Freemasonry means different things to different people. But common to every variation of answer will be the strain that Freemasonry makes good men better, being as it is a system of self-improvement tried and tested over centuries.
The uneducated with no interest in mystical traditions and the esoteric may regard Ancient Egypt as little more than a place of pagan worship, strange hieroglyphics and monuments erected by thousands of Hebrew slaves. But those more learned, especially those having undertaken the initiative rituals of Freemasonry, will see a link between the Egyptian metaphysical tradition and modern mystery schools, of which Freemasonry is one.
But for the less refined adoration of the people were presented the endless images of deities sculptured on the walls of temples. Masonic teaching centers on its initiation rituals. Occult scholar, Lewis Spence — tells us of the same goal of initiation in Ancient Egypt:. Aye, the greatest in the world, the knowledge of that divine introspection which alone can give man the likeness of the Divine. Masonic author, Albert Mackey, believed in a relationship between modern Freemasonry and Ancient Egypt.
Another link between modern Freemasonry and Egypt is the Isis — Osiris story that formed the crux of the Ancient Egyptian belief system. Other similarities between Freemasonry and the Egyptian Mystery Schools are seen in certain Masonic symbols and initiatic procedures. When he first enters a lodge room for initiation, the candidate for Freemasonry is blindfolded and has a rope tied around his neck by which he is led in a circuit of the room.
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This rope is called a cable tow. The cable tow is purely Masonic in meaning and use, but as with many Masonic symbols it is rooted in antiquity. Vases from ancient Mexico have been unearthed that show candidates proceeding through a ceremony of initiation in which they are being taught a sign while wearing a noosed rope around their necks.
As in Freemasonry, the Egyptian candidate was also blindfolded to represent a state of darkness before emerging into the light of knowledge when the blindfold was removed. When a candidate becomes a Freemason, he is presented with a white apron consisting of a square overlaid with a triangle.
The apex of the triangular flap represents the divine spark we must endeavor to recover. After all, geometrically a triangle is the very first shape that can be made by drawing straight lines. This is why the number 3 was venerated by the ancients and still is to this day. In Judaism, the triangle represents the past, present and future.
Abydos: Egyptian Tombs & Cult of Osiris | Live Science
To the Chinese: heaven, earth and water. To the Hindus: creation, preservation and renewal. The three points of the triangle also represent the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the collective unconscious. The Ancient Egyptian ceremony of initiation led the candidate to a door shaped exactly as a Masonic apron: a triangle over a square, symbolizing his progression from an earthly, material existence square into a heavenly, spiritual existence of higher learning triangle.
The Masonic symbol of the Point Within a Circle inside two parallel, perpendicular lines is steeped in antiquity. Early Egyptian monuments have been discovered inscribed with the symbol of God — represented by the Alpha and Omega — in the centre of a circle bordered by two perpendicular, parallel serpents. In many ancient belief systems and mystery schools, a circle was used to symbolize God as, like a circle, God has no beginning and no end. One of the emblems of the third degree of Freemasonry is the honeycomb. Many ancient civilizations revered bees and honey. Depictions of bees and honey are prevalent on many Egyptian carvings including the Flamic and Pamphilic obelisks, the obelisk of Luxor, the pillars of the Temple of Karnak and on statues of Rameses II.
Royal tombs in Egypt also show the importance of beekeeping and honey, including the enormous sarcophagus of Rameses II which includes numerous pictures of honeybees. Foodstuffs created by bees, such as pots of honey, honeycombs and honey cakes, were placed by the sarcophagi as food for the gods.
Even Alexander the Great requested that his body be wrapped in honey upon his death. Secrecy and silence play a big part in Masonic teaching but are not exclusive to the organization.
The Connection Between Ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools and Freemasonry
Wellins Calcott, author of A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons quite possibly the longest book title ever , wrote of the ancient veneration of secrecy and silence:. The best known champion of silence and secrecy was Pythagoras, who ventured to Egypt to study the Mysteries, which he later brought back to Greece.
To become a member of the Pythagorean School, an initiate took an oath of silence for two to five years. The connections between Ancient Egypt and modern Freemasonry are many, and only a few are presented in this article. Miroslav Verner presents a deeper and more complex study of major ancient Egyptian religious centers, their principal temples, their rise and decline, their religious doctrines, cults, rituals, feasts, and mysteries. Also discussed are the var Also discussed are the various categories of priests, the organization of the priesthood, and its daily services and customs.
Each chapter offers the reader essential and up-to-date information about temple complexes and the history of their archaeological exploration, in the context of the spiritual dimension and cultural legacy of ancient Egypt. Forgot password?
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