'The Occult science of
the ancient magi was concealed under the shadows of the Ancient Mysteries:
it was imperfectly revealed or rather disfigured by the Gnostics; it is
guessed at under the obscurities that cover the pretended crimes of the
Templars; and it is found enveloped in enigmas that seem impenetrable, in
the Rites of the Highest Masonry'.
Opening sentence taken from the
‘Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret’ 32nd degree (taken
from ‘Morals and Dogma’ published online
by the Supreme Council)
We come now to the great symbol of Pythagoras. Our symbols have descended to us
from the Aryans, and many were invented by Pythagoras, who studied at Egypt and Babylon.
In order to preserve the Great Truths from the profane (that is anyone who is not a
mason), there were invented some of our symbols that represent the profoundest of
truths descended to us from our white ancestors. Many have been lost, as was the Great
Word at the death of Hiram Abiff.
The ancient masons invented some of these symbols to express the results of their
contemplation of deity. They did not attempt to name him, but rather tried to express
their reverence by describing him as Ahura-Mazda, spirit of light. (note:
Ahura -Mazda is a
nature god of Zoroastrianism, a Persian god worshipped with fire)
They conceived the idea that Ahura had seven potencies or emanations. Four of these they
thought of as being male and three female. The four male potencies of Ahura by which he
governed the Universe were :the divine might, the divine wisdom, the divine word and the
divine sovereignty. The three female potencies were: productiveness, health and vitality.
Behold in the east, the seven pointed star, the great symbol of this degree, with the
seven colours of the rainbow. The seven colours and the seven points represent the seven
potencies of Ahura.
Observe now the great delta of Pythagoras consisting of thirty six lights arranged in
eight rows to form an equilateral triangle. The light at the apex of the delta represents
Ahura-Mazda, source of all light. This represents the seven remaining potencies of Ahura.
The right angle triangle of three lights around the altar represents the famous forty
seventh proposition of Euclid, or the Pythagorean theorem, which is used to conceal and
reveal philosophical truths. The real significance of the cross is that of Ahura and his four male emanations, emanating from him.
The four animals of the prophet Ezekiel represent these same four male emanations: man,
the divine word; the eagle, divine wisdom, the bull divine might and the lion, divine
Every equilateral triangle is a symbol of unity, as are all groups of three in a lodge, in
the sacred and mystic symbol AUM of the Hindoos, whose origin no one here
knows. The great trinity of the Aryans was symbolised by the Adepts. Among the Hindoos it
symbolised a supreme god of gods. The Brahmins, because of its awful and sacred meaning
hesitated to pronounce it aloud. And when doing so, placed a hand in front of the mouth to
deaden the sound. This trilateral name for god is composed of three sanskrit letters. The
first letter A stands for the creator (Brahmin); the second letter
U for (Vishnu) the preserver; the third M for (Siva) the
destroyer. AUM, it is ineffable, not because it cannot be pronounced, because
it is pronounced A-A-A-U-U-U-M-M-M. All these things which you can learn by study,
concentration and contemplation, have come down to us from our ancient ancestors through
Zarathustra and Pythagoras.
You have now reached the mountain peak of masonic instruction, a peak covered by mist,
which you in search for further light can pierce only by your own efforts. Now we hope you
will study diligently the lessons of all our degrees, so that there will be nurtured
within you a consuming desire to pierce the pure white light of masonic wisdom. And before
you go, let me give you a hint; and that is all that the great mystics ever give, as to
how you may learn to find that light. The hint is in the Royal Secret, that True Word. Man
is born with a double nature: what we call good and what we call evil; spiritual and
earthly; mortal and immortal. And finds the purpose of his being only when these two
natures are in perfect harmony, like the harmonies of the Universe. Harmony, my brethren,
harmony is for the true word and the Royal Secret which makes possible the empire of true
Reproduced from The craft and the cross page 161: Kingsway Publications.
My notes in brackets
(The author of The craft and the cross extracted this information from the
book by E.M. Storms, Should a Christian be a mason? which has a foreword by
James D. Shaw, a former 33rd degree freemason. New Puritan Library Inc. UK
distributor - Diasozo Trust, 68, Elm Road, Slade Green, Erith, Kent)