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My glimpses of the traces of Cabala in Craft Masonry

by W.Bro. Chris Aniche Okorafor
Past Deputy District Grand Master, Hon. Grand Senior Deacon
Founder Member and Past Master of Lodge Aro #1772,Arochukwu
Lodge Meridian #1742, Umuahia
District Grand Lodge of Nigeria - Grand Lodge of Scotland


Table of Contents


Preliminary Inducement:

The Tree Of Life

Feasible Footprints in Freemasonry:

The First Degree

The Second Degree

The Third Degree

Principal Office Bearers:

The Right Worshipful Master (RWM)

The Worshipful Senior Warden (WSW)

The Worshipful Junior Warden (WJW)

Relative Situations of Chokmah, Geburah and Tiphareth on the Tree of Life 

Much Now Remains:




Preliminary Inducement:

It is necessary that I spell out the essential background from which I operate as a Craft Freemason. The Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland to which I belong, does not “practice or recognize in connection with Lodges any Degrees except those of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft (including the Mark), and Master Mason, and the ceremony of Installed Master.”  When I was raised, it was common practice in those days, a practice since loosing currency, for the sponsors to give personal Masonic gift items to the newly made Master Mason.  I got a tie with a beautifully embroidered Square, Compasses and the letter G from my proposer. His seconder gave me a copy of The Standard Ritual of Scottish Freemasonry[1]. In those days also, EAs and FCs were not allowed to own or even handle the ritual less they be tempted to breech one of the excellencies of Masonic character, namely Fidelity which restricts them from “never attempting to extort or otherwise unduly obtain the secrets of a superior degree.”  I was therefore very enthused to browse through the ritual as soon as I settled back to the house after my post-raising banquet.


The ritual opens on the Tracing Board of the 1o just barely after two pages from the title page and the table of content.  Under our Constitution, the explanation of the Tracing Board of the 1o is not given in the working of the degree and had not been dealt with in my Mother Lodge nor in the other Lodges I had visited from my becoming an EA to this period in time when I was admitted to a participation of the secrets of the sublime degree.  In an appointment I sought for the next day my sponsor referred me to pages towards the end of the ritual where the explanation was given in no less than seven hundred words.  He then volunteered that to fully appreciate the symbols indicated in the Tracing Board as well as those of the 2o and 3o, I had to acquire some knowledge of the Cabala which he briefly but surprisingly explained as an ancient system of theosophy veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, letters and numbers. Knowledge of it he affirmed would facilitate the task of a Freemason in extending his “researches into the more hidden mysteries of the Craft.”


Some form of coincidence confirmed his recommendation that same Sunday evening as I helped our Parish curate take certain items from the church to his living quarters. He was a man of letters with triple doctoral degrees from the great universities of Rome and Austria and was well respected for his frequent television discourses on spirituality for the laity[2].  In one of his television appearances, he had referred to the Cabala. According to him Cabala should be seen primarily as a system for meditation, and interpretation of the bible developed by the Hebrew rabbis. To him the Tree of Life presents the best meditation symbol which he “sometimes” uses in place of the Crucifix or other of the various symbols in the Church. The main symbols of Judaism are both ancient and abstract - the commandment forbidding the creation of 'graven images' for fear of idolatry prevented the production of representations of God or human beings. Jewish symbols have been employed not only by Jews themselves but also by mystics throughout the ages, and their deep levels of meaning and antiquity lend them their continuing importance.

In effect, it is very much close but more profound than other methods of religious contemplation. In the less than forty minutes discussion, I left with the impression that much of the Roman Catholic ceremonies, liturgies and prayers, including the decades of the rosary and the Angelus, derive very much from Cabala. He cited a few of the many Catholic mystics whose contemplative formats were derived from the Cabala.  The very precise few are Giovanni Pico della Mirandol, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa of Avila and, Apostle Paul from the interpretations of 2 Corinthians 12:1-4[3].  Paul flowed through Kether and was allowed a glimpse of En-Sof. The commentary in the Christian Community Bible, titled ‘Apostolate and Contemplation’ states that Paul was alluding to the ecstasies through which he has been formed anew.

“The word ecstasy seems to many people rather eccentric; for others it is only appropriate for contemplative living apart from the world.  It is quite true that ecstasy, if genuine, is relevant to contemplative life…By contemplation we often understand the time given to meditation on the things of God and the discovery of his presence in our lives. . the word..  more rightly denotes a new stage in spiritual life where the relationship between our spirit and God are profoundly changed…. This contemplation may be given to those who have retired to convents to answer a call from God; it may be given to those who live the normal life of most people;” The commentary contrasted this to “transcendental meditation and recollection which come from the East” In conclusion, it typifies this ‘Christian mystery’ as ‘an advanced stage of contemplative life’ which gives a foretaste of the ‘final total and constant union with God[4].’


The commentary did refer to the contemplative method from the ‘East.’  Other authorities affirm that Cabala should not be seen as purely of Hebraic origin.  Hebraic religion and mysticism undoubtedly benefited not only from the Chaldean’s where Abraham grew his teeth and grey hair, but also from Egyptian religion and mysticism where Moses was weaned and educated.  Abraham, Jacob and Joseph had also been in Egypt much before Moses was born.  Some authorities also indicate that the Cabala is akin to but predated by the eastern Chakra contemplative system and its several forms of yoga practices for which cause, they refer to Cabala as the "Yoga of the West".  Basic to the Cabala are the ten Sephiroth[5] ("Emanations", "Spheres” or "Numbers") positioned on the three pillars (kavim), of Severity, Mildness or Equilibrium and Mercy. In the Yoga and Tao contemplative systems, these same energy channels are indicated as Ida, Sushumna and Gingala in the former, and as Yin, Tao and Yang in the later.. Much of what is known about the Jewish Cabala derives from the publication of the Sefer ha-Zohar ("The Book of Splendor") of the thirteenth century and an earlier Sefer Yetsirah ("Book of Formation") whose date of origin is unknown.

Irrespective of the various opinions as to the origin of Craft Freemasonry, one thing is definite.  The fourteen learned Brethren who at some point formulated with Dr. James Anderson (1684-1739) the 1723 ‘Constitutions, History, Charges, Regulations and Master’s Song’ and ‘The Antient Manner of Constituting a Lodge’, were ‘Speculative’ Masons who in-spite of their environmentally petty religious sectarianism and the persuasive propensity to christianize the Craft, left us with traces of some of its ancient roots.   Dr. Anderson is quoted to have said that "Pythagoras’s mysteries were the most perfect approximation of the original Science of Free Masonry which could be accomplished by a philosopher without the aid of revelation[6].”  The first objective indication is the Greek word ‘eureka’ under the diagram of Euclid’s 47th Proposition on the cover of the 1723 Constitution, thereby acknowledging the Jewish gematria which is related to the Pythagorean numerology, techniques of gematria (the study of the numerical values of letters and words), notarikon (the study of the first and last letters of words) and temurah (the study of the permutation and combination of letters).

Pythagoras is said to have received this doctrine from Orpheus, who taught that numbers are the root of the perpetuity of divine beings and the most provident beginning of all things in existence. Consequently as the body is the visible covering of humans, so are numbers the primary causes upon which the whole system of the universe rests.  This to my understanding is very much the same as the ‘Tree of Life’ in Cabala which is also held to be reflected in the human body. The association of the human limbs or anatomy is though entirely symbolic and purely metaphorical. Furthermore, as there are ten Sephiroth in Cabala, so also did the Pythagoreans regard ten as the most perfect of numbers symbolizing the ‘completion’ of things.


I was struck by the observation that very many things that have been “written and published by worthy brethren whose feet were planted firmly in the clouds” in the sense that they “were unable to resist the strong temptations to fill the numerous gaps in our history, and especially in our pre-history, with statements and theories which had no foundation in fact, and which could not withstand even the most elementary test.[7]  Other information I soon gathered is to the effect that in some cases particularly with respect to our legends on King Solomon were more a reflection of Rabbinic and Cabalistic lore of early times as well as Arabic folktales in which he is indicated as an extremely wise man. Suleiman is recognized among the Arabs as a Moslem with powers over demons and genies. Rabbinical folklore holds that for purposes of building the Temple Solomon acquired wondrous powers over the demons with whose aid he was able to obtain the Shamir which fashioned stones as building materials without the need of any metallic tools[8]. Some authors had even alluded that there was no real Solomon, the name being only a keyword consisting of three deities Sol, Om and On.  With this background information, I further sought the attention and instructions of this priest for the very little knowledge I gained on the Cabala.  Having imbibed his acceptance that Cabala is the Yoga of the West, adapted by the Church mystics and Christian Gnosists from the Bhakti Yoga of the East, I felt the urge to read some few books available in the ashram of a local Bhaktivedanta Library of the Hare Krishna Society.


If we accept that Freemasonry was founded on eclectic principles, then, we shall not even have any qualms looking further into such Islamic Sufis Orders as the Qadiriyyah, the Suhrawardiyyah, the Shadhiliyyah and the Maulawiyyah which grew roughly between 1070 and 1258 CE. Though not very much exposed to the doctrines of Sufism, I understand that the Moslems who adhere to this mystical path, accept that though the way to God is by revealed truth (naql) and the intellect (aql) yet the most essential is discovery (kashf) “in which the meaning of faith and truth is given in experimental immediacy to the seeking soul.”  The method is by a way of moral discipline and ascetic living (tarīqah) which in three grades, namely the novice, (murīd), the traveler (sã’ir) and the attainer (wãsil),[9] assures the adherent’s hope for Paradise. I have since read several texts, monograms and website publications on and about Cabala, a considerable portion of which I can scarcely lay claims to have undertook.  I therefore acknowledge these sources and lay no originality in what now follows, as they are all but aggregates of my piecemeal apprehensions of those my several readings.


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The Tree Of Life:

The principal aspect of the Cabala is the glyph Otz Chiim (Tree of Life) which consists of ten Spheres or holy Sephiroth connected by lines or channels  (tzinorot) with which they compose a 32 Paths of Divine Emanations (Sepher Yetzirah) or the emblematic flow of Divine energy throughout Creation. This is more generally depicted as per Figure 1[10]. The Sefiroth are numbered Kether (1), Chockmah (2), Binah (3, Chesed (4), Geburah (5), Netzach (6), Tiphareth (7) Hod (8), Yesod (9) and Malkuth (10). Over and above Kether are Three Veils of Negative Existence, namely: Ain (Negativity or Nothingness) (A), Ain Soph (Limitless Negativity, (B)[11], and Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light) (C). Recognized also is what may be classified as a mysterious Sephirah Da’ath (Knowledge) which is not often represented on the glyph of the Tree of Life.  It is accepted to be the conjunction of Chokmah and Binah.  The ten Sephiroth emanate from the ineffable infinite Veils through which all creation were made and are sustained.



The emanation of disharmony arising from the freedom of choice extended to humankind, occasioned its fall into the Formless, Dark Void region of the Qelippot (‘harlots’ or ‘shells[12]’) This region extends below Malkuth as it were mirroring the Tree of Life. Consequently, the overriding goal of mankind is Redemption (tiqqun) from this fall into the abyss and a reunification with Divinity. The Tree describes not only the Emanation of the Divine into the manifest world, but also the road map for the re-union of man with the Divine. The way back to the Godhead is also referred to as climbing up the ladder (sulam) arrayed along the three pillars[13].



Otz Chiim, is also arranged within three parallel pillars representing three separate modes of Divine Influence within Creation as per Figure 2. These are the Left Hand Pillar of Severity (AA), Pillar of Mildness or Equilibrium (BB) and the Right Hand Pillar of Mercy (CC) The three pillars are also designated by the three Mother Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet of Aleph, Mem,  and Shin for The Central, Left and Right Pillars respectively.



A further grouping of the Sephiroth presents them in a three triangular formats depicted in Figure 3. The triangle consisting of Kether, Chockmah and Binah is often referred to as the Supernal Triangle, the other Ethical and the lower which includes the “drop-down” Sephirah, Malkuth is the Astral Triangle. Some authorities also refer to the groupings as the Intellectual or Cognitive; Moral or Emotive and, Material or Instinctual Triangles or Worlds.



A yet another view of the Tree of Life, consists in linking up the Sephiroth sequentially from Kether to Malkuth.  The lines this time around are sometimes indicated as lightning flashes from Kether to Chockmah, from Chockmah to Binah and in that order down to Malkuth.  This as shown in Figure 4 is a representation of the successive unfolding of cosmic realization in human consciousness and may often be represented by the serpent Nechushtan, the symbol of wisdom and initiation.  The diagram may thus very easily be visualized as this serpent coiled on the Otz Chiim and embodying each of the Sephiroth with its tail in Malkuth.


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The ten Sephiroth are sometimes also grouped into three divisions thus aligning with the “Rule of Three” in Freemasonry. The first is Arich Anpin (The Vast Countenance) and consists of Kether manifesting in Chokmah and Binah.  The second is Zeir Anpin (The Lesser Countenance or Microprosopos) with Tiphareth as the key Sephirah and including the Chesed, Geburah, Netzach, Hod and Yesod. The third, Nukva d'Zeir Anpin (The Bride of Microprosopos) is the Sephirah Malkuth.  This grouping must be kept separate and distinct from the one illustrated in Figure - 3.


One other very important aspect of the Tree of Life is that as man is a microcosm, created in the image of the Creator-God, the Sephiroth correspond each with a particular organ or limb in man, the middle pillar corresponding with the human spine. Other acceptable human anatomical correspondences are as per the following Table.


















Cranium; Head

Right hem of brain

Left hem of brain

Posterior Brain

Right Arm

Left Arm

Heart; Chest; Breast

Right Leg

Left Leg

Reproductive Organs



Feasible Footprints in Freemasonry:

With this very extremely limited brief excursion into the Otz Chiim, I may now make bold to indicate what I tend to regard as some feasible footprints of the Cabala in Craft Masonry. In a most concise definition, Freemasonry is “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”  The Cabala also more extensively uses symbols to better enable the human mind grasp abstract reality some of which being absolute, the human mind would otherwise be incapable of comprehending until it shall have attained the hoped for status beyond this our sublunary abode. Basic to the doctrine of morality is the universal concept of man as a composite of a soul in exile in a body it animates.  The purpose of human life on planet earth, as universally accepted by all who believe in the Great Architect of the Universe, no matter how styled, is to free the soul from this its exile for a translation or transition back to the Godhead.  In order words, the ultimate goal (Summum Bonum[14]) of humans is to regain Paradise Lost. More precisely, man because of his sin, lost his supernal image. His soul, a fallen spark, in time realizes his pristine status and yearns to be redeemed and elevated to return and unite with its ultimate source. It is also said that “one must seek that place from which having once gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything has begun and in whom everything is abiding since time immemorial[15].”


Freemasonry is purely a peculiar system of morality, and definitely not a religion or a substitute for or a competitor with religion.  It requires an aspirant or Candidate for its mysteries to have some definite form of religious belief in God before he can be admitted. It further expects him thereafter to persevere in the practice of his religion. It consequently endeavors to admit only individuals seeking to be “assisted by the secrets of [its] Masonic art” and engages and instructs them on ‘the nature, principles and virtue of [its] science” so that they “may be better enabled to display the beauties of true godliness to the honor and glory of [our Creator’s] Holy Name.[16]  I observe that in doing this it employs identical Cabalistic approach to symbols and allegories.  The symbols enable it to “ensure understanding regardless of the language of the operator” knowing that the symbols in themselves are but “an effective means of communication to ensure accurate” comprehension of the teachings. This is very much typified in the outer world by such symbols as traffic signs.  The traffic symbol instructing a motorist to be cautious as he approaches a railway crossing in the countryside is the same all over the world irrespective of quality of road, type of government, level of economy, literacy and language of the locality. The allegories are chosen from history[17], but like all other allegories they are not necessarily strictly historical facts and sequences. The essence is the moral truth allegorized in the legends[18].


The age-old maxim in a soul’s search for enlightenment on the path of Truth and Virtue, particularly typified by the Cabalists and every other mystical school, is “that when the student (disciple) is ready, the teacher (master) arrives.” Freemasonry therefore does not seek out initiates. Each candidate for its mysteries must come of his own free will and accord, unbiased by improper solicitations of friends against his own inclination and uninfluenced by mercenary of other unworthy motives”[19]. Subsequently, an EA will declare that he was first made a Mason in his heart due to the yearning that arose therein.  I am tempted to associate this concept with Apostle Paul’s indication that one has to be ‘predestined’ to attain initiateship[20]. My Scottish Ritual infers this in a relatively different way, when the Right Worshipful Master of the Lodge informs the initiate that the secrets of Freemasonry “are not communicated indiscriminately, but are conferred upon Candidates according to merit and ability.”


The Cabalists allude, to the Central Pillar as representing Consciousness. With this awareness, I conceive the three degrees of Craft Freemasonry as a graduated ascent on the plane of Consciousness along the Central Pillar, following the ‘Path of the Arrow’ from the depths of Darkness (The Qliphoth or Hells of the Averse Sephiroth) to Malkuth; to Yesod and then to Tiphareth –where true illuminated vision associated with the highest grade of the initiation is acquired. This I understand is also a similitude of the Yoga system in which also the Kundalini rises along the Path of the Shusshumma. The Sephiroth on the Middle Pillar of Equilibrium do not have pairs of opposites. These, Kether, Tiphareth, Yesod and Malkuth are respectively the resolving points for dualities Chokmah-Binah, Chesed-Geburah, and Netzach-Hod on the Pillars of Mercy and Severity. As these other Sephirah have both positive and negative influences, illumination has to follow the via media along the Path of the Arrow shot up the Middle Pillar of Equilibrium from Qesheth, the Bow of Promise in an equilibrated path free from the danger of the temptations of unbalanced force that are emanent in the two opposing positive and negative Pillars of Severity and Mercy.  The via media, as the sages teach implies that “One who is free from the duality of happiness and distress (positive and negative), and who knows how to surrender unto the Supreme Personality attains that eternal kingdom.”[21]


 I conceive this as symbolized in Craft Masonry by the path the Candidate takes while advancing to the altar.  Each degree in the Craft, I believe corresponds to a Path along the Middle Pillar, namely from the region of darkness to Malkuth to Yesod, and from Yesod to Tiphareth which constitutes full initiation. “The aim of each grade of initiation is to introduce the candidate to the Sphere of each Sephirah in turn, working from Malkuth up the Tree.  The instructions given in each grade concern the symbolism and forces of the Sphere to which it refers and the Paths that equilibrate it. The sign and word of the grade are used when walking these Paths” to excite the thought of the initiate and assist him in his contemplation of the mysteries embodied in the symbolism used at each of the stages.  It is also held in Cabala that “a ritual initiation is the act of introducing a newcomer to the Sphere by those who are already there.  They construct a symbolic representation of the Sphere on the physical plane in the furniture of the temple; they construct an astral replica of it by concentrated imagination; and by means of invocation they call down into this temple not made with hands the forces of the Sphere of the Sephirah they are working upon.[22] In effect as in Craft Masonry, a Lodge is regularly opened in due form in the degree in which the Candidate is to be initiated. The Candidate is admitted on the leave of an assisting conductor who gives the password on his behalf. He is then processed through the inner workings of the initiation.


Some few other specific traces of the Cabala in the three Craft degrees are indicated in the following briefs.


The First Degree

The consequent “state of Darkness” of the fallen soul of man and his “most desire” for “Light” are appropriately typified in this degree.  In this as well as in subsequent degrees, the first steps are taken with the left leg which in Cabala is ascribed to the Sephirah Hod (Acknowledgement), and associated with ‘walking’ and in the soul with the power to continually advance. – (Ref  ‘advance to me…’ and ‘advance to the Altar.’)  Cabalists also ascribe to Hod  the virtues “determination and perseverance born of deep inner commitment, toward the realization of one's life goals as well as ‘acknowledgment of a supreme purpose in life, and total submission of self to the splendor and majesty’ of his Creator. (Ref: in whom Candidate puts his trust as he initiates his mystical journey from his state of darkness.)  Kneeling at the Altar in this degree symbolizes the Sephirah’s manifestation of the power of confession.  The part slipshod in this degree corresponds with Netzach which is the first foot of the Tree of Life to reach ground on the Pillar of Mercy viz  - emanating from Kether-Chokmah-Binah-Chesed-Geburah-Tiphareth-Netzach.  The Candidate thus has to recognize the sanctity of the ground on which he stands as also illustrated in the VSL[23]. The commentary on the Surah quoted brings out the aspect relating to being divested of valuable metals.[24] Humility is one other spiritual state identified as corresponding to initiation in Malchuth and is very much typified on the clothing of the Candidate..  A Cabalist stated that in order for the seeds of meditation to take root in our souls, grow, and bear fruit, we must become a fertile "earth.” (Malkuth) This depends upon our spiritual acquisition of humility and lowliness (that of a subject performing the desire of his king) and selflessness (the state in which a son devotedly serves his father).[25]  This humility, selflessness and desire to serve under the “yoke of Malkuth (the kingdom) ” are in my understanding symbolized in the cable tow.


Admission to this degree corresponds with being initiated into the Sphere of Malkuth which according to the Cabalists inculcates the acquisition of the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.  Jacobs Ladder is the central theme in the Tracing Board of the First Degree, namely, a ladder with three principal staves of Faith, Hope and Charity and, resting on the VSL by which assistance we hope to arrive at the summit of Freemasonry.


The Cabalists identify four basic characters of the soul namely, levushim (garments) which enable it to achieve expression, machshavah (thought) by which it is revealed inwardly; dibur (speech) and ma'aseh (deed) by which it is revealed outwardly. These are presented in the First Degree ceremonies by the following extracts and the subsequent Table: - “who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, and now comes, of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted    free and of good report…. assisted by the secrets of our Masonic art, he may the better be enabled to unfold the beauties of true godliness, to the honor and glory of Thy Holy Name.”








Assisted by secrets…

Free will and accord

Tongue of good report


Regularly proposed


To be admitted

Worthily recommended


Approved in Open Lodge



Humbly soliciting


Now Comes





Properly prepared


Malkuth has a correspondence as the "Crown" of the procreative organ hence the feasible attribution to the Lodge in which one is initiated into as his “Mother Lodge.” It is only after this ‘birth’ in the "pane" and “portal” of Malkuth that a soul can ‘perceive and ascend to the higher Sephiroth.’  These  essentials of the First Degree, thus trace to their root in Cabala.


The Second Degree

This degree tallies with the initiation in the Sphere of Yesod (Foundation). Yesod is the Foundation of the universe established “in strength”. As already indicated, Netzach correspondence in the microcosm is the right leg on whose bare knee the Candidate for this degree kneels for his obligation..  In addition to Victory, it is sometimes referred to as to ‘conduct’, to ‘orchestrate’ and to ‘attain.’  In the former degree, the EA while placed in the NEC is charged to build on the foundation laid, a superstructure perfect in all its parts and honorable to the builder. Yesod is the Foundation grounded on Malkuth (Earth). Yesodic (Foundation) correspondence in the microcosm is the procreative organ. It thus enables procreation on the spiritual plane by a continual generation of new insights and true awareness of the Path to union with the Godhead. Reference may also be made here to “an ear of corn,” fecundity, and relationships with Ceres the goddess of agriculture. Identified also by Cabalists as the ‘righteous one’, the soul of its initiate is empowered to contact, connect and communicate on higher Spiritual Consciousness, in effect to extend his “researches into the more hidden mysteries.”. This is further brought out in Craft Masonry in the explanation of the Tracing Board of this degree in which he is tested and permitted as qualified to enter the Middle Chamber to receive his “wage without scruple and without diffidence.”


Several Freemasons hold that at some stage in the development of the Craft, the Fellow Craft was the apex degree.  This can be justified by reference to its Tracing Board narratives. The symbolic tales about Three, Five and Seven, are more readily understood from a Cabalistic viewpoint. “Three” relates to the Supernal Sephiroth Kether, Chokmah and Binah; “Five” to the Sephiroth within the square bounded by the rest of two pairs of Sephiroth on the Right and Left Pillars, namely Chesed and Netzach on the Right and Geburah and Hod on the Left Pillar. These are ‘stabilized’ or equilibrated in the Sephirah Tiphareth. Adding Yesod and Malkuth to the former yields “Seven,” the perfect number.  In Cabala, Hod has a numerical value of 15 which is also the sum of all numbers from 1 to 5 thereby expressing and reflecting all the 5 emotions of the heart in the 5 Sephiroth from Chesed to Hod. I shall later refer to these 5 Sephiroth in the Third Degree.


The attribution of the apex to the Fellow Craft Degree is also informed from the fact that Yesod “grants understanding of the hidden life forces of the earth and our own nature.[26]  An authoritative Cabalist whose reference I have failed to trace, indicates that Yesod implies Foundation as well as Beginning for which cause it is labeled the “Conclusion” (ability to conclude an act) deriving from the property of "peace" held to be inherent in the Sephirah.  In the current Exhortation to the Candidate to the Third Degree, he is reminded that he “was led in the Second Degree to contemplate the spiritual or hidden mysteries, and trace their development along the paths of heavenly science, even to the throne of God himself.”  This alludes to the part in the Tracing Board of the Second Degree where the FC while in the Middle Chamber had his attention “particularly arrested by certain Hebrew characters.” In the pictorial representation of the Tracing Board, these characters which are now substituted by the letter G are indicated as the Tetragrammaton, written from left to right - Yod, Hé, Vau, Hé, which without the vowel points are not readily pronounced to yield the word they are intended to represent except communicated in due form by an adept in a close mouth to ear whisper.


The twin Pillars are fully discussed in the FC Degree and are not mentioned in the Third. The Masonic ascription to the one on the Left corresponds with the Cabalists’ Pillar of Severity or Strength.  That on the Right, with the Pillar of Mercy which is also referred to as ‘constructive.’  The equilibrating Middle Pillar of Mildness referred to in the Second degree as their joint signification is ‘stability.’  To ascend to the Middle Chamber, the FC has to pass between the two Pillars, precept which the Cabalists refer to as ‘following the Path of the Arrow shot up the Middle Pillar of Equilibrium from Qesheth, the Bow of Promise in an equilibrated path free from the danger of the temptations of unbalanced force that are emanent in the two opposing positive and negative Pillars of Severity and Mercy.’ On this Path, having built “a superstructure perfect in all its parts and honorable to the builder” and, having attained consciousness “even to the throne of God Himself” the initiate earns the promised glory in the declaration that “he will build me an house and I will stabilsh his throne forever.”  This to my mind, is the attainment of the initiation of Kether in this degree which would be dealt with in its current Masonic ascription to the Third Degree. This also gives weight to the FC degree being the conceptual apex initiation before being split to create the Third and Sublime Degree.


The Third Degree

Initiation in this degree relates to introduction to the spheres of influence of the Sephirah Tiphareth with just the invisible and mysterious Sephirah Da’ath, barring the initiate’s vision of Kether. Tiphareth therefore, is the highest plane of God Consciousness that a living human can attain. It represents Kether as is “knowable” by humans in the flesh.  To attain the initiation of Tiphareth one has to pass through a Veil traversing the Tree and separating it from the Astral triangle formed by Netzach, Yod and Yesod. This Veil also referred to as an abyss is known as Paroketh.  In Craft Masonry, a Candidate for the Sublime Degree is particularly prepared firstly by the Lodge being opened in the Centre.. A special prayer that he be endowed “with such fortitude that in the hour of trial he fail not” is offered on his behalf. This is in consonant with the teaching that “one who engages in full devotional service, who does not fail, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman[27].” Then follows the exhortation on “the peculiar object of the Third Degree.”


He is “prepared by contemplation, for the closing hour of [his] existence; instructed on that most interesting of all human studies, the inner meaning of life, which by generally acceptable concept is said to be “self-realization and the re-establishment of our lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of the Godhead.[28]”, the knowledge of oneself; taught by illustration on how to die and, finally that within his perishable human frame resides a vital and immortal principle that based on how faithful and obedient” it had been while in his perishable frame[29], would thereafter meet God face to face.  The climax of the ceremony is the teaching on the significance of the Light of a Master Mason and the entrusting of the Master Masons secrets.


All these are related to specific Cabalistic precepts to the extent that I feel satisfied in my conviction that they have their root in Cabala. The Master Mason is instructed at the investiture of the apron as follows: - “Finally, the M.M’s apron with its three emblems arranged in the form of a triangle, teaches you that as you have now arrived at full Masonic manhood, you will, by a study of the mysteries symbolized by the triangle, endeavor to reach the goal of perfection toward which we shall all strive.” The apron symbolizes the attainment of the initiation of Tiphareth.  The FC has figuratively stepped over the abyss Paroketh separating Yesod from Tiphareth to receive the mystical experiences of direct consciousness of Tiphareth.



The two microcosmic correspondences of the human legs, Netzach (7) and Hod (8) on the Pillars of the Right and Left now co-join with the Ethical Triangle (Chesed (4) (Right Arm/Hand)-Geburah (5) (Left Arm/Hand)-Tiphareth (6) (Breast) to enfold an outline typifying the Master Masons Apron as represented in Figure 5.  The Candidate had exemplified this in the position in which he took the Obligation of a Master Mason as well as in his ‘situation’ immediately preceding the attempts that “prove a slip”.


FIGURE 5.jpg - 22172 Bytes


The subsequent ceremonies beginning with the formation of a circumscribed equilateral triangle[30] to the Raising, is symbolically aimed at raising the candidate’s contemplation to the Supernal Triangle. This equates to Figure 5 being advanced towards the Supernal Triangle such that Kether is located in the ‘Centre’ of the ‘Raised’ Ethical Triangle. This symbolic contemplative ‘raising’ towards the Supernal Triangle emblematically typifies the experiencing of ‘Darkness Visible.’ Freemasonry expresses this in the teaching that ‘the light of a Master Mason is but darkness visible, serving only to express that gloom which rests on the prospect of futurity; that mysterious veil which the eye of human reason cannot penetrate, unless assisted by the light which is from above.’ 

The Master Mason’s Apron with the three Rosettes symbolizing the emblametical union of the Ethical with the Supernal Triangle is the derivative of the now formed Figure 6 – a fore-figure of a ‘true and worthy’ man’s eventual union with the Godhead. This union is also typified in the mode of gaveling in this degree, viz  Supernal Triangle Union Ethical Triangle then,  Astral Triangle).  This union can only be achieved with the assistance of the Divine Benevolence of the Most High as progression to Kether has been indicated to be marred by Da’ath which when traversed one arrives at Kether and permitted to share the vision of the Limitless Light –. This is the sought after Union with God, the attainment of the Kether (Crown of Glory) for one’s life’s labors.



FIGURE 6.jpg - 23771 Bytes



The Master Mason’s apron thus typifies the teaching in Cabala that the summit of all human endeavors is the attainment of the peak of the Supernal Triangle where Kether is the Crown. In this our sublunary abode, it is accepted that we can only progress along the Path of the Arrow upto Tiphareth. Kether is unattainable in this state as it is not possible for an incarnate human to see God and live[31].  One may only symbolically experience Darkness Visible[32]. Cabalists hold that it is impossible to express such a transcendental experience because they “lie beyond the bounds of the rational and even intuitional mind on which human written and verbal communication is based”. They therefore adopt such methods as allegories, plays[33], and mundane approximation. In spite of these, the problem still exists since “transcendental experience cannot be adequately conveyed through sub-transcendental means of communication.” Some Cabalists have ventured to explain darkness visible as light not being visible as there are no matter to reflect it as in physical interstellar darkness.  “It is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by any other matter. One who attains it never returns to this material world[34].”


Beyond Kether are drawn the Three Veils of Negative Existence. In Figure 1, we observed that Kether is the Centre of the three concentric Veils of Negative Existence. They are also said to be focused on Kether; hence in Cabala, Kether’s several titles include the Point within the Circle[35], The Concealed of the Concealed, The Ancient of Days, The Most High, Existence of Existences, The Amen and, Lux Eterna[36] Some of these are terms encountered in the Third Degree of Craft Masonry. Of the most striking beauty is that which relates to “a point from which a Master Mason cannot err”, a form of a throw back to the 1o assertion that where the Name of of the Most High “is invoked we trust no danger can ensure.”  These Three Veils, Ain (Negativity or Nothingness), Ain Soph (Limitless Negativity, and Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light), are by their very essence beyond definition. Worthy of note is that the Veils are only shown as arcs of the circles to which they pertain in the understanding that Kether is brought into being by their concentration and then within the open-ended part of the Veils, expresses itself in manifestation of Chokmah and thence all the other Sephiroth which will all in time be absorbed back to Kether as their one and only source of essence and existence[37].


I associate with the concept that the secrets of a Master Mason derive from Cabalistic attributions.  The Five Points of Fellowship are also readily seen to be figured in the Master Mason’s apron. The key issues to reflect on are the names and correspondences the five Sephiroth Chesed (4), Geburah (5), Tiphareth (6), Netzach (8) and Hod (9). To these should be added their conjoint ‘raising’ towards the Supernal Triangle of Kether (1), Chockmah (2) and Binah (3).  At this point the VSL narrative of Moses’ request to be shown the Glory of God would be worthy of detailed meditation vis-à-vis the communication process of the substituted secrets on the floor of the Lodge by successive pairs of the three principal officers.  These links of the Moses episode and the communication of the substituted secrets are: -


“Show me your glory, I beg you”. [Let those substituted secrets be regularly communicated to me];


“Here is a place beside me. I will … shield you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take my hand away and you shall see the back of me; but my face is not to be seen” [H to H; F to F; K to K; B to B; and H over B – note also face not seen by either of the communicating pair];


“I will let all my splendor pass in front of you, and I will pronounce before you the name Yahweh.” [It is in this position and in this only, and then only in a w.., except in open Lodge, that the w of a MM is given; it is … or …”]


I may also add that to the Cabalist, Chesed (4) and Geburah (5) are referred to as the two hands which act together to give form to all reality as well as rectify reality. Geburah, the left hand, repels while the other Chesed the right hand, draws near. In the communication of the substituted secrets, the left arms of the pair repel while their right hands cojointly draw near.  At the head of the Right Hand Pillar of Mercy is the Sephirah Chokmah, the first emanation from Kether and whose correspondence in Microcosm is the left side of the face.  Its microcosmic correspondence is typified in the preliminary stage of the communication of the substituted secrets in the Sign of Horror. In the sign, the microcosmic Chockmah is drawn-in by the microcosmic Chesed and shielded by from the thing of horror while the microcosmic Geburah simultaneously extends vehemently to repel.


The Mason”s word is said to have been lost, and that we have now no idea of what it was. I am inclined to the idea that the existing indications are sufficiently clear to enable us form a very shrewd guess. Here I cannot be explicit. I must only guardedly hint that several Freemasons had inferred that it is a word of omnific power.  I prefer to approach this topic from the point of view of the known.  Passwords are generally in vogue among many identifiable groups with common interest.  In the Cabala the initiation and meditation in the Sphere of each Sephiroth is facilitated by a specific word (one of the God Names).  The Cabalists accept that one cannot hope to find his way unaided and for that purpose identify the Divine Names for each Sephirah which when invoked and meditated upon assists the aspirant to realize the vibrations that would enable a harmonious benefit. The saying is that starting under the presidency of the Divine Name, however, no evil can enter[38].  Freemasonry accepts that what is currently available is a substitution of the genuine. 


The substituted word may indeed be a substitution not in the sense that the genuine was lost[39], but rather a substituted word which reflects its meaning in the genuine. This is a common practice among Cabalists in the sometimes combined application of their techniques of gematria, notarikon, and temurah.  One example given to me by an avid student of the system is the reflection from the Sephiroth Chesed to Netzach, the Sephiroth right below it on the Pillar of Mercy. Chesed is spelt: - Chet, Samech, Dalet which under this Cabalistic technique has a numerical spelling value of 148 which is the value of Netzach. This can be determined by adding the values of 8 for Chet; 60 for Samech and 4 for Dalet in the following order:- Chet; Chet Samech; and Chet Samech Dalet which are 8, 68, and 72. I am of the opinion that the symbolic, non-word components of the substituted secrets of a Master Mason, may well be reflecting the genuine in the Sephirothic microcosmic correspondences they indicate. With special application to the word, I believe that there may have been some handed down complexities of errors from the time nothing was written down to the time when people started writing down things because the stresses of their daily living were crowding out some of their esoteric knowledge. The feasible causes of variations from the “originals” are varied. Some arose from wrong pronunciations of words foreign to our near ancient Brethren which later were written down in what most conveniently approximated the originals. The situation is such that in one instance, even the Hebrew title of an English publication, “Ahiman Rezon” was mis-represented in a Lodge Inventory (1838) as “A. H. Iman”s Reasons”[40]


In the Traditional History, 15 Fellows of Craft were selected and ordered to make the diligent search. The same 15 trusty Fellow Crafts were ordered to attend the obsequies, clothed in white aprons, emblems of their innocence.  The Sephirah Hod has an attributed value of 15, which is the sum of all numbers from 1 to 5.  In Cabala, Hod is held to express and reflect all the five emotions of the heart from Chesed to Hod (Chesed-Geburah-Tiphareth-Netzach-Hod). The spiritual consciousness identified as corresponding to Hod is “Sincerity,” (Trustiness). One must be saying something other, if he were to report that “white snow flakes were falling” since snow flakes are fundamentally white. In a similarly manner, the qualification of a class that is ordinarily highly trusted as “trusty” to my mind was more of a pointer to the esoteric lessons embodied in the narrative.


If one now agrees with me that the Master Mason”s apron derives from the “raising” of the Zeir Anpin (The Lesser Countenance or Microprosopos - Chesed-Geburah-Tiphareth-Netzach-Hod) and its emblematical union with Arich Anpin (The Vast Countenance – Kether-Chokmah-Binah) the claim that the Masonic apron in general[41] is “more ancient than the Golden fleece or the Roman Eagle; more honorable than the Order of the Thistle, or an other Order in existence. .,” becomes a fact very convincingly well established. There could not have been any thing prior to the pristine union of man and his creator before the fall of man.



Principal Office Bearers:

The Right Worshipful Master (RWM)

A Cabalist would very conveniently ascribe to the office of the RWM, the Sphere of Sephirah Chokmah – whose title in Cabala is “Wisdom.”  The jewel of office of the RWM is the Square and Compasses, an arc of a circle and a star representing the sun.  Stretching the imagery, one may visualize the full circle whose arc is only represented. In that case, the points of the compasses may be seen to coincide with Chokmah and Binah with the top as Kether.  In the Address to a newly installed RWM, he is instructed that the honor, the reputation, and the usefulness of his Lodge as well as the happiness of its members are very much dependent on his skill, assiduity, zeal and ability to discharge the onerous duties of his high office. Furthermore, that his pattern for imitation should be that glorious luminary of nature which rising in the East, regularly diffuses light and heat to all within the circle of its influence.  In like manner, it is his peculiar province, from the East to communicate the light of Masonic knowledge and instruction to his brethren and fan the flame of enthusiasm and zeal for their Lodge and for the Craft[42] In the Blessing in the East, the Chaplain prays that “The Great Architect of the Universe endow [him] with infinite wisdom, tact and patience to discharge [his] onerous duties….” One of the several beautiful Odes at his installation, the Acclamation Ode, it reads: - “With Wisdom may he rule us;  In faith may we obey;  That God his hand may strengthen; Let every craftsman pray.” These are all attributions with footprints in the Cabala.


The Worshipful Senior Warden (WSW)

Geburah is translated more particularly as “Strength” and often as Judgment”. In Craft Masonry, the WSW in charged “to assist and strengthen the hands of the RWM in governing and carrying on the work of the Lodge.” His jewel of office is the Level which symbolizes that humans “are descended from the same stock, partakers of the same nature, and sharers in the same hope ... because a time will come when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue will cease..” These are qualities which Cabalists  ascribe to an initiate in the Sphere of Geburah – Adeptus Major, with the ability for a just handling of power, discipline, control and stability. Geburah is also titled Justice, Severity, the Knight in Shining Armor, the Sacrificial Priest, the Finisher, and the Celestial Surgeon among others. “Geburah in only destructive to that which is temporal; it is the servant of that which is eternal; for when by the acid activity of Geburah all that is impermanent has been eaten away, the eternal and incorporeal realities shine forth in all their glory[43].”  The WSW is in Freemasonry referred to as representing “Strength”.  In the General Blessing in the West following his installation, he is addressed as follows: - “As you represent Strength in the Lodge. May you be filled with that Spiritual Strength to enable you to stabilize all forces within you and the Lodge, towards the establishment of that magnificent Temple not made by hand but eternal in the heavens.”  This Masonic office is thus confirmed within the Sphere of Geburah. The virtues of this Sephirah are discipline, control and stability enabling the initiate in this Sphere to wield power not as being a law unto himself, but as a servant of the power he controls[44].


When the WSW is therefore closing the Lodge, he affirms that it is in the Name of God and by command of the RWM after having seen that all wages have been paid as due and demanded. At ceremonies of initiations to the three Craft Degrees, the WSW, by command of the RWM, directs the conducting Deacon to instruct the Candidate to advance to the Altar in due form and is also the official delegated with the duty of investing initiates with the distinguishing badge of the degrees. As it is also said by Cabalists that “there is nothing to equal the Geburah influence for “de-bunking” both persons and viewpoints,” so also it reposes in the office of the WSW to prove that “none but Freemasons are present, and that they are properly clothed…” at the opening of the Lodge.


The Worshipful Junior Warden (WJW)

Tiphareth translates “Beauty”.  I therefore ascribe the Sephirah to the office of the WJW.  His jewel of office is the Plumrule which symbolically alludes “to virtues of uprightness and integrity which will beautify and adorn not only his conduct but all the work of the Craft.”  At the installation ceremony, the WJW is addressed in the South as follows: - “As you represent Beauty, may you be endowed with Beauty from above to enable you be the harmonizing force uniting not only the Rulers of the Craft, but all Brethren …may God enable you to radiate Beauty in your soul towards all mankind, through the eternal source of Beauty and Love.”  Tiphareth is a harmonizing Sephirah. On Tree of Life it is Middle Pillar of Equilibrium with eight Paths linking it with all the other Sephiroth excluding the drop-down Sephirah Malkuth. In a Freemason’s lodge, the WJW is midway between the East and the West.  According to Dion Fortune, Tiphareth is a link, a focusing-point, a center of transition or transmutation.


There is a microcosmic correspondence in the solar plexus associated with the Sphere of Tiphareth.  Its effect on man is the reception of subtle solar energy in about the same way that chlorophyll picks and uses solar energy for the survival of plant life.  This may not be unconnected with the alias given to the WJW in most Masonic cycles as the “Brother Ostensible” within which he manages the provision of materials to the Festive Board.


Tiphareth, being the central harmonizing Sephirah between the Intellectual or Cognitive; Moral or Emotive and, Material or Instinctual Triangles or Worlds,[45] it as it were forms a break or an interlude along the Path of the Arrow i.e., Malkuth-Yesod-Tiphareth-Kether. In another classification Tiphareth is central apex of the Ethical Triangle flanked by Kether and Yesod, the respective apexes of the Supernal and the Astral Triangles.  In Craft Masonry, the WJW, the Brother Ostensible located in the Sphere of the Sephirah Tiphareth, also called Shemesh[46] by the Cabalists, marks this star at its meridian and “calls Brethren to an interlude from labor to refreshment and from refreshment back to labor again that profit and pleasure might be the result.”


Both WWs are charged at their installation “to be patterns of good order and regularity… Strength must support Wisdom in work, and Beauty must adorn it in harmony, and all [their] aspirations and endeavors must tend to the building up of a Wise, Strong, and Harmonious Lodge.”


Relative Situations of Chokmah, Geburah and Tiphareth on the Tree of Life


FIGURE 7.jpg - 21861 Bytes


In this illustration a square is formed at the situation (Meridian) of the 6th Sephirah Tiphareth. By mentally joining the 3rd and the 5th, the situation of the three Sephiroth becomes a fair representation of the “places” (E,W,S) of the three principal officers on the floor of the Lodge.  This also exposes the esoteric import of the North being referred to as “the region of darkness.”  It is wrong to allude the expression to the northern wall or part of the Temple or any building for that matter in the upper latitudes being permanently out of reach of the direct rays of the sun. It rather derives from the situation of the Three Veils of Negative Existence shielded from the sight of humans in the flesh.


Much Now Remains:

On closing a Lodge the Immediate Past Master declares, “Brethren, nothing now remains but….” With regard to these my glimpses of what I perceive as traces of Cabala in Craft Masonry, I would rather humbly state that quite some considerable lot remain to be explored. I am but a mere novice in Cabala. My concepts are therefore colored by this very appropriate qualification. These glimpses may therefore only serve to excite or induce those better exposed to both the mysteries of the Cabala and Antient Freemasonry to contribute a more deserving treatise on this or other associated issues within our general mandate “to extend…researches into the more hidden mysteries of the Craft.”[47]  I remain for ever mindful of those concepts in the General Blessing from the Centre towards the close of Office-Bearers’ Installation Meeting which to my mind is spiced with what a Cabalist would call necessary qualifications for threading the Paths of the Sephiroth: - “May the Supreme Ruler of the Universe forgive what we have been, sanctify what we are, and order what we shall be.  May we all preserve Steps, Square and Level, and run the race of life as true and brave Masons, clothed in perfect concentration, enriched in spiritual meditation, led through to revelation and gladdened by a sure salvation… May the Spirit of Courage, Gaiety and a Quiet Mind and all such blessedness coming from the Father to His children be with us now and ever more.” So Mote It Be.




[1] References to ‘ritual’ or workings are as recorded in this Standard Ritual of Scottish Freemasonry, printed and published by C. C. & A. T. Gardner Ltd, Edinburgh 1970.

[2] He later fell out with his bishop when he started some healing services and was restricted to only privately celebrate Mass.

[3] “[1] It is useless to boast: but if I have to, I will go on to some visions and revelations of the Lord. [2] I know a certain Christian: fourteen years ago he was taken up to the third heaven. [3] Whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows. But I know that this man, whether in the body or out of the body – I do not know, God knows –[4]  was taken up to Paradise where he heard words that cannot be told: things which humans cannot express.”

[4] Sociedad Biblica Catolica Internacional, Madrid (1998) (ed) St. Paul’s Book Centre Ibadan pp368-369.

[5] Sefiroth (singular. " Sephirah ") channel of Divine energy or life-force.


[6] Rev. J.H. Young: Symbolism in the Working Tools, G.L. Sask. From the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan 'Tracing Board' reprinted in Grand Lodge British Columbia Bulletin, January 1980.

[7] Bro. H. Carr in the Foreword to The Pocket History of Freemasonry 7th ed. (1983) Frederick Muller Limited London.

[8] Alexander Horne, King Solomon’s Temple in the Masonic Tradition, The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (1972) p.50-52, 165-167..


[9] Kenneth Cragg, The Call Of The Minaret, 2nd ed. Orbis Books Maryknoll, New York [1965], p.123

[10] I rather suggest that one uses a standard text illustration as I have not been able with my very meager skill in drawings with a word-processor to appropriately present a suitable representation in this and other Figures.

[11] Negativity, not in the sense of non Being or Non-Existence, but rather a concept to categorize what is incomprehensible in the present stage of consciousness

[12] The singular is Qelippa ‘harlot’ or ‘shell.’

[13] Refer also to Jacob’s ladder dealt with later in this article.

[14] The highest object of human happiness (the fullest harmonious development of human potential) as per Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

[15] Bhagavad-Gita 15:3-4

[16]  Quotations from the Scottish Constitution Craft Ritual

[17] Principally as traceable in the Old Testament Judeo-Christian Bible

[18] See also Rev. J.H. Young; “Symbolism in the Working Tools” Grand Lodge British Columbia Bulletin, January 1980

[19] Also from the Scottish Constitution Craft Ritual (Śrīmad Bhãgavatam 1.2.6, also emphasized this.)

[20] Romans 8:28-29 See also Holy Quran x: 25 - “But God doth call to the Home of Peace: He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a Way that is straight.”

[21] Bhagavad-Gita  15: 5

[22] Dion Fortune (1890-1946); “The Mystical Cabala”, Ernest Benn Limited, London1976 ed. p.76-77

[23] Quran  xx 12-56;  Note 2543 of the Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Dar al Arabia states: “In the parallels mystic meaning Moses was now to put away his mere worldly interest, and anything of mere worldly utility, he having been chosen by the Most High God” Vide also Exodus 3-:5 'Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground’.

[24] Bhagavad-Gita 7: 20 indicates that such material attachments predispose man away from spiritual awareness, a kind of reminder that one cannot serve God and mammon at the same time.

[25]. Several of my manuscripts and notes at lectures did not bear sources.  I have nevertheless enclosed such statements in quotation marks.

[26] Dion Fortune opcit ; p. 69

[27] Bhagavad-Gita 14: 26

[28] A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabuhuada, The Science of Self Realization; Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles (1981) p.1

[29] Ref: Bhagavad-Gita 8:20  “There is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.”

[30] An equilateral triangle formed of the Master, his two Wardens and two Deacons, within a circle of ten other Brethren.

[31] In the VSL, Moses had requested to be shown the Glory of God on the mountain- quote:  “Moses said, 'Show me your glory, I beg you'. And he said, 'I will let all my splendor pass in front of you, and I will pronounce before you the name Yahweh. I have compassion on whom I will, and I show pity to whom I please. You cannot see my face,' he said 'for man cannot see me and live.'  And Yahweh said, 'Here is a place beside me. You must stand on the rock,  and when my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and shield you with my hand while I pass by. Then I will take my hand away and you shall see the back of me; but my face is not to be seen.' [Exodus 33:18-23] - Jerusalem Bible.

[32] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.[1 Corinthians 13:12]

[33] Which are precisely what Freemasonry adopts.

[34] Bhagavad-Gita 15: 6

[35] The Point within a Circle has an enormous universal application in several esoteric circles. Within the Seven Degrees structure of the Ekpe (Leopard) Society of my tribe, it embodies the greatest of its secrets and is often drawn on its temple wall and veils as well as on the tie-and-dye clothing of its members.

[36] This is brought out succinctly in the Requiem prayer  “Lux Eterna, luceat eis Domine  …”

[37] “When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all absorbed back” Bhagavad Gita 8:181

[38] Dion Fortune: opcit  p.69. (Ref.  also address of the RWM to the Candidate for the 1o Degree when the later declares that his trust is in God)

[39] The allegorical story of the loss did not present sufficient grounds for such a loss. The secrets ‘were known only to three in the world, and without the consent and co-operation of the other two ..” they could not be imparted..

[40] Fred L. Pick and G. Norman Knight, The Pocket History of Freemasonry, Revised by Frederick Smyth (1953);, P.91.

[41] All being fundamentally emblems of Innocence and Purity.

[42] From the Ceremonials of Installed Masters, Scottish Constitution:  Address to the Master at his installation.

[43] Dione Fortune, ibid p.181.

[44] ditto

[45] Illustrated in Figure - 3

[46] The Sphere of the Sun

[47] From the South East Corner Charge to an FC.


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