THE STONE THAT FELL TO EARTH,
PART THE THIRD.
FEW PEOPLE TODAY know who Antoine Guillaume Chéreau was. He was the author of a couple of small tracts on Masonic Symbolism pertinent to the present subject matter. These were written in 1806 c.e. One, was Explanation of the Philosophical Cross, and the other Explanation of the Cubic Stone. They were later bound together and offered, in 1981 c.e., with a detailed biography of the Rites Chéreau was a part of.
M. Chéreau was a member in good standing, of the Grand Orient at Paris. Not only that, he was a member of the Chevaliers de la Croix, a very exclusive Order of Knights. The Chevaliers de la Croix were associated with the same Templar Order which Fabre-Palaprat ran. Chéreau also was a member of the Ordre de l'Orient, Order of the Orient, or East. This was related to the Baron Tschoudy's organization of Knights of the East.
The Cubic Stone, which Chéreau gave his explanation of, is presented below.
In Chéreau's estimation, this Stone represented the Key to Nature, much like we see in the speculations of the Rosicrucians and the Alchemists, like Robert Fludd, Heinrich Khunrath, Jakob Boehme, and others.
In this stone, we see the Masonic cypher used by the Rite. Then we see an enigmatic magical square of letters, topped off by a triangle containing the word Schemhammphorasch. Next we get a square, divided into eight parts, surrounded by the numbers, which are to be drawn from that square. Then we get a series of concentric circles and squares, finally the seven planets. The jewels of the officers are shown at the corners of each face of the stone, and on one face, that with the magical square, we get four series of three numbers, such as 9, 81, 729. This engraving appears in Waite's New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, but it originally appeared in Chéreau's work.
Certainly, the Orders which Chéreau was a part of, were important pieces of an age-long puzzle. Few today, may know who the Chevaliers de la Croix or the Ordre de l'Orient were, but they were very important Orders in the hierarchy of Orders that existed in France in the late 18th Century. Not only that, the Orders which continued the Baron Tschoudy's work, were a part of the unfolding of a very crucial story. This story is the main topic of our work as a whole, namely the continuation of a secret tradition which not only includes several others, but which is the one that most others are merely an allegory of.
The Qadosh Fathers, the Brethren of the Thebaid, the Knights of the Morning or Palestine, etc. And this is important, in connection with the concept of the Stone, or of the DurAnKi Stone, even. This may seem strange, since our Knights of the Desert were primarily in Egypt, in the region around Denderah. Yet, this is only part of the story. Some of our goodly Knights made their way to Syria, bringing with them the Hermetic Teachings. Of course, in those days, they were probably not known as Knights. That is a peculiarity of the time in which the legends were written. While a tradition continued in Egypt, another branch of the same tradition preserved itself among the Arabs, among the Syrians, among the Eastern Empire, until at least the middle of the 15th Century c.e., when George Gemistius Plethon was forced to migrate West, to Mistra, and set up a Platonic School there. His successor, Johannes Bessarion, came to Florence, at the same time as the Hermetica, and the rest, they say, is history.
From Bessarion came both Cosimo de Medici and Marsilio Ficino, and from Ficino et al., Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Johann Trithemius, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and the rest. The Tubingen Group partially listed here, formed one of the earliest pockets of what would become known later as the Rosicrucians.
And, while some maintain that the Rosicrucians after Michael Maier, not only found refuge, but proliferated themselves, in England, it can be seen that the old German R+C managed to survive in its home country, and didn't really begin to die out until the middle of the 18th Century.
And it was then, that the New or Gold Rosicrucians came about, and which would last until about 1780 or so. It was from this group that the familiar schema of degrees that we see in present day orders like the Golden Dawn and the A.'. A.'. oiriginated.
Whether or not the Gold RC lasted beyond that date, we cannot tell for sure. It is very difficult to find reliable material on the subject. It did last, in French High Grade Freemasonry.
Indeed, the Rose Croix is one of the most central components of High Grade, particularly Scottish Rite style Freemasonry. We must deal with this subject in another part of this work.
The Ordre du Temple of Fabre Palaprat is said not to have survived his death in the early-mid 19th Century. What about the Order of the Orient? -- or Order of the East? Asia is to be considered Oriental, and the Order of the Perfect Initiates of Asia of John the Evangelist, Asiatic Brethren, or Fratres Lucis, for short, were a spinoff of two very important currents. One, of the Strict Observance - Martinist current in vogue in Lyons, in the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Saint Cité, which was noticed prominently by Picknett and Prince in their excellent work, THE TEMPLAR REVELATION. Two, and most directly, of the Gold Rosicrucians.
There is, additionally, an important Egyptian connection, which we shall outline, in part, below. This includes a survival of an authentic Priesthood of the Mysteries, from the end of the ancient world -- a group that has survived at least until recent times, if not today. Also, this includes Islamic Gnostic currents, associated with the Batiniyya, and the Isma'iliyya, that survived in Egypt, and there is a group, according to one source, that is to be known as The Brethren. There is another group, according to the same source, that is to be known as the Scholars of Light, and it is this group, according to this source, that is to be associated with the H B of L. Unfortunately, there is much speculation in this, at present.
That isn't all, though. A very important current which presumably wasn't a part of the Gold RC, which began to run through the new Order of Asiatic Brethren, or Asiatische Brueder, was the Frankist Current.
As we have written of the Frankists elsewhere we may not need to comment much here.
Now, why is this important?
0. The rise of Christianity, and then, of Islam, made it necessary for the Schools of Wisdom to cloak their works in secrecy, and pass their succession clandestinely, in order to escape detection throughout the centuries. This did not always work.
1. In the 9th Century c.e., Abu Aharon ben Samuel ha Nasi of Baghdad, migrates to Italy and brings with him the Practical Kabbalah. This is also known in some areas as Magical Knowledge. Also, it is known in some circles as the Merkabah Tradition -- The real Jewish Gnosis. Aaron of Baghdad brings this material, which had been developed over the past six or seven centuries on Syrian and Babylonian soil, in the schools of the Tanaim, and elsewhere. He brings it to Italy. To Calabria, at first, then up the boot of Italy, to Lucca. There he finds the Kalonymide family, who he initiated into his teachings.
2. Next, we get the great Hasids of Southern Germany, in descendants of the Kalonymides who were students of Abu Aharon. Eleazar of Worms, Judah the Hasid, and others. One of these great teachers was said to be responsible for the writing of the Sepher Razial Hamelech. Excellent work, and definitely demonstrates a knowledge of the Practical Kabbalah.
3. Some of this material makes its way to southern France, to Narbonne, to Lunel, to Perpignan, to Montpellier, to Posquieres, and other places in the area.
4. It is said that the Kabbalah as we know it was developed first, by the German school, represented by the likes of the Kalonymides, and by some of the people in northern Spain, who became the teachers of the French School.
5. But, it is really in the Languedocian Kabbalists , that we can see the germination of the Kabbalah as we know it. In the school set up by the Rabad, Rabbi Abraham ben David of Posquieres, of Isaac the Blind, of Posquieres, and of their successors. This developed into the 'Iyyun School. These wise sages were known as the Maskilim, or Illuminati.
6. From France we go back to Spain, and to a few centuries of development, including people such as Hasdai Crescas, Gikatilla, Abulafia, Moses de Leon, Moses Cordovero, etc. From the Classical Kabbalah to the period of the Zohar. Then comes 1492.
7. From 1492 on, for a few centuries at least, the Kabbalah ceased to develop on Western European soil, except in some isolated areas, as it had for the previous centuries. This was due to the fanaticism of Ferdinand and Isabella.. From this point on, the Kabbalah would develop in the School at Safed, near Galilee, where Isaac Luria set up a school of students. We are not saying that there was no development elsewhere, but that the constant line of tradition points to this development as the present link in the chain.
8. The next link is a while later, in the mid 17th Century, when Nathan of Gaza and Shabbetai Tsevi existed. It was Tsevi who began to actualize the Kabbalah into a form of self fulfilling prophecy. After his so-called "apostasy", he ended up going off and dying, but a legacy and a legend grew up around his name, and around those who continued to follow him. These included the Doenmeh, a term used to denote Moslem-Jews (Converts after the example of Tsevi). Most of these were in Asia Minor and Greece, and oher Balkan areas.
9. There was a man named Jakob Frank, who picked up this tradition while travelling in the near East. He ended up becoming so fervent in his support of the cause, that he became the cause itself. While Jakob Frank, never considered himself a Frankist, as Jesus never called himself a Christian, he did have a sect known as the Zoharites. And what did the Zoharites practice?
10. We recommend people obtain materials on this subject or do Google Search engine searches, because it is a most fascinating subject. We do not recommend that people follow the opinion of Fritz Springmeier, namely, that Billy Graham is really a secret Frankist (and a 33° Mason).
11. Eventually, the Mantle of succession would fall upon Frank's favorite nephew, (true natural priestly succession quite naturally runs from Uncle to Nephew.) - Moses Dobruschka. Son of Schoendel Dobruschka, Frank's Cousin.
12. Moses Dobruschka, first an active Frankist in Vienna, later, a co-founder of the Asiatic Brethren, at Vienna in 1782, along with Ecker und Eckhoffen. In this work, he was known as Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld, since at the time he had been ennobled by the government. Later, he and his brother would become Jacobins and help Francois Chabot in Paris and Strasbourg, finally being guillotined alongside Danton, in 1794 c.e.
13. A younger confidant and known associate of Dobruschka, was Ephraim Joseph Hirschfeld, who was an assistant to Ecker und Eckhoffen in the Asiatishe Brueder, when it moved its focus of operations to Schleswig. Later it would move to Frankfurt, location of the last transmission of this line, before metamorphosis into the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. Perhaps the most important member of the Asiatic Brethren was Prince Karl of Hesse-Cassel. He was also associated with Falk, and with the Nascent Dawn Lodge, and had a Lodge named after him, Prince Karl of the Rising Dawn. Also, he petitioned to join the Rite of the Seven Degrees in London, of Lambert de Lintot. After Hirschfeld split with Ecker und Eckhoffen, he went to Strasbourg for a short season, to be with Dobruschka, but later returned to Frankfurt, where he spent the remainder of his life.
14. In the Early 19th Century, the Asiatic Brethren changed its name to the Knights of Light, or Fratres Lucis. Actually, the name, Knights of Light, goes back much earlier, to the mid-16th Century, when Symphorien Champier, Doctor and Antiquary, was flourishing, and writing his important, but highly obscure, works. It is in one of these, on the perpetuation of the Pythagorean and Platonic Schools of Philosophy and Science in the Arab Schools, that we see the term, Equite Aurato, Knight of Light.
15. Also, at this time, or somewhat later, when the Templar Order dies out, some of it goes under Ragon's Trinosophe Lodge, and Johannite Church, or Primitive Christian Church, in France. Another element survived in Belgium, under the name of Kumris, which actually existed, outside of P. R. Koenig's reference to them in his Krumm Heller book. According to an edition of Papus' Bibliographie Méthodique de la Science Occulte, July to September 1892,
and according to the story in the Krumm-Heller book, Fabré-Palaprat consecrated a radical Socialistic Priest, Ferdinand Francois Chatel (1795-1857), as a Bishop of Palaprat's Templar Church. It further states that the succession from Fabré-Palaprat's Templar Order lives in Papus' Independent Group of Esoteric Studies, and that the Belgian branch was named Kumris. And, finally, it states that the Chevalier de Saint-Marcq, author of the excellent work, The Eucharist, was a secretary of Kumris. Beyond that, we know nothing more about Kumris.
In the above image, taken from Papus' Almanach du Magiste, we get a parallel of sorts to Sumerian glyphs, in the eight-armed cross symbol in the lower left quadrant of the triangle. This symbol refers, among other things, in Sumerian usage, at least, to Anu, or to Heaven, or to Stars, and can also be found in Yezidi usage as well.
16. Sometime concurrent with the foundation of the New or Gold Rosicrucians, and with Jakob Frank beginning his mission, was that of Martines Pasqually. And from Pasqually came a succession of teachers and orders. One succession included Saint Martin, which was claimed as the predecessor of many people in the French Occult Revival. One of these successors was Willermooz, at Lyons. Willermooz established, as part of the Strict Observance and as a part of the Convent of Wilhelmsbad, and the Rectification of the Scottish Rite, the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Sainte Cité. This group must have been in existence much earlier than this, because it was giving orders to another lodge, this time in Munich. The Loge Theodore du Bon Conseil, which was under the jurisdiction of the Lodge Royal York at Berlin. The Loge Theodore du Bon Conseil, of which Franz Xaver von Baader was the Most Eminent (i.e., the Grand Master), included among its membership the former Jesuit, Adam Weishaupt, professor of Canon Law at the University of Ingoldstadt, in Bavaria. According to an anonymously written history of Martines Pasqually and the Martinist movement, it was through von Baader, that Weishaupt got his instructions. We cannot entirely agree with this statement. Barruel mentions Baader (spelled Bader) as an adept, towards the end of Volume III of his anti-Illuminati tome. Baader was Celsus. However, it is much more likely that it was Baader's father that was involved with the Illuminati, since Baader himself did not get interested in Saint Martin or any other mystical subjects, really, until 1787. We must update our conclusions as we receive new information, therefore we cannot entirely accept that Franz Xaver von Baader was in such a high position in Munich at such a young age. Really, he would have had to have been a teenager when he would have been giving instructions to Weishaupt, and that is highly unlikely. Father, on the other hand, would have been approaching middle age, but until we get more details on other members of the family, we must hold our conclusions. It was through Baader, however, that a whole generation of German Theologians, picked up new methodologies and ways of looking at the scriptures they were interpreting.
17. Franz Xaver von Baader wrote an obscure little work, THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF MARTINEZ PASQUALLY. His work also provided an inspiration to a young protege of Ephraim Joseph Hirschfeld, Franz Joseph Molitor. In fact, Molitor and Baader exchanged correspondence.
18. Molitor was a prominent member of the Nascent Dawn Lodge, and was partially responsible for its establishment in Frankfurt am Main. Not only that, he was also a prominent party in the founding of the Philanthropin School in the same city. While it is said that he closed the Nascent Dawn in 1816, that is not entirely true, because the Nascent Dawn Lodge made it to the 1870s. He became a student of Hirschfeld, and this had a major effect on his own theological writing, of which he penned many pages. He wrote on the Kabbalah.
19. T. Allen Greenfield, in his part-fiction, part-fact, part-speculative work, Tales of Thelema, posed the idea that Max Theon (Louis Maximilian Bimstein, aka Aia Aziz) when a wee laddie of 12, was initiated by the dying Molitor. [It would have had to have been a dying Molitor, for the man died in March of 1860 c.e., and Theon, at least if born before 23 Mar, would have been 12 that year.] The altar had the flaming F on it, like we see mentioned in the Rituals of the Fratres Lucis. The connection to the Frankists was made, and the connection between Theon and the secret Frankist succession (post Frank's death), and this stoked the ire of a major website in Australia. We say major site, because it is the only site outside of our own, that we have found, covering this subject matter.
20. From this we can go to Mackenzie and his connection to the European RC, to Levi and his connection to the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, to Bulwer Lytton and his connection, to P B Randolph, to Carl Kellner, who is in need of an excellent biographer, other than der Schweiz. Kellner was a man of science, as well as a mystic, and if he was a student of a teacher who was promulgating the secrets of Atom-Yoga, which we can see traces of in the writings of Sri Aurobindo and in the writings of Sir John Woodroffe, then it is indeed possible that there is a direct connection to the teachings of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light/ Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor on the one hand, and the Fratres Lucis / Asiatic Brethren on the other.
21. If we are to look at the Rituals of the Fratres Lucis, it becomes clear that the central secret of this order is not very far removed from the central secrets of the H B of L, the OTO even, and for our part, most importantly, the Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, for in the Borderlands, we see a living representation of the succession demonstrated here in these notes. For it had the Inner Circle, which functioned in exactly the same way as the Interior Circle of the H B of L, and this functioned in the same way as similar levels of the hierarchy worked in the other earlier groups.
In this list of items we might have left off some things, like the very important Memphis tradition, but that is not because it does not belong in the Authentic Tradition. Indeed, it is of the utmost importance to this tradition, and connects with the above mentioned tradition several times.
1. There existed near Alexandria, and in the Fayyum region, of Egypt, the school of the Therapeutae. They are said to have been kin to the Essenes. They were healers and philosophers, and had a monastery environment, before Christianity even adopted the monastery as a matter of daily business.
2. Throughout Egypt in the early centuries of the Common Era, Gnosticism and Hermeticism flourished. From the time of the Alexandrian school, to its demise, this material flourished in Egypt like it did nowhere else, save for Syria and the Transjordan region. We are talking of the NeoPlatonists, the Neo Pythagoreans, the Hermeticists, the Sethian Ophites, the Dosithean-Simonian-succession of the Johannite Gnosis; the Barbelo Gnostics, the Valentinians.
3. One such repository was to be found in the Thebaid Region, near Denderah. This place was at Tebennisi, aka Chenoboskion, where Saint Pachomius established the first such monastery of monks. He was a Serapic Priest (as Ormus was said to be a Seraphic Priest), of Serapis, who is to be considered as a son of Ptah, aka Enki. The Month of Pachon is said to be that month which is most sacred in the Calendar of the Temple at Denderah, in which there is a Temple of the New Year. This festival at Denderah was one of the most important, and was related to the festival of Horus of Edfu, which began at Edfu and ended up at Denderah where Horus was brought to be united to Hathor. This Horus is aka Horus Behutet, aka Hadit. At some point, in the 320s c.e., Pachomius was converted to Christianity and fused the mysteries with Christianity, much like it is said of Ormus, who was converted to Christianity by Saint Mark at Alexandria, thereby fusing the Mysteries with Christianity and creating the Rose Croix. The stories are essentially identical, even if they are three centuries removed. A plague swept thru the area and Pachomius succumbed. Eventually due to a decree of Athanasius, the books of the monastery had to be buried, because they were using non canonical books, and mystical practices in their work. They were also treating the Bible allegorically rather than literally. The books were buried, and a new order of things took place. Some of the monks stayed on and practiced in secret, or so it is said, and some moved on.
4. Some of these moved on to be with their Brethren in Syria, and met up with their brethren there. These would have an influence on the Harranians, of whom see an earlier section of our work "The City of Sin." [When it has been completed.]
5. While they didn't just go away for several centuries, they did lay low. According to the Masonic legends about the Knights of the Morning, they died out in the 7th or 8th centuries, yet there were still some in the area, when the first Crusaders hit Palestine. There is one story that Morien travelled from Italy to Egypt in search of Adfar the Magician, who is said to have been one of them. He learned the secrets of Alchemy from this Adept, and some centuries later, a group of Scottish Knights, during the First Crusade, is said to have sought out the highly prized writings of Morien the Sage, in the strategically important city of Damietta. It is said that it was from these Knights of the Morning that the Crusaders received the Johannite Initiation and became Knights of the East and West, and the true Rose Croix was born in the West. For more on this see the section on the Johannite Legend of the Templars.
6. Much later, the Baron Tschoudy writes of these things, and Scottish Rite Masonry is born, the Amis Reunis are born, the Philalethes are born, the Philadelphes are born, and, the Disciples of Memphis are born. Around 1798, the Mission to Egypt is born, and among the members of the entourage, were several men who later became members of the first version of the Disciples of Memphis at Montaubon. It is said that a wise old sage appeared in the shade of the Pyramids, hence the name Sage of the Pyramids, and initiated some of Napoleon's men, and bestowed a ring upon one of them, a ring of office no doubt.
7. This led to a) the science of Egyptology, and one of the best book of engravings ever made, namely, THE MONUMENTS OF EGYPT. In it one can see full details of the Denderah Temple of Hathor, containing items of importance to the student of the Hebrew Religion, namely, the triple temple, the ark-like motifs, and for the student of the Gnosis, the many Chnuphis like motifs. It also led to the Rite of Memphis. The Rite of Memphis was another arm of the same movement that we have recorded elsewhere in the present paper. But it was sometimes at odds with it, too.
8. Paolos Metamon, aka Serapis Bey, is said to have been a member of a surviving priesthood of the Egyptian Mysteries. He is said to have been a teacher to both Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and to Max Theon (aka Louis Maximilian Bimstein, aka Aia Aziz, etc., etc., etc....). It is important to note, that the Bey suffix, also was in Tuitit Bey, the name attached to Max Theon himself, sometimes, and in Auguste Mariette Bey, author of DENDERAH, and founder of the Boulak Museum. It was at the Boulak Museum, of course, that the famous Stele of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu was located, which was picked out of the blue, as it were, by Rose Kelly, that fateful day in 1904 c.e.! Both Mariette-Bey and Ferdinand de Lesseps, were good friends of and servants to the Khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha. De Lesseps, too, was a high grade Freemason, a Carbonaro, and friend of Ledru Rollin, Lamartine, and both Mazzini and Garibaldi, and did work on their behalf in re the newly founded Republic of Italy. De Lesseps also designed the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal, AND he is said to have been a member of a very secret Egyptian Brotherhood of the Mysteries. According to one story, people like De Lesseps were actually a part of a group known as the Technocrats, who were opposed to the Ancient Brotherhood, and for that reason a lot of construction products were started in order to obliterate ancient monuments and old haunting places of the Ancient Brotherhood. Perhaps, but it might just be sheer speculation.
9. In 1904, Aleister Crowley was in Egypt, and received the Book of the Law, at Cairo, on 08 - -9 - 10 April 1904. In it are things which relate to the mysteries related here, in re the history of the esoteric transmission of the Egyptian knowledge. In it are rites pertaining to Hathor and Horus of Edfu, of Babalon and Therion. And in the body of teachings promulgated in the Holy Books of Thelema, are allusions to this very secret Egyptian mystery, which we have discovered, and are the first to relay. (At least to our knowledge of same).
10. In 1945, the Nag Hammadi corpus was discovered. It is said that they were discovered at Pbou, which is where Pachomius retired to later in his life. Also there was a female monastery at Pbou. The teachings in those codices included Hermetic teachings, and references to the Temple worship at Diospolis Parva, in The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth (in Codex Six). Only recently have these materials become more widespread. In 1990, Murry Hope received communications from a surviving member of the Egyptian Priesthood of the Mysteries, pertaining to the mysteries of Sirius. This tradition continues.... and it continues through our work as well.
THE STONE OF FOUNDATION.
"She is a particular quality that was offered to the Patriarchs when they prayed for a middah of God by which they would be able to regulate their conduct, but which, when offered, they declined to accept. That is why she is called here (sections 61, 131, 132) 'the stone which the builders rejected' that 'has become the chief cornerstone' (Ps. 118:22). For when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rejected this middah and chose their own, it was given to David (sections 50, 85). But she is not merely the stone or cornerstone, but, above all, 'the precious stone' and the valuable jewel. She is designated as such directly in sections 61, 65, 131 and indirectly in sections 16, 17, 49, and 61. The precious stone that adorns the daughter or the bride becomes a symbol of herself, in whose rays 'all the commandments are contained' (section 131). The beautiful, preciously wraught gem of this passage becomes in section 137 the Torah, the adorned and crowned bride betrothed to God. This symbolism of the precious stone can be explained as reflecting aggadic symbolism, where the Torah (in the Talmud, Zebahim 116a) appears as a jewel in God's treasure and where the soul is compared to a pearl, or - equally well - as a reversion to the language of Gnosticism, where the Sophia or soul is likewise described as a gem or pearl. This precious stone, in which the 'gems of kings and provinces' (thus in section 61, referring to Eccles. 2:8) are united, is plainly distinguished from the kings, who are the active powers in the pleroma. They bring forth the years, that is, time. ...
"But this pearl, crown, or daughter is not limited to accomplishing a mission in this world in her capacity of 'lower wisdom' and the 'maiden from afar'. She is also moved by an opposite dynamic of ascension, upwards, to God. There is, then, not only an outward movement of the Shekhinah, but an inward movement as well, in the direction of those powers woven into her garments."
Gershom Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, pp. 174-175, writing of the Shekinah, and the Book Bahir.
"The Great Path, the Mahayana, leads to the Great Liberation. Like the magic wish-granting gem, known in Sanskrit as the Chintamani, it grants all right desires and petitions of those who are fortunate enough to have found it." - Evans-Wentz, The Tibetan Book Of The Great Liberation, p. 250, note 3 .
"She represented not only what was true, but what was good, and all that is best in woman as wife, mother, and daughter; she was also the patron goddess of all singers, dancers, and merry-makers of every kind, of beautiful women, and of love, of artists and artistic works, and also of the vine and wine, and ale and beer, and, in fact, of joy and happiness, and of everything which contributed thereto." - Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I, p. 435.
"We have already seen that the worship of Horus was universal in Egypt, probably from the earliest period, and that in dynastic times shrines which were specially consecrated to his worship were common throughout the country; the texts probe that the worship of Hathor was also universal, and that her shrines were even more numerous than those of Horus. She was, in fact, the great mother of the world, and the old, cosmic Hathor was the personification of the great power of nature which was perpetually conceiving, and creating, and bringing forth, and rearing, and maintaining all things, both great and small. She was the 'mother of her father, and the daughter of her son,' and heaven, earth, and the Underworld were under her rule, and she was the mother of every god and every goddess." -- Budge, ibid., pp. 430-431.
"I was sent forth from the power,
and I have come
to those who reflect upon me,
and I have been found
among those who seek after me.
Look upon me,
you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me.
You who are waiting for me,
take me to yourselves.
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me,
nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me
anywhere or at any time.
Be on your guard!
Do not be ignorant of me.
"For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband,
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me
before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in due time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name."
Thunder, Perfect Mind. NHC VI:2, first two stanzas. Notice the boldface italics and compare with the descriptions of Hathor by Budge, also in boldface.
But see also, the following:
"And whence did Abraham have a daughter? [we learn that] from the verse [Gen. 24:1] the Lord had blessed Abraham with 'all things' and [Scripture also] says [Isa. 43:7] 'every one' will be called by my Name, etc. Was this 'blessing' his daughter or not? [another version: Or was it rather his mother?] Yes, she was his daughter." [Footnote to this passage: This reading would be quite consistent with the quotation from the Midrash in section 43: 'Sometimes, he calls her "my sister" and sometimes he calls her "my daughter", and sometimes he calls her "my mother."]
-- The Bahir, Section 52, quoted in Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, p. 87.
"Among hymns and prayers to her [i.e., to Hathor] are these: "'I offer to thee Truth. I raise her toward thee, O Hathor, sovereign lady of all the Heavens.'
"Her answer is:
"'May Truth be with thee; mayst thou live by her!'"
~~ James Bonwick, Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, p. 113.
"I offer to Thee Truth, o Goddess of Denderah: for Truth is Thine own work; for Thou art Truth itself."
-- inscription in a book in our possession.
Even though our preliminary quotations here pertain to Hathor, to the Shekhinah, to the Wish-Granting Gem, we shall now delve into the Masonic Legends pertaining to the Stone of Foundation. It is all, as we shall see, very related.
The Masonic Legends of the Stone of Foundation, which we have, come primarily from Mackey and Mackenzie. That is, pretty much the same source, since Mackenzie took a lot of his basic material from Mackey. This is such an interesting story, that we must quote it verbatim, because it is worth reading in its entirety. We may add comments along the way, or in future versions.
STONE OF FOUNDATION. The Stone of Foundation constitutes one of the most important and abstruse of all the symbols of Freemasonry. It is referred to in numerous legends and traditions not only of the Freemasons, but also of the Jewish Rabbis, the Talmudic writers, and even the Mussulman doctors. Many of these, it must be confessed, are apparently puerile and absurd; but most of them, and especially the Masonic ones, are deeply interesting in their allegorical signification.
The Stone of Foundation is, properly speaking, a symbol of the higher degrees. It makes its first appearance in the Royal Arch, and forms indeed the most important symbol of that degree. But it is so intimately connected, in its legendary history, with the construction of the Solomonic Temple, that it must be considered as a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, although he who confines the range of his investigations to the first three degrees will have no means, within that narrow limit, of properly appreciating the symbolism of the Stone of Foundation.
As preliminary to the inquiry, it is necessary to distinguIsh the Stone of Foundation, both in its symbolism and its legendary history , from other stones which play an important part in the Masonic ritual, but which are entirely distinct from it. Such are the corner-stone, which was always placed in the north-east corner of the building about to be erected, and to which such a beautiful reference is made in the ceremonies of the First Degree; or the keystone, which constitutes an interesting part of the Mark Master's Degree; or lastly, the cape-stone, upon which all the ritual of the Most Excellent Master's Degree is founded. There are all, in their proper places, highly interesting and instructive symbols, but have no connectIon whatever with the Stone of Foundation, whose symbolism it is our present object to discuss. Nor although the Stone of Foundation is said, for peculiar reasons, to have been of a cubical form, must it be confounded with that stone called by the continental Masons the cubical stone - the pierre cubique of the French and the cubik stein of the German Masons but which in the English system is known as the perfect ashlar.
The Stone of Foundation has a legendary history and a symbolic signification which are peculiar to itself, and which differ from the history and meaning which belong to these other stones. I propose first to define this Masonic Stone of Foundation, then to collate the legends which refer to it, and afterward to investigate its significance as a symbol. To the Mason who takes a pleasure in the study of the mysteries of his Institution, the investigation cannot fail to be interesting, if it is conducted with any ability.
But in the very beginning, as a necessary preliminary to any investigation of this kind, it must be distinctly understood that all that is said of this Stone of Foundation in Masonry is to be strictly taken in a mythical or aIlegorical sense. Dr. Oliver, while undoubtedly himself knowing that it was simply a symbol, has written loosely of it as though it were a substantial reality; and hence, if the passages in his Historical Landmarks, and in his other works which refer to this celebrated stone, are accepted by his readers in a literal sense, they will present absurdities and puerilities which would not occur if the Stone of Foundation was received, as it really is, as a myth convey ing a most profound and beautiful symbolism. It is as such that it is to be treated here; and, therefore, if a legend is recited or a tradition related, the reader is requested on every occasion to suppose that such legend or tradition is not intended as the recital or relation of what is deemed a fact in Masonic history, but to wait with patience for the development of the symbolism which it conveys. Read in this spirit, as all the legends of Masonry should be read, the legend of the Stone of Foundation becomes one of the most important and interesting of all the Masonic symbols.
The Stone of Foundation is supposed, by the theory which estaslishes it, to have been a stone placed at one time within the foundations of the Temple of Solomon, and afterward, during the building of the second TempIe, transported to the Holy of Holies. It was in form a perfect cube, and had inscribed upon its upper face, within a delta or triangle, the sacred Tetragrammaton, or ineffasle name of God. Oliver, speaking with the solemnity of an historian, says that Solomon thought that he had rendered the house of God worthy, so far as human adornment could effect, for the dwelling of God, "when he had placed the celebrated Stone of Foundation, on which the sacred name Was mystically engraven, with solemn ceremonies, in that sacred depository on Mount Moriah, along with the foundations of Dan and Asher, the centre of the Most Holy Place, where the ark Was overshadowed by the shekinah of God." The Hebrew Talmudists, who thought as much of this stone, and had as many legends concerning it, as the Masonic Talmudists, called it eben shatijah, or "Stone of Foundation," because, as they said, it had been laid by Jehovah as the foundation of the world, and hence the apocryphal Book of Enoch speaks of the "stone which supports the corners of the earth."
This idea of a foundation-stone of the world was most probasly derived from that magnificent passage of the Book of Job (ch. xxxviii. v. 4-7) in which the Almighty demands of Job,
"Where wast thou, when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, since thou hast such knowledge! Who fixed its dimensions, since thou knowest! Or who stretched out the line upon it? Upon what were its foundations fixed? And who laid its corner-stone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Noyes, whose translation I have adopted as not materially differing from the common version, but far more poetical and more in the strain. of the original, thus explains the allusions to the foundation-stone: 'It was the custom to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone of an important building with music, songs, shouting, etc. Hence the morning stars are represented as celebrating the laying of the corner-stone of the earth.'
Upon this meager statement has been accumulated more traditions than appertain to any other Masonic symbol. The Rabbis, as has already been intimated, divide the glory of these apocryphal histories with the Masons; indeed, there is good reason for a suspicion that nearly all the Masonic legends owe their first existence to the imaginative genius of the writers of the Jewish Talmud. But there is this difference between the Hebrew and the Masonic traditions: that the Talmudic scholar reCitéd them as truthful histories, and swallowed, in one gulp of faith, all their impossibilities and anachronisms; while the Masonic scholar has received them as allegories, whose value is not in the facts, but in the sentiments which they convey.
With this understanding of their meaning, let us proceed to a collation of these legends. In that blasphemous work, the Toldot Jeshu, or Life of Jesus, written, it is supposed, in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, we find the following account of this wonderful stone:
" At that time [the time of Jesus] there was in the House of the Sanctuary [that is, the Temple] a stone of foundation which is the very stone that our father Jacob anointed with oil, as it is described in the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Genesis. On that stone the letters of the Tetragrammaton were inscribed, and whosoever of the Israelites should learn tnat name would be able to master the world. To prevent, therefore, anyone from learning these letters, two iron dogs were placed upon two columns in front of the Sanctuary. If any person, having acquired the knowledge of these letters, desired to depart from the Sanctuary, the barking of the dogs, by magical power, inspired so much fear that he suddenly forgot what he had acquired."
This passage is Citéd by the learned Buxtorf in his Lexicon Talmudicum; but in my copy of the Toldoth Jeshu I find another passage, which gives some additional particulars, in the following words:
"At that time there was in the Temple the ineffable name of God, inscribed upon the Stone of Foundation. For when King David was digging the foundation for the Temple, he found in the depths of the excavation a certain stone on which the name of God was inscribed. This stone he removed and deposited it in the Holy of Holies."
The same puerile story of the barking dogs is repeated still more at length. It is not pertinent to the present inquiry, but it may be stated, as a mere matter of curious information, that this scandalous book, which is throughout a blasphemous defamation of our Savior, proceeds to say that he cunningly obtained a knowledge of the Tetragrammaton from the Stone of Foundation, and by its mystical influence was enabled to perform his miracles.
The Masonic legends of the Stone of Foundation, based on these and other rabbinical reveries, are of the most extraordinarr character if they are to be viewed as histories, but readily reconcilable with sound sense if looked at only in the light of allegories. They present an uninterrupted succession of events, in which the Stone of Foundation takes aprominent part, from Adam to Solomon, and from Solomon to Zerubbabel.
Thus, the first of these legends, in order of time, relates that the Stone of Foundation was possessed by Adam while in the Garden of Eden; that he used it as an altar, and so reverenced it that, on his expulsion from Paradise, he carried it with him into the world in which he and his descendants were afterward to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow.
Another legend informs us that from Adam the Stone of Foundation descended to Seth. From Seth it passed by regular succession to Noah, who took it with him into the ark and after the subsidence of the deluge made on it his first thank-offering. Noah left it on Mount Ararat, where it was subsequently found by Abraham, who removed it, and constantly used it as an altar of sacrifice. His grandson Jacob took it with him when he fled to his uncle Laban in Mesopotamia, and used it as a pillow when, in the vicinity of Luz, he had his celebrated vision.
Here there is a sudden interruption in the legendary history of the stone, and we have no means of conjecturing how it passed from the possession of Jacob into that of Solomon. Moses, it is true, is said to have taken it with him out of Egypt at the time of the exodus, and thus it may have finally reached Jerusalem. Dr. Adam Clarke repeats what he very properly calls it a foolish tradition," that the stone on which Jacob rested his head was afterward brought to Jerusalem, thence carried after a long lapse of time to Spain, from Spain to Ireland, and from Ireland to Scotland, where it was used as a seat on which the kings of Scotland sat to be crowned. Edward I., we know, brought a stone to which this legend is attached from Scotland to Westminster Abbey, where, under the name of Jacob's Pillow, it still remains, and is always placed under the chair upon which the British sovereign sits to be crowned; because there is an old distich which declares that wherever this stone is found the Scottish kings shall reign.
But this Scottish tradition would take the Stone of Foundation away from all its Masonic connections, and therefore it is rejected as a Masonic legend.
The legends just related are in many respects contradictory and unsatisfactory, and another series, equally as old, is now very generally adopted by Masonic scholars as much better suited to the symbolism by which all these legends are explained.
This senes of legends commences with the patriarch Enoch, who is supposed to have been the first consecrator of the Stone of Foundation. The legend of Enoch is so interesting and important in this connection as to excuse its repetition in the present work.
The legend in full is as follows: Enoch under the inspiration of the Most High, and in obedience to the instructions which he had received in a vision, built a temple underground on Mount Moriah, and dedicated it to God. His son, Methuselah, constructed the building, although he was not acquainted with his father's motives for. the erection. This temple consisted of nine vaults, situated perpendicularly beneath each other, and communicating by apertures left in each vault.
Enoch then caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side of whIch was a cubit long; he enriched it with the most precious stones, and encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form. On the plate he engraved the true name of God, or the Tetragrammaton, and placing it on a cubical stone, known thereafter as the Stone of Foundation, he deposited the whole within the lowest arch.
When this subterranean building was completed, he made a door of stone, and attaching to it a ring of iron, by which it might be occasionally raised, he placed it over the opening of the uppermost arch, and so covered It that the aperture could not be discovered. Enoch, himself, was permitted to enter it but once a year; and on the deaths of Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech, and the destruction of the world by the deluge, all knowledge of the vault or subterranean temple and of the Stone of Foundation, with the sacred and ineffable name inscribed upon it, was lost for ages to the world.
At the building of the first Temple of Jerusalem, the Stone of Foundation again makes its appearance. Reference has already been made to the Jewish tradition that David, when digging the foundations of the Temple, found in the excavation which he was making a certain stone, on which the ineffable name of God was inscribed, and which stone he is said to have removed and deposited in the Holy of Holies. That King David laid the foundations of the Temple upon which the super-structure was subsequently erected by Solomon, is a favorite theory of the legend-mongers of the Talmud.
The Masonic tradition is substantially the same as the Jewish, but it substitutes Solomon for David, thereby giving a greater air of probability to the narrative, and it supposes that the stone thus discovered by Solomon was the identical one that had been deposited in his secret vault by Enoch. This Stone of Foundation, the tradition states, was subsequently removed by King Solomon and for wise purposes, deposited in a secret and safer place.
In this the Masonic tradition again agrees with the Jewish, for we find in the third chapter of the Treatise on the Temple, the following narrative :
"There was a stone in the Holy of Holies, on its west side, on which was placed the ark of the covenant, and before the pot of manna and Aaron's rod. But when Solomon had built the Temple, and foresaw that it was at some future time to be destroyed, he constructed a deep and winding vault under ground, for the purpose of concealing the ark, wherein Josiah afterwards, as we learn in the Second Book of Chronicles, xxxv .3, deposited it with the pot of manna, the rod of Aaron, and the oil of anointing."
The Talmudical book Yoma gives the same tradition, and says that "the ark of the covenant was placed in the centre of the Holy of Holies, upon a stone rising three fingers' breadth above the floor, to be as it were a pedestal for it." This stone, says Prideaux, in his Old and New Testament Connected (vol. i., p. 148), "the Rabbins call the Stone of Foundation, and give us a great deal of trash about it."
There is much controversy as to the question of the existence of any ark in the second Temple. Some of the Jewish writers assert that a new one was made; others that the old one was found where it had been concealed by Solomon; and others again contend that there was no ark at all in the temple of Zerubbabel, but that its place was supplied by the Stone of Foundation on which it had originally rested.
Royal Arch Masons well know how all these traditions are sought to be reconciled by the Masonic legend, in which the substitute ark and the Sttone of Foundation play so important a part.
In the Thirteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Stone of Foundation is conspicuous as the resting-place of the sacred delta.
In the Royal Arch and Select Master's degrees of the American Rite, the Stone of Foundation constitutes the most important part of the ritual. In both of these It is the receptacle of the ark, on which the ineffable name is inscribed.
Lee, in his Temple of Solomon, has devoted a chapter to this Stone of Foundation, and thus recapitulates the Talmudic and Rabbinical traditions on the subject:
"Vain and futilous are the feverish dreams of the ancient Rabbins concerning the Foundation-Stone of the Temple. Some assert that God placed this stone ill the centre of the world for a future basis and settled consistency for the earth to rest upon. Others held this stone to be the first matter out of which all the beautiful visible beings of the world have been hewn forth and produced to light. Others relate that this was the very same stone laid by Jacob for a pillow under his head, in that night when he dreamed of an angelic vision at Bethel, and afterwards anointed and consecrated it to God. Which when Solomon had found (no doubt by forged revelation or some tedious search like another Rabbi Selemoh) he durst not but lay it sure, as the principal Foundation-Stone of the Temple. Nay, they say further, he caused to be engraved upon it the Tetragrammaton, or the ineffable name of Jehovah."
It will be seen that the Masonic traditions on the subject of the Stone of Foundation do not differ very materially from these Rabbinical ones, although they add a few additional circumstances.
In the Masonic legend, the Foundation-Stone first makes its appearance as we have already said, in the days of Enoch, who placed it in the bowels of Mount Moriah. There it was subsequently discovered by King Solomon, who deposited it in a crypt of the first Temple, where it remained concealed until the foundations of the second Temple were laid, when it was discovered and removed to the Holy of Holies. But the most important point of the legend of the Stone of Foundation is its intimate and constant connection with the Tetragrammaton or ineffable name. It is this name, inscribed upon it within the sacred and symbolic delta, that gives to the stone all its Masonic value and significance. It is upon this fact, that it was so inscribed, that its whole symbolism depends.
Looking at these traditions in anything like the light of historical narratives, we are compelled to consider them, to use the plain language of Lee, "but as so many idle and absurd conceits." We must go behind the legend, which we acknowledge at once to be only an allegory, and study its symbolism.
The following facts can, I think, be readily established from history. First, that there was a very general prevalence among the earliest nations of antiquity of the worship of stones as the representatives of Deity; secondly, that in almost every ancient temple there was a legend of a sacred or mystical stone; thirdly, that this legend is found in the Masonic system; and lastly, that the mystical stone there has received the name of the "Stone of Foundation."
Now, as in all the other systems the stone is admitted to be symbolic, and the traditions connected with it mystical, we are compelled to assume the same predicates of the Masonic stone. It, too, is symbolic, and its legend a myth or an allegory.
Of the fable, myth, or allegory, Bailly has said that, "subordinate to history and philosophy, it only deceives that it may the better instruct us. Faithful in preserving the realities which are confided to it, it covers with its seductive envelop the lessons of the one and the truths of the other." It is from this standpoint that we are to view the allegory of the Stone of Foundation, as developed in one of the most interesting and important symbols of Masonry.
The fact that the mystical stone in all the ancient religions was a symbol of the Deity, leads us necessarily to the conclusion that the Stone of Foundation was also a symbol of Deity. And this symbolic idea is strengthened by the Tetragrammaton or sacred name of God, that was inscribed upon it. This ineffable name sanctifies the stone upon which it is engraved as the symbol of the Grand Architect. It takes from it its heathen signification as an idol, and consecrares it to the worship of the true God.
The predominant idea of the Deity, in the Masonic system, connects him with his creative and formative power. God is the Freemason Al Gabil, as the Arabians called him, that is, The Builder; or, as expressed in his Masonic title, the Grand Architect of the Universe, by common consent abbreviated in the formula G A O T U. Now, it is evident that no symbol could so appropriately suit him in this character as the Stone of Foundation, upon which he is allegorically supposed to have erected his world. Such a symbol closely connects the creative work of God, as a pattern and exemplar, with the workman's erection of his temporal building on a similar foundation-stone.
But this Masonic idea is still further to be extended. The great object of all Masonic labor is Divine truth. The search for the lost word is the search for truth. But Divine truth is a term synonymous with God. The ineffable name is a symbol of truth, because God, and God alone, is truth. It is properly a Scriptural idea. The Book of Psalms abounds with this sentiment. Thus it is said that the truth of the Lord "reacheth unto the clouds," and that "his truth endureth unto all generations." If, then, God is truth, and the Stone of Foundation is the Masonic symbol of God, it follows that it must also be the symbol of Divine truth.
When we have arrived at this point in our speculations, we are ready to show how all the myths and legends of the Stone of Foundation may be rationally explained as parts of that beautiful "science of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols," which is the acknowledged definition of Freemasonry.
In the Masonic system there are two temples: the first temple, in which the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry are concerned, and the second temple, with which the higher degrees, and especially the Royal Arch, are related. The first temple is symbolic of the present life; the second temple is symbolic of the life to come. The first temple, the present life, must be destroyed; on its foundations the second temple, the life eternal, must be built.
But the mystical stone was placed by King Solomon in the foundations of the first Temple. That is to say, the first temple of our present life must be built on the sure foundation of Divine truth, "for other foundation can no man lay."
But although the present life is necessarily built upon the foundation of truth, yet we never thoroughly attain it in this sublunary sphere. The Foundation-Stone is concealed in the first temple, and the Master Mason knows it not. He has not the true word. He receives only a substitute.
But in the second temple of the future life, we have passed from the srave whieh had been the end of our labors m the first. We have removed the rubbish, and have found that Stone of Foundation which had been hitherto concealed from our eyes. We now throw aside the substitute for truth which had contented us in the former temple, and the brilliant effulgence of the Tetragrammaton and the Stone of Foundation are discovered, and thenceforth we are the possessors of the true word - of Divine Truth. And in this way, the Stone of Foundation, or Divine Truth, concealed in the first temple, but discovered and brought to light in the second, will explain that passage of the Apostle: "For now, we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know face to face."
And so the result of this inquiry is, that the Masonic Stone of Foundation is a symbol of Divine truth, upon which all speculative Masonry is built, and the legends and traditions which refer to it are intended to describe, in an allegorical way, the progress of truth in the soul, the search for which is a Mason's labor, and the discovery of which is his reward.
II Mackey's 722-727.
Here is what Mackenzie borrowed. Notice that he added to the legend in some areas.
STONE OF FOUNDATION.-One of the most abstruse symbols in Freemasonry. Not only the traditions of the Freemasons allude to it, but also the Jewish Rabbis, the Talmudic writers, and the doctors of the faith of Islam. It must not be confounded with the other stones named in various degrees, and it must furthermore be taken strictly as an allegorical stone. It may be identified with the mysterious philosopher's stone of the alchymists. According to the legend, it is supposed to have been a stone placed within the foundations of Solomon's Temple, and afterwards, on the rebuilding of the Temple by.Zerubbabel, it was transported to the Holy of Holies. Its form was a perfect cube, having inscribed upon its upper face, within the delta or triangle, the sacred Tetragrammaton, or ineffable name of the Deity. The Book of Enoch speaks of the "stone which supports the corners of the earth," and it was called eben shatijah, because it was reputed to have been laid by the Almighty at the very creation itself. The magnificent poem of Job thus alludes to the stone (xxxviii 4) :-
"Where wast thou when I founded the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who fixed its measures that thou shouldst know? Or who stretched the line upon it? Whereon were its foundations sunken? Or who laid its corner-stone? When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy!"
The version is by Professor T. J. Conant, Hebrew Professor at Rochester, U.S., a most graceful and learned translator and annotator. It is an accepted fact, that many of the Jewish traditions in the Talmud formed the basis of our modern Masonic legends; and except that the Masons regarded them in an allegorical light there is very little distinction in their import. The Toldoth Jeshu says-" At that time (the era of Jesus) there was in the House of the Sanctuary (the Temple) a stone of foundation, which is the very stone that our father Jacob anointed with oil, as it is described in the 28th chapter of the book of Genesis. On that stone the letters of the Tetragrammaton were inscribed, and whosoever of the Israelites should learn that name would be able to master the world. To prevent, therefore, any one from learning these letters, two iron dogs were placed upon two columns in front of the Sanctuary. If any person, having acquired the knowledge of these letters, desired to depart from the Sanctuary, the barking of the dogs, by magical power, inspired so much fear that he suddenly forgot what he had acquired." Another passage runs thus-" At that time there was in the Temple the ineffable name of God inscribed upon the Stone of Foundation. For when King David was digging the foundation for the Temple, he found in the depths of the excavation a certain stone on which the name of God was inscribed. This stone he removed, and deposited in the Holy of Holies." The legend is, that Adam possessed this stone while in the Garden of Eden; and that he used it as an altar, and carried it with him on his emergence into the world, and Seth received it from him. Noah preserved it in the ark, and left it on Mount Ararat, where Abraham found it. His grandson Jacob took it with him in his flight to his uncle Laban in Mesopotamia, and used it as a pillow when he had his celebrated vision near Luz. The history of the stone here becomes very indistinct; but one legend asserts that Jeremiah, escaping with a Jewish princess, took it to Spain, and thence it was brought to Ireland, and that one of the Dalriad kings conveyed it to Scotland, and that finally it was transported by Edward I. from Scone to Westminster Abbey, where it is still the Coronation Stone. But legends vary. It is also spoken of in connection with Enoch (see Enoch). The Stone of Foundation plays a part in the Royal Arch degree, in 13° A. and A. Rite. It is a symbol of Divine truth, perpetuated throughout the ages. Bro. J. Leyland Feilden has written concerning this stone in his recently published book, "New Links in the Chain."
Mackenzie, Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, pp. 697-698.
Notice that this is for the most part a very short paraphrase and/or plagiarism of Mackey's article. However, one little bit of interesting trivia, is that "one of the Dalriad kings conveyed it to Scotland."
It is interesting that Mackey and his contemporaries in America did the best they could to debunk and discount any hint of Scottish significance, in the traditions of Masonry, and, in particular, in the traditions of Scottish Rite Masonry! Yet, that position cannot be held to today, for the Celts are the holders of a precious legacy as we (and many before us) have related elsewhere.
In the Jewish legends pertaining to this Stone, we get some clues in Waite's Holy Kabbalah, which are reminiscent of the description of the DurAnKi. After covering some of the same territory from the point of view of the Zohar, we get the following:
"The Holy of Holies itself was built on that foundation stone which, as we know already, is held to form the central point of the world. It is identified with the celestial throne of Ezekiel, and in appearance it was like a sapphire. Solomon is said to have united Matrona to the Supreme King by the building of the Temple and there was joy everywhere, both above and below. The Temple itself is understood as the spiritual union of male and female apart from any fleshly union. It symbolises therefore the Mystery of Sex at its highest, and this is a point to be memorised in respect of all these reveries."
-- The Holy Kabbalah, pp. 313 - 314.
This short passage contains plenty. There are thirty-six stars on Chéreau's Cubic Stone, as there are thirty-six decans of the Zodiac, which are prominent features in the Temple at Denderah. And Liber 36 is a very important ritual, The Star Sapphire. One of Hathor's qualities is that of joy, and the work of the Chariot, or of the Merkabah, is the Practical Kabbalah, brought to the West by Abu Aharon ben Samuel ha Nasi of Baghdad. Not only that, it is a prominent feature in the Tracing Board of the Fratres Lucis, and in the Key of William Postel, immortalized by Eliphas Levi, in The Key of the Mysteries. This may all be a bit of a jumble, but like dear Arthur says, "this is a point to be memorised in respect of all these reveries..."
Earlier in the book, Waite provides us with the legend of the Stone:
"I must append hereto the symbolism of a certain myth which connects with the primaeval formulation of the Divine Name and has its origin in the Talmud. As developed in the Zohar, it presents another aspect of that point of Divine Thought about which we heard at the beginning of this section. It concerns a mysterious stone called Schethlya which was originally in the Throne of God -- that is to say, it was a precious stone or jewel -- and was cast by Him into the abyss, so to form the basis of the world and give birth thereto. One might say otherwise that it was like a cubical stone or altar, for its extremity was concealed in the depth, while its surface or summit rose above the chaos. It was the central point in the immensity of the world, the corner-stone, the tried stone, the sure foundation, but also that stone which the builders rejected. The last allocation, however, passes understanding, as by the hypothesis of the legend it was used in the building from the beginning. Finally -- but this is not less inscrutable -- it was that stone which served Jacob as a pillow and thereafter for an altar. It was the good stone, the precious stone, and the foundation of Zion. The Tables of the Law were made from it, and it is destined for the salvation of the world. Jacob called it the House of the Elohim, meaning that the Hypostasis to which this name is attributed transfers her residence from the world above to that which is below. It is like the lapis exilis of the German Graal legend, and of Alchemy according to the Second Raymond Lully, for it appears to be a slight stone; it is supposed to have been carried by Aaron when he entered the Holy Place, and it was held in the hands of David when he desired to contemplate close at hand the glory of his Master. In a sense it fell from heaven, like the stone from the crown of Lucifer, and again it was overturned by the iniquity of man, until Jacob restored it to an upright position. Solomon was also one of those who restored it, and thereon he built the Sanctuary. We may not know how to harmonise these references which seem to exhaust all that is said of the stone in the Old Testament, but its connection with other and less fabulous elements, belonging to the Zoharic myth of creation resides in the fact that this stone was inscribed with the Divine Name before it was cast into the abyss. For the rest, it seems part of the inherent notion that the world was created for Israel and that the story of its making is a part of the story of election."
-- The Holy Kabbalah, pp. 228 - 229.
This Stone shows up in the Bahir, and it can be seen that as it transforms into a Pillar, which was prominent in some early Gnostic schools, as well as other Pagan religions, it assumes characteristics that belonged to another prominent symbol: the World Tree. The two become fused into a coherent whole, and from this The Tree of the Sephiroth is born. And if one views the Tree of Life in a certain manner, one can see the cubic stone in perspective, if one counts Da'ath as one of the Sephiroth, that is.
There are Essenian antecedents for both of these symbols, as we have the pillars of the dawn, the standing ones, the lithoi, of the Simonians; and we have the Teacher's Oak, which became like the World Tree of the Bahir, and both were written of in somewhat identical phrases. We shall continue with a survey of these two symbols and their relevance to the Authentic Tradition, in the next Chapter.
BY WAY OF CONCLUSION, FOR THE MOMENT...
In short, we are looking at a story that details the history of a relic that has been passed down through the generations, from the Creation of the World, as it were, to the (then) present-day period of the Masons of the 19th Century c.e. This relic, it could be an actual, physical relic. It could be a bloodline, for we are told that the Grail contained a stone, and that the stone was related to the bloodline usually associated with the Grail itself. It could be a body of secret knowledge, like in Alchemy, the quest for the Philosopher's Stone. It could be a particular quality, like Divine Truth, which to many, signifies a gem of inestimable price. It could be the DurAnKi stone - or the Duku stone - that we have mentioned earlier, and which has been mentioned several times in the works of Zecharia Sitchin.
It does not seem impossible to us, at least from a theoretical point of view, that such a relic existed, and with it existed a bloodline of conservators, as well as a lineage of Priests .and Priestesses. Also, it is not out of order to believe that with this relic came a body of secret knowledge, of Gnosis, which was capable of conferring Divine Truth upon the person seeking that Knowledge.
We are certainly not the first of our kind to hold that there are peculiar elements in the early Hebrew religion that had their origins, not only in Sumer, but in Egypt. Indeed, the Children of Israel sojourned in Egypt, the land of bondage, for several generations. Moses, we are told, was a great Magician, learned in the Egyptian mysteries. There are those who hold that Moses' real name was an Egyptian name.
We do know that the place where the great revelation of the Law took place, in those times, was in the Sinai Peninsula, in territory sacred to Hathor, who, presumably, had not left Egypt yet, if indeed, She ever did! According to Laurence Gardner, the Temple complex at Serabit el Khadim contained several peculiarities that suggested some high-tech chemistry was taking place. This is certainly not out of the question. The ancients were in possession of very advanced knowledge, knowledge which it has taken us over two centuries to catch up with, thanks to the prior 1400 years of Ecclesiastic bondage. The non-Jewish Passover really should date back to the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, when Western Christendom began to loosen its grip on the people of the West, and the Age of Reason cameinto being, and with it, new ways of interpreting theology, and science, philosophy and history. If the Jews were bound in Egypt for 500 years or so, and consider that such a crime, consider that our Western ancestors were bound for three times that! And society has paid dearly for it. Witness the premature growth of Science and Technology, and the uses to which the Technology has been applied. Nuclear Physics weren't invented in the twentieth century, c.e. Reinterpreted, maybe, but certainly not invented. Stem Cell research a new thing? Perhaps under that name, but the foundations for it were always there, in the writings of the ancients. Guarded from the profanes, because the uses to which these technologies will be put, will not necessarily be for the betterment of society, but for its ultimate damnation. The same can be said of computer technology, and the development of Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps we whine like Levi, in some of this, but he had a good reason for it, and so have we.
There are those who would like to perform "tests" on plants, by projecting magical curses into them. Has this not been done already, several times over? And if the plants so-cursed happen to produce an abundance of seed, what would be the result of cause and effect? Some might say, "Enough of Because!" Yet it was Levi who wrote of the witches who put poisons in the soil that the livestock grazed on. That way the milk and the meat would be tainted, and while it not necessarily killed the cows, it had deleterious effects on the humans who consumed the cows' products. This may be the fanciful imagination of the French Magus, but, look around, and ask yourself if these sort of practices are not taking place today in "modern" agricultural practices. We need not name names, for that leads to food disparagement lawsuits!
When we speak of certain peculiarities between the Israelites and the Egyptians, we could list what everyone else before us has listed. The Monotheism of Akhnaten the heretic, circumcision, rules pertaining to red heifers, the ban on pork, etc. But that would be like taking the wrong turn in the Winchester House. We see, as Raphael Patai before us, in his pioneering work, The Hebrew Goddess, was among the first to lay before the general reading public. Did the Hebrew Goddess come from the Near-East, exclusively? Or did some of these practices and beliefs come from Egypt? The Sacred Ark, for example, is found throughout Egyptian inscriptions, murals, drawings. .'.
There is an important work, on this subject, which was submitted to us by a colleague, on the Antiquities of the Illuminati list.
We are referring to an article called "The Original Meaning Of the Word Bethel" in which the relationship between the Egyptian birthing room, the Meskhen, is etymologically and historically related to the Hebrew Mishkan, temple or tabernacle. As we have stated elsewhere, this Meskhen is to be found in the Temple of Hathor at Denderah, along with depictions of the "Arche des Hebreux", according to Auguste Mariette Bey.
This long-running tradition, which has its beginnings in high antiquity, before any human existed, on this planet at least, if we are to take the writings of the ancients seriously and interpret them according to the language of the present - and which continues through antiquty, to the time of the development of the Gnosis - and is driven underground after Constantine made his pact with the Devil, and which made it to Europe, first through Jewish transmission, native groups in France, Northern Italy and the Balkans; then, through the exchanges of culture that took place during the Crusades and the Renaissance; ultimately resulting in the French Occult Revival, as well as the birth of groups like the Freemasons. From there we get the "Modern" age, of the twentieth century, and its outcomes and byproducts now, in the twenty-first! It is a confusing mess to trace, because of the need to keep it secret. But all these seemingly different strands are, in the end, related. Maybe not a master to successor type of "legitimate" sort of thing, like some might want to find. Indeed, it doesn't always transpire that way. Some types of succession can skip generations.
From Enki's Wise Ones, who were Scientist Priests, to the Borderland Scientists of today, this tradition continues. And it is all part of l'Ordre de la Rose-Croix Veritas.