual ideas; and yet these brothers would rather suffer death than give up their secrets and beliefs. Many of these migrations can be traced through Europe and finally to Scotland.”

Relative to York Rite Masonry, Churchward continues:

“As regards the origin from the Druids, I have given in ‘Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man’ the proofs of the origin of the Druids, and where they came from. They were High Priests of Egypt, who left the mother country at the early part of the Solar Cult, and were therefore well versed both in the seven Lesser Mysteries and the ten Greater Mysteries; and these practiced their religious rites in England until the edict of Canute prohibited their open worship. Canute reigned from 1015 to 1036. To evade persecution they resorted to private meetings and secret celebrations. I do not entertain any doubt that they formed the first so-called ‘Lodges’ in England, as a cloak to screen their religious rites and ceremonies, and to keep them as pure as they had received them originally from their parent sources in Egypt. Many of these old Druid Priests joined the Christian Church, and were the so-called Culdees, but although they had joined the Christian Church, they kept themselves very much aloof for a long period, up to the twelfth century.

“These were the last remnants of the old Druid Priests—descendants of their Egyptian brethren—who practiced the pure Eschatology of their forefathers. Gradually they all died out as a separate and distinct class, and those who remained were merged into Christianity; but up to the twelfth century at least they brought all their doctrines with them, and practiced them in secret places, in so-called Lodges.

“Here we have one source of the origin of Freemasonry, both in the Lesser Mysteries (seven degrees) and in the Greater Mysteries—so-called Higher Degrees in this country.

“The Druids, in Gaul, were mostly put to the sword, others fled to this country for protection, when the Roman Christian doctrines were brought to them. In America it was the same. As soon as the Spanish Priests arrived there they persecuted all the Solar and Stellar people, murdered their priests, overthrew their Temples, and scattered them with fire and sword. Yet there is sufficient evidence left in their Signs, Symbols, and writings on the wall which may prove my contention that all these had the same Eschatology, signs, symbols, and rites as the Old Egyptians, from whence they came, and that all these are analogous to our own with really very little innovation, considering the many thousands of years that these have been handed down from country to country, and generation to generation, as we must acknowledge to be the case if we study the history of the human past.”

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Three Methods of Acquiring Information From the Inner Plane

Ancient Masonry presents not merely a philosophy of life based upon provable information, but also instructions relative to the general principles, applying which an individual can make the most rapid spiritual progress and develop his latent occult powers. More specific instructions in such training should be reserved for those who prove, by tests, that they have sufficient comprehension of occult matters that they will not be likely to misinterpret or misapply the information presented to them. These will find such detailed information presented in the systematic graduate course embraced in the “Not Sold” Brotherhood of Light Award Manuscripts.

However, as reference repeatedly has been made in these Ancient Masonry lessons to Extra-Sensory Perception, it should be clearly understood by anyone contemplating psychic work of any kind that there are three distinct methods of acquiring information from the inner plane, and just what takes place in each. The three methods are: Mediumship, Feeling ESP, and Intellectual ESP.

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Mediumship

That which distinguishes mediumship is the partial or complete control of the medium by some intelligence other than his own. Mankind owes a deep debt of gratitude to spiritualistic mediums. I shall be the last to criticize them. Many in the ranks of spiritualism have sacrificed tremendously that the race might advance; many mediums have been martyrs to the cause of demonstrating human survival beyond the grave. But in spite of this debt of gratitude, the very real dangers to those who develop such mediumship cause us to discourage our students from attempting to become mediums. The reason is set forth in detail in Brotherhood of Light Course 1, Laws of Occultism, published in 1919. The subsequent years, in which through the many psychics contacted in connection with Church of Light work there has been unusual opportunity to observe the effects of the various types of development and psychic practice among a great many individuals, has but served more and more to confirm the attitude then taken. To sum this attitude up, The Church of Light does not advocate that anyone shall become a medium.

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Two Methods of Independent Psychic Work

The Church of Light has found, however, as the result of its own research and observation, that psychic work in which there is no control by some other entity is accomplished in two quite distinct ways. These two methods, even though exercised and directed by the individual using them and not by some outside intelligence, are as different as day and night, positive and negative. The one depends upon hypersensitivity of the nervous system, and is called FEELING ESP. The other is purely an intellectual activity, and is called INTELLECTUAL ESP.

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Feeling ESP

At the appropriate place in the “Not Sold” manuscripts I go into the details of these two methods. Here I hope only to bring out their contrasts so clearly that the neophyte will never mistake the one method for the other. The majority of independent psychics employ Feeling ESP. They make use of the hypersensitivity system of mental activity in which the nervous system or some part of it is tuned in on the astral counterpart of the object or person about which information is wanted. The nervous system, or some part of it, becomes a receiving set through which the electrical energies and astral energies closely associated with it pick up, radio fashion, the astral vibrations radiated by whatever is tuned in on. The individual then feels the condition of that which is thus contacted. The energy causing this feeling is furnished by that which is contacted. The individual who is hypersensitive is able to feel so discriminatingly what is received that his unconscious mind can give detailed information about that which is tuned in on, and perhaps about its past and probable future.

A quarter of a century of experience with students all over the world who have developed this Feeling ESP has convinced The Church of Light feels that this method of psychic development should be approached with caution.

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Intellectual ESP

The unconscious mind, itself occupying the astral plane, has faculties which, given proper impetus and sufficient energy with which to work, on this inner plane can examine objects and thoughts and communicate with other intelligences. In Intellectual ESP hypersensitivity plays no part. Instead of becoming a receiving set, the electrical energies of the nervous system radiate high-frequency vibrations which afford the faculties of the unconscious mind the energies with which to perform their work. Feeling or hypersensitivity plays no more part in such examination by the unconscious mind on the inner plane than it does in a similar examination on the physical plane, nor are the emotions more active.

The examination is conducted by the unconscious mind reinforced by the astral energies provided by the high-frequency electromagnetic radiations of the nervous system. This examination, which may include past and future as well as all aspects of the present about which information is sought, is an intellectual appraisal the results of which are not communicated to other sections of the nervous system, but, much as something is remembered even though seen but a moment before, is communicated directly to the brain as an Intellectual awareness.

The Brotherhood of Light ESP Research Department has found that the psychics using Feeling ESP can acquire information readily from persons or other living things which radiate strongly, or about people from objects which they have touched, or from their thoughts; but do poorly with the ESP cards. Those among our students who get the highest scores with the ESP cards, and in tests with inanimate objects in which the human vibrations are absent, are those who, perhaps without knowing how they do it, nevertheless, employ Intellectual ESP.

So far in our extensive investigation, and with numerous students who have made tests with it, we have found no danger in cultivating Intellectual ESP.

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Age of a Prince of Jerusalem

Zerubbabel, while rebuilding the temple, was interrupted by the Samaritans who finally forced him to abandon work. He thereupon sent an embassy to Darius, representing the ruler of the winter sign entered into by the sun, who issued orders prohibiting all persons from interfering with the work of construction on pain of death on the cross of Aries. The lodge consists of two apartments connected by a hall. The apartment in the west represents the western signs of the zodiac and is hung with yellow, the color sacred to Venus, which rules Libra, the sign of the western equinox where Zerubbabel now holds court. The eastern apartment where the cabinet of Darius is situated represents the eastern equinox of Aries; for Aries is the leader of the eastern zodiacal signs. The hall connecting the two zodiacal divisions is the solstitial colure.

The jewel of the order exemplifies the ritual accurately. It is a golden medal, or zodiacal circle. On one side is a hand holding a balance, symbolizing the human soul involving through Libra into the winter of matter, man entering into generate union, and the five planets descending into the winter signs through the door of the autumnal equinox. On the other side is a two-edged sword with five stars around its blade and over it the letters D. Z. The sword symbolizes the vernal equinox. The five stars represent man evolving into spiritual summer, man entering into regenerate union, and the five planets emerging from the winter signs, victoriously crossing the vernal equinox of spring. D. Z. are the initials of Darius and Zerubbabel, and also have an esoteric significance. Thus the Hebrew letter Z means sword and symbolizes victory. The soul enters matter through Libra, the door to realization, and emerges victorious by means of the sword of intelligence, Aries. Man enters generation by D, corresponding to the sex sign Scorpio, to realize sensation, but frees himself from bondage by means of regeneration.

The candidate with four knights—the five symbolizing man—journey from the court of Zerubbabel in Libra to the cabinet of Darius in Aries, and back to Libra, completely circling the zodiac. Each time they pass through the hall they are attacked by armed ruffians, symbolizing the struggle of the solar forces to become repolarized at the solstitial points of Capricorn and Cancer. The password is Tebeth, which is a Hebrew symbol for Capricorn, the point where the soul descends no lower and becomes incarnated in the mineral. The sacred word is Adar, Hebrew symbol of Pisces, the zodiacal sign in which thanks should be given for the completion of the zodiacal temple. The age of a Prince of Jerusalem is said to be five times fifteen. Fifteen signifies the passage of the twelve signs over the three visible angles, or one diurnal rotation of the earth, which according to the Hermetic System of Astrology measures out to man the events of one year of life. The fourth gate to the temple, referring to the Nadir which is invisible, mythology informs us was always closed. This explains why there were but three assassins. Five times fifteen also points mystically to the sacred cycle of the soul, called Naronia, which governs the expansion and contraction of the psychic forces and thought cell energies within the constitution of man. The age of a Prince of Jerusalem signifies that the candidate has observed the Naronic cycles of soul development, explained in the 13th Award Manuscript. from month to month and from year to year.

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Knights of East and West

This degree is based upon a vision of St. John as given in the Apocalypse. The book of seven seals is the septenary law of nature. The One Universal Principle is refracted from seven sub-centers about the Spiritual Sun, partaking of the quality of each medium through which it passes. As a definite portion of the divine essence under the dominion of one of the planetary angels it bears the seal and is governed by the laws relating to one planet. The twenty-four elders are the twenty-four hours, and symbolize those who have endured through great time. The seven lamps are the seven planetary angels. The four beasts, one with a head like a lion, one with a head like a calf, one with a head like a man, and one with a head like an eagle, are the lords of the zodiacal quadrants; and their many eyes looking within are the stars of these quadrants which look within from the circumference of the constellations. Each beast has six wings and rests not day and night, meaning that due to the earth’s diurnal rotation each quadrant flies by in six hours.

The candidate bares his arms and the wardens lance them so as to procure blood on a napkin to represent those who have come out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. The blood of the lamb means the spiritual life of regeneration by which the body is completely purified. The Master then opens the seals of the great book. Opening the first he takes there from a quiver of arrows and a crown. It represents Sagittarius and the planetary seal of Jupiter. Opening the second seal he takes out a sword, signifying the sign Aries and the seal of Mars. Opening the third seal he takes out a balance, representing Libra and the seal of Venus. Opening the fourth seal he removes a skull, indicating the pale horse death, the sign Capricorn and the seal of Saturn. Opening the fifth seal he finds a cloth stained with blood, symbolizing the sign Virgo and the seal of Mercury. As the sixth seal is opened the sun is darkened and the moon is stained with blood to indicate the sign Cancer and the seal of the Moon. Opening the seventh seal he removes incense, symbolizing Leo, the house of love, and also seven trumpets to show planetary dominion, and thus the seal of the Sun. The four winds signify the aspirations of those born in each zodiacal quadrant, and the precessional cycle which governs the spiritual and mental influx received by men during different stages of evolution.

The draft on the floor, a heptagon in a circle, over the angles of which are placed letters, represents the seven planetary angels surrounded by the zodiac. The six elevated canopies in the north and the six in the south are the summer and winter zodiacal signs, eleven of which are occupied by venerable Ancients who are the ascended souls of those belonging to the state of life and degree of emanation of each sign. The vacant seat is that from which Judas, the sign Scorpio, fell, later to be occupied by the elect, or Eagle. The man in the center of the draft is the macrocosmic man of the kabala.

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Knight of Rose Cross

This degree is also called Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix de Harodin and Knight of the Eagle and Pelican. There was once a tradition that the pelican feeds its young with its own blood, hence it has been used as a symbol of sacrifice. The rose is the ancient emblem of spring. Upon the cross it signifies the resurrection of the sun after death on the autumnal cross, also signifies man regenerated. The eagle is sex, or Scorpio, spiritualized. The special emblem of this degree is a pelican feeding her seven young, on one side of her a rose and on the other side a sprig of cassia; above her a radiant cross upon which climbs a rose. The pelican feeding her young symbolizes the sacrifice of material aims to spiritual ideals. Each planet has its evil side as well as a spiritual quality. The regeneration of all through sacrifice is indicated by the seven young pelicans partaking of blood, or spiritual sustenance, from their mother, who represents the universal mother Isis. The rose on the right signifies the rejuvenating effect of partaking of spiritual nourishment; the cassia on the left signifies immortality gained; and the radiant rosy cross above is the symbol of the conscious translation to spiritual realms of those who have sacrificed all their lower nature to the higher.

The lodge has three apartments. The first represents Calvary, or the autumn of life. It is lighted with thirty-three candles to indicate full experience under the twelve zodiacal signs and ten planets through the ten kingdoms of universal life, completing the cycle of necessity. The thirty-third candle signifies transition to a new cycle. Eleven lights are placed on each of three pillars six feet high. The number eleven (see Course 6, The Sacred Tarot) signifies force. It is the force of the sanctified man on all three planes, corresponding to the sun at the three visible angles, culminating six hours after rising, setting six hours after culminating, and rising six hours after passing the nadir, or material point, or plane below man. The second apartment represents Christ ascending into heaven, and the third apartment represents hell; symbolizing the relative conditions after death of the sanctified and the evil man.

The purpose of this assembly is said to be the recovery of the Lost Word. The means of recovery is indicated by the candidate presenting to each of the brethren one pair of men’s gloves and one pair of women’s gloves and two sticks of sealing wax, symbolizing united work. The result is referred to as, “The moment when the word was recovered; when the cubic stone was changed into a mysterious rose, when the flaming star appeared in all its splendor; when our altars resumed their ordinary form; when the true light dispelled darkness, and the new law became visible in all our works.” The cubic stone is physical gratification, which when the Lost Word is found is transmuted into the rose of spiritual union, revealing the pole star, Truth; illuminating all mysteries, causing oblation to be made to the soul rather than to the senses, and work to be performed harmonious with the new laws thus discovered.

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Grand Pontiff

The New Jerusalem as seen by St. John is the foundation of this degree. It is square with twelve gates; and in the midst a tree bearing twelve kinds of fruit. Above the earth, it descends upon the old Jerusalem crushing a three-headed hydra chained on the ruins. The New Jerusalem is the celestial heavens bounded by the twelve zodiacal constellations, or gates. The tree is that of immortal life, and the twelve fruits it yields are the immortal souls of those born under each sign through which the sun passes by precession of the equinoxes. The moon’s nodes are known astrologically as the dragon’s head and tail. The dragon is the serpentine cycle of the moon; corresponding to the cycle of the soul. The dragon has three heads, which symbolizes that the cycle of necessity embraces three planes. The New Jerusalem, or angelic realm, is attained only after the soul has successfully completed this cycle, leaving the attractions of each realm conquered and chained to the plane of their origin. The mountain at one side of the city indicates that the path to celestial realms lies along the summit of the highest type of physical development and union.

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Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges

The brethren in this degree wear blue and yellow scarfs crossed in front and rear, indicating the union of wisdom with love. The Wardens wear a jewel suspended from the yellow scarf of love. It is a triangular golden plate with the word Secret on one side and the letter R on the other. The Hebrew R symbolizes ascension. The jewel signifies the secret rejuvenation of the soul through the power of love. The same thought is more specifically expressed in the closing lecture: “My Brother, enter into the cave of Silol, work with Grand Rofdam, measure your steps to the sun, and then the great black eagle will cover you with its wings, to the end of what you desire, by the help of the most sublime Princes Grand Commanders.” The cave of Silol is union, Rofdam is vibration, the sun refers to the virile power generated, and the eagle is the spiritual plane contacted, by the help of whose denizens will be attained that which is desired.

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Chief of the Tabernacle

This degree is based upon the establishment of the Jewish Order of Priesthood, and their work of offering sacrifices. There are two side altars, one on the right in front of a representation of the sun, for sacrifices; and one on the left in front of a transparency of the moon, for incense. Man makes oblation of his animal nature to his ego, and exerts his executive power to direct his energies to noble purpose. To his soul he offers the sweet incense of aspiration and loving thought. Both execution and reception are necessary to propitiate his divine nature. The brethren, representing Levites, wear white robes, symbols of purity. Over each robe is a scarlet sash trimmed with gold fringe, and at the bottom on the right hip is a black rosette from which hangs a golden censer. The black rosette symbolizes death on the physical plane, and the scarlet sash symbolizes virile energies used to build up the spiritual body, as signified by the censer. On the apron is pictured a golden chandelier with seven branches, and on the flap is a violet colored myrtle. The chandelier symbolizes the seven active principles of nature which are consciously utilized by the Magus. Violet is the color sacred to Mercury. Myrtle is evergreen, and emits a sweet-smelling odor. The violet myrtle symbolizes the intelligent use of the creative principle which, typified by the flap, is directed to the construction of the spiritual body, ruled by Mercury, and to the attainment of immortality as indicated by the evergreen.

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Prince of the Tabernacle

The main apartment in this degree is made perfectly circular to represent the zodiac. In the middle is a chandelier with seven branches, each branch having seven lights. There is also a round table on which is a cluster of inflamed hearts and some incense. The apartment symbolizes the zodiac as the cycle of life, and the seven branches of the chandelier represent the septenary of planetary influences affecting the physical under which the neophyte struggles. The other planets of the chain affect man more through his mental and astral nature, thus operating indirectly to produce physical conditions and events. The forty-nine lights symbolize seven branches of astrology, seven branches of alchemy, seven branches of magic, man’s septenary constitution, seven physical senses, seven psychic senses, and seven states of consciousness; all of which must be mastered before reaching adeptship. The inflamed hearts symbolize the burning desire of the aspirant to learn the great truths concerning life and immortality, and his devotion to the Cosmic Work which has been given him to perform. The incense symbolizes the thoughts and aspirations ascending to higher worlds. The candidate approaches the altar by six equal steps and one long one. The long seventh step symbolizes that in evolution when the six states below man from mineral up are passed, and the seventh state, the state of manhood, is reached, there is offered the possibility of encompassing much in one life and gaining heaven, as it were, in a single bound.

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Knight of Brazen Serpent

This degree is founded upon the history of the brazen serpent set up by Moses that those bitten by fiery serpents might look thereon and live. Fiery serpents symbolize impure desires. The brazen serpent entwined on a T, or on a phallic Tau, symbolizes wisdom of good and evil gained through experience with generation. Moses healed his people of their licentiousness by teaching them the truths concerning generation. And it is of equal importance today that proper generation should be understood. No one can truly be regenerate until he has mastered the mysteries of generation. Those who isolate themselves from the other sex in the hope of attaining regeneration without passing through the intermediate grade of generation only deceive themselves, and become bitten by the fiery serpents that infest the astral regions and prey upon the imaginations of celibates.

The lodge is opened at one past meridian, the time when the sun is transiting the house in the horoscope ruling instruction and philosophy. The nature of the instruction is disclosed by the lodge being closed at four past meridian, the sun just having completed its daily journey through the house of death, ruled by Scorpio, the sign of sex. The serpent is of brass, a union of positive and negative metals; and on the flap of the apron is the Hebrew feminine letter He, indicating the importance of both man and woman to produce the serpentine spiral called life.

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Prince of Mercy

The Bible speaks of three sacred covenants: one with Abraham by circumcision, one with the Israelites in the wilderness through the intercession of Moses, and one with mankind through the resurrection of Christ. These are the acts of mercy upon which the degree is founded. Circumcision is a rite symbolizing the passage of the sun completely around the zodiac, and is performed to commemorate his virile strength in triumphing over the forces of evil. Abraham means the father of a multitude, and the first covenant signifies the law of physical union as applied merely to multiplication of the species. Israel means one who wrestles with the Lord, and the second covenant indicates the struggle to subjugate the law of multiplication to the law of generation as taught by Moses; for generation is not confined to the production of physical offspring. The third covenant made through the resurrection of the mystical Christos after crucifixion on the material cross, refers to the laws of regeneration.

The jewel is a golden equilateral triangle, upon which is a heart with the Hebrew He in the center. It symbolizes the receptive quality engendered by the affections resulting in illumination. A special emblem of the Order is an arrow, the feather on one side green, on the other side red, the shaft white, and the point gold. It symbolizes the soul penetrating all mysteries by means of its spiritual illumination supported by purity and guided by the dual attributes of execution and reception.

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Sovereign Commander of the Temple

This is a Chivalric Degree. The Wardens wear the order of the degree about their necks. It consists of a white ribbon edged with red, symbolizing purity and energy; and having embroidered on it four Teutonic crosses, each indicating one cycle of the sun past the solstices, and all symbolizing complete realization; the passage through the three planes of the cycle of necessity, after the cycle of involution. From the ribbon hangs a golden triangle upon which is engraved the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of Deity, meaning that the wearer has complied with the requisites of the divine law on the three evolutionary planes. On the flap of the apron worn by the brethren is a cross encircled by a laurel wreath, signifying victory over death; and on the apron is a key, indicating that the region where the apron is worn is the key to higher life and attainment.

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Knights of the Sun

This degree is said to be the key of historical and philosophical Masonry. It is really the key to the history of the world and the philosophy of its inhabitants. Father Adam is stationed in the east to symbolize primitive man, and Brother Truth in the west to represent intellectual man. They signify the alpha and omega of the human race. The lodge is lighted by a sun in the south. There are seven officers called Zaphriel, Zebriel, Camiel, Uriel, Michael, Zaphael, and Gabriel. These are ancient names for the seven planetary angels, who after God actuate the universe. The deific radiance of Life, Light, and Love from the spiritual sun is refracted from these seven sub-centers, and constitutes the source of all life, love, energy, and intelligence manifest on earth. This one universal principle received from the sun enables man to grasp truth, and this truth embraces the law of cycles. The sun’s cycles are the key to history and philosophy; for by calculating his precession at the vernal equinox at the rate of 2,156 years through each sign, the quality of mental and spiritual force received by humanity at any date can be determined. A definite section of this precessional influence by sign is under the rulership of each of the planetary forces named above, and this directs the channels into which the mental and spiritual forces are turned for its term of power; whether for military, artistic, literary, or other purpose. And as the earth’s climatic condition is determined by solar periods it will be seen that the physical environment as well as the intellectual and moral status of the earth’s inhabitants at any time past or future can be calculated within certain limits by a true Knight of the sun. The jewel of the degree is a golden sun with a globe engraved upon it, signifying that the earth owes its existence to the sun and depends upon him for all. The sign is made by placing the hand upon the heart, the thumb forming a square. The answer is to raise the hand with the index finger pointing to heaven. It means that as the heart is the source of will and energy to the body, so is the sun the source of all power in the solar system.

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Knight of Kadosh

This is a higher aspect of the principle exemplified in Knights Templar work, and is also called Knight of the White and Black Eagle. The eagle is the symbol of sex spiritualized, the power that carries the soul to higher spheres. The white eagle is regenerate and spiritualized man, the black eagle represents woman similarly refined and elevated. Five apartments are necessary, the first four typifying the zodiacal quadrants, symbolizing the completion of the cycle of earthly experience. The fifth represents the spiritual realm to which the adept has been translated. It is hung with red to indicate action and energy. In the east is a throne over which is a crowned double-headed eagle with wings outspread, holding in its talons a two-edged sword. This is the reward awaiting the spiritualized man and woman, the white and black eagles. The two-headed eagle represents the permanent reunion of soul mates, both intelligences occupying one body. The crown symbolizes the natural right to rule of those who have attained this exalted state. The jewel of the order is suspended from the neck of the eagle to indicate the victory won by love. On its breast is an equilateral triangle bearing the letters of the Tetragrammaton, meaning that the sovereignty was gained through obedience to divine laws on all three planes.

The candidate during initiation must climb a ladder having Two supports and Seven steps. The supports of all initiation are the two pillars, Wisdom and Love. The steps are the seven states from man to angel, the two-headed eagle symbolizing angelhood attained. The crown of human life is the attainment of angelhood through the reunion of the two portions of the ego, the reunion of soul mates. Human no longer, the angel then occupies a throne at the right hand of Deity.

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Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

The lecture of this degree explains, “That the mysteries of the Craft are the mysteries of religion.” The special emblem of the degree figures a human being having two heads, one a man’s and one a woman’s. It stands on the back of a dragon, the dragon crouched on a winged globe. On the globe is traced a trine, a four-sided square and a cross dividing the globe into quadrants. The human being holds in his right hand a compass, and in his left a square. In a semicircle over him are the planets, each sending a ray to a cuirass on the front of which is the word Rebis. This figure reveals man’s past, and his future destiny. The globe is the earth, and the dragon represents the cycle of necessity that the soul must travel. The globe is winged to indicate its motion. The cross marking the quadrants represents the crossing of the solstice and the equinox. At the lower solstice is the letter Z, indicating the victory over matter. At the upper solstice is the letter I, representing the divine fire that exalts the soul above matter. The trine and square on the earth, and the numbers 3 and 4 accompanying each, symbolize the harmonies and discords through which the soul evolved its septenary constitution and became a microcosm. The feminine hand holding the square indicates the laws of physical union that were obeyed, and the compass in the masculine hand that spiritual laws also have been complied with. The rays of the seven planets converging on the breastplate bearing the word Rebis means that they have an influence and perfect correspondence within this being. This figure stands on the dragon, having passed triumphantly through the cycle of necessity, and has a man’s head and a woman’s head to indicate the two halves of the divine soul permanently united. The whole is enclosed in an oval like an egg to convey the idea that every immortal soul when united to its mate is the germ of a future universe. The lodge is always on the top floor of a building, representing the realm of spirit.

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Knight of the Sword

The Knight of the sword is intimately connected with the Prince of Jerusalem, and is founded upon the first journey of Zerubbabel to Persia, during which he obtained from Cyrus, King of Persia, permission to rebuild the temple and the freedom of Jewish prisoners who had been held captive seventy years. Ten is the number expressing cyclic duration. The seventy years refer to the seven cycles through the seven states of life from mineral up to and including man during which the soul is imprisoned in matter or the astral realm immediately associated with it. Cyrus typifies the material captor, Saturn, the King of the winter zodiacal signs. He is said to have had a dream as follows: “I imagined I saw a ferocious lion about to throw himself upon me and devour me; his appearance terrified me, and I hastily looked for shelter from his fury; but at that moment I saw my two predecessors, habited as slaves, beneath a glory, which Masons designate by the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe. I was made to understand two words which I saw issuing from a blazing star. They signified, Liberate the Captives, and I understood that if I did not do this my crown would pass from me to strangers.”

The lion symbolizes the creative energy which misused destroys. It thus enslaves the soul to the senses, making it a captive of its appetites while on earth, and after death still bound to earth by the magnetic ties of its desires. The creative energy may be used also to free the soul from the senses, even as Leo draws the sun from the domain of Saturn. The blazing star is enlightened man, and the two words that liberate him from bondage to the flesh are Wisdom and Love. The glory spoken of is represented in the lodge by a triangle in which is the ineffable name of Deity. It rests upon a luminous cloud from which an eagle soars, carrying in its beak a banner on which are the words, “Liberate the Captives.” It is the eagle of spiritual love freeing the soul and carrying it into brighter spheres than the sub-lunary realms of suffering where it so long has sojourned.

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Sovereign Grand Inspector General

The lodge of this degree is painted with skeletons and skulls and crossbones. This symbolizes association with the dead. The room is lighted with eleven candles, the number symbolizing psychic force, and at the north of the pedestal on which rests the Bible is a skeleton holding in its left hand the banner of the Order, and in its right hand a poinard as in the attitude of striking. This signifies that while members of the Supreme Council on the external plane are the physical instruments through which are governed the lodges of any country, the real Masters have passed the borders of physical life, yet are still potent to enlighten and protect those who have proved worthy neophytes and to strike down any who attempt to desecrate and profane the sacred mysteries. The jewel of this degree is the thirty-third degree emblem.

This emblem is a two-headed golden eagle, wings outspread, holding a sword in its talons. From the two ends of the sword hangs a belt forming an under arc. Below the outspread wings are thirty-two stars. Above and between the eagle’s heads is a golden crown surmounted by a Maltese cross. The upper bar of the cross touches an inverted radiant trine having in its center the number thirty-three. The two-headed eagle symbolizes two intelligences occupying one spiritual body, soul mates permanently reunited in one form on the spiritual plane. An eagle is the symbol of sex in its spiritual aspect; the two-headed eagle thus representing the fusion of two spiritually evolved souls who have obeyed the inner promptings of their sexual natures. In this final Masonic revelation is disclosed the reason that prompted the ancients to commence the symbolic cyclic pilgrimage of the soul in the zodiacal sign Leo; for Leo is the sign of that love which springs into existence as the result of natural affinity between soul mates. These were differentiated at the same moment and constitute the eternal north and south poles of one deific ego. Leo, the mansion of Sol, well represents the spiritual spheres of the angelic parents; and as the sign ruling the house of love in a natural birth chart it symbolizes that form of spiritual love resulting from common angelic parentage and identical Cosmic Work. Love, as signified by Venus and her signs, on the other hand, may be the result of planetary affinity, mental compatibility, or other causes.

The belt suspended from the sword on which the reunited souls rest is the zodiacal cycle of necessity from which they are now ready to soar, having risen superior to its attractions by means of the intelligent use of the regenerate sword, the vernal transmutation on the cross of Aries. This means is still further exemplified by the words on the belt signifying, “To me God’s Will is Law.” And the result of the adoption of the spiritual life is signified by words above the belt meaning that Order has been established from Chaos. The thirty-two stars under the wings represent the twelve zodiacal signs, ten planets, and ten kingdoms of universal life under whose influence the soul pilgrimaged. These kingdoms are: I. Celestial, II. Spiritual, III. Astral, IV. Mineral, on the involutionary arc; and V. Vegetable, VI. Animal, VII. Human, VIII. Astral, IX. Spiritual, X. Celestial, on the evolutionary arc.

The crown above the heads of the eagle symbolizes the ego to which both have become united, completing the trinity and conferring upon them the crown of everlasting life. The Maltese cross above the crown indicates the beginning of a new cycle in realms above the spiritual that they will now enter, which opens up vistas and possibilities undreamed of by man. The ego, as it were, is at the lower solstice of this new cycle; the upper solstice contacting the very presence of the triune God, symbolized by the effulgent trine. Such is the exalted destiny of man. The number thirty-three signifies the cycle of necessity having been completed that the triumphant souls are translated to a new and higher round of life and action. The two threes united as thirty-three indicate the union of two souls having had complete experience on all three planes. And by their union their powers are multiplied as greatly as is the case when the two separate threes are joined in the manner indicated.

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Conclusion

The ancient Masons, or Magi, specialized in acquiring knowledge that would enable man to live to his highest and make the most rapid spiritual progress. The information thus gained they passed on to posterity in the language of universal symbolism. In particular they emphasized these four things:

  1.  That the soul survives physical death and sometimes communicates with those still in the flesh. Also that man has faculties by which, while still on earth, he can explore the inner plane where later he will dwell and prove for himself that personality survives physical death.

    They left instructions for the cultivation of such faculties, and for their use in acquiring information. The Brotherhood of Light ESP Research Department is engaged in ascertaining the details of the safest and most effective method of employing these faculties.

  2. That energies from the planets exert an influence over human life and destiny. The Brotherhood of Light Astrological Research Department is engaged in acquiring as complete a knowledge as possible of these planetary influences, and of the precise manner in which they influence human life.

  3. That love is a powerful constructive agent. The basic vibratory level on which an individual functions, now or in the hereafter, is determined by his own dominant vibratory rate. This dominant vibratory rate is determined by his governing mood, or feeling.

    Cold asceticism, intellectual activity, and disregard of the welfare of others cultivate a dominant vibratory rate which enables the individual to contact only lower astral levels. Family life, including the unselfish affections of parents for children, provides opportunity for cultivating a high dominant vibratory rate, through which alone upper astral levels or spiritual realms can be contacted.

    Selfishness is the most unprofitable of all things. It chains the individual, until he replaces it with love, to the animal levels of existence. Feelings engendered by parenthood, by caring for the weak and helpless, by harmonious marriage, and by eagerness to contribute to Universal Welfare, raise the basic vibratory rate, and this alone permits spiritual progress.

  4. That thought is a powerful influence to shape human life and destiny. The Brotherhood of Light Control of Life Research Department is engaged in determining the most effective way of handling thoughts, feelings and planetary energies to the end of controlling life and destiny.

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Birth Charts

The Church of Light Chart

 

November 2, 1932, 9:55 a.m. 118W15, 34N
Data from Elbert Benjamine

 

The three chief functions of The Church of Light are: to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of nature, including occult force and planes other than the physical; to use this knowledge in teaching as wide a number of people as possible the best way to live; and in all other ways to help as many people as possible.

In electing a time for its birth, during the time available, as favorable a house of preaching and teaching (ninth) as could be had was selected. Uranus and Pluto in angles insures ample research. And the Moon, ruler of the populace, well aspected in the house of membership, gives assurance a vast number will be benefited.

The Brotherhood of Light ESP Research Department Chart

 

December 14, 1937, 6:45 p.m., 118W15, 34N
Data from Elbert Benjamine

 

The Brotherhood of Light ESP Research Department has set itself the task of finding the safest and most effective method of developing efficient Extra Sensory Perception, to the end that people may be able to use it not alone to their benefit in the more practical affairs of life, but also to the end that as many as possible may be able to explore the inner plane and thus prove to themselves that personality survives physical dissolution. Such widespread firsthand knowledge is deemed the best of all protections against atheistic materialism.

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