The Degree of Royal Ark Mariner
As a Brand Master, you can become a member of a Royal Ark Mariner lodge. This step into Freemasonry is definitely recommended. The degree of Royal Ark Mariner is also called "the charming little degree. Certainly, it is an enjoyable degree, with a ritual of modest proportions, but with very rich content, which can offer you a surprising new insight into traditional aspects of Freemasonry. In earlier centuries, this Masonic wealth was accessible to any Freemason, but a twist of fate has meant that admission to this fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners is today reserved only for Brand Masters.

Attached to most lodges of Merkmeesters is a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, which in the registers of the Grand Lodge in London usually bears the same name and always the same number as that of the lodge of Merkmeesters. Most Lodges of Royal Ark Mariners meet two to three times a year. The brevity and depth of its message form an elegant combination rarely equaled elsewhere in Freemasonry. The Degree has an impressive Ritual which, although brief, contains a wealth of profound meaning and offers a new insight into Freemasonry.

The history of this degree, as well as a number of other continuation paths, is obscure. As a result, the exact origin of the Royal Ark Mariner degree is unknown. The rite is derived from the Old Testament story of the Ark, in which Noah, his family and other living creatures are saved from destruction by the Flood, after which the covenant between the Creator and His creation is renewed. The rainbow, which is the sign of this restored covenant is reflected in the colors of the lapel with which Royal Ark Mariners are clothed. The layout of the lodge, the symbols used and the ritual itself are simple and appealing in design. The rite offers a moral message, which includes fidelity, sincerity, truthfulness, hope and charity. On closer inspection, however, the degree also harbors elements that come directly from Freemasonry in the early 18th century and also from the period before that. In fact, one can speak of an old traditional form of Freemasonry based on the Old Testament period, prior to the building of Solomon's Temple.

Like Mark Master Mason's Degree, which is based on an established fact (i.e., the building of the Temple in Jerusalem), the Royal Ark Mariner's Degree is also based on an actual event, namely, the Great Flood or Deluge, as recorded in the Bible and as confirmed in 1929 by archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, who not only found clear evidence of the flood, but also determined that it had occurred some 6,000 years earlier. The legend of Noah, his sons, the ark, and the flood were performed in the mystery plays of the seventeenth century and continued as catechisms in many of the early Masonic rituals. By the 1750s there was a degree of Noahites or Prussian Knights. However, the first authentic record of the degree appears in the minutes of a meeting held in Bath in 1790. There are numerous records throughout the country of the ceremony of Exaltation being performed since that date. The claims that a Grand Lodge of Ark Mariners was established in 1772 and presided over by the Duke of Clarence is not supported by the known facts and thus later claims that this Grand Lodge had fallen into disuse, only to be revived in 1871. None of this can be verified.

Although the degree seems to have been practiced in a variety of ways and in a large number of different lodges, there was almost certainly no Grand Lodge that
degree presided over. Since the early 19th century, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons has automatically also been Grand Master of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. The degree of Royal Ark Mariner may only be conferred on Mark Master Masons.

More recently the so-called tracing board has been reintroduced, having been out of favour for over a hundred years. That it could be reactivated was partly due to Gladsmuir Lodge No. 367 in Hertfordshire who had kept a copy of their tracing board and with the help of the then senior members of the county convinced the Grand Lodge that it would add value to the lodges and their ceremonial.
Royal Ark Mariner Lodges also began to revive the use of a Tableau, a special rug, which gives ceremonies a lot of sparkle.

Prince Michael of Kent Grandmaster Royal Ark Mariners

Prince Michael of Kent, Grand Master Royal Ark Mariners

Statutorily, the Degree is open only to holders of the Brand Degree. The degree of Royal Ark Mariner is not a 'continuation' of the degree of Master Mariner. That only Master Mariners are admitted to the Royal Ark Mariner degree is simply the result of the developments within Freemasonry since 1717. In the 19th century, the newly created 'Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons' decided to administratively adopt the degree of Royal Ark Mariner in order to save it from total demise. Royal Ark Mariner Freemasonry is governed by the 'Grand Master's Royal Ark Council' of the 'Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its District and Lodges Overseas'. In the Netherlands, the lodges of Royal Ark Marines are housed in the 'District Grand Lodge of Mark Masters for the Netherlands'.

Exaltation to the Royal Ark Mariner Degree commemorates the providence and mercy in every human being and relates to the legend of the Flood. The subject taken directly from the Bible is, of course, both beautiful and instructive. As the candidate enters the Lodge, his attention is focused on three pillars and at one point the ark is symbolized in terms similar to the ark of salvation. The candidate is eventually instructed to proceed in the spirit of the cardinal virtues. The Ritual contains several symbols which appear in other Degrees of Freemasonry, and which can also be found on the rich and colorful Tableau of the Degree.
A thorough study of its various elements provides a deeper insight into the traditions of Freemasonry than one can imagine while passing through the blue Degrees.

The lessons in the degree emphasize the importance of family strengths and the need for each member of society to play their part for the good of all. It teaches that humanity can survive from chaos and catastrophe and that together we must face adversity and help those less fortunate than ourselves.

All products for the Royal Ark Mariners in our store can be found here:

Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

He is a certified Enneagram Coach and studied philosophy (Uva) and sociology (University of Edinburgh).

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Are there similarities in the methodology of the Enneagram and Masonic thought? And if there are, how does this model translate as a tool for the personal growth of a Mason?
In this article, I will look for the similarities with Freemasonry and its practical use in refining character. Similarities that are not only numerological and symbolic, but especially emotional.

I am a certified Enneagram Coach and have followed my training at the Enneagram College of Willem-Jan van de Wetering. My acquaintance with the Enneagram came about 8 years ago. I was invited for an introductory course. In the business world, I had already become acquainted with a number of tools to describe personalities, but I felt that something was missing. The models I knew, such as The Big Five, the Rose of Leary, MBTI, Spiral Dynamics and Belbin. Typical of almost all models, in my opinion, is the lack of a holistic view and too much focus on the human being in a business environment. However, people are more than just employers or employees. The human being has many facets whereby the focus on the work situation struck me as very superficial. During the introductory course, I was surprised at how typical and accurate the Enneagram was. I therefore started to study it for years and this eventually resulted in an education. This resulted in the Quantum Enneagram. I have developed this model as a holistic methodology, in which not only the Enneagram but also various psychological and social insights are used as a manual for personal growth.

Human mechanisms.
Every human being has a personal history in which, through damage and disgrace, life lessons are experienced that cause repeating behaviour patterns and/or blockages. I call them holes in the soul. Many people fill these holes in the soul with something or someone else. This partly explains the abuse of alcohol, drugs and gambling addictions, but also life partners have to fill up these gaps. Holes in the soul have to be filled by oneself, is my firm belief. A person who does not work on himself is driven by emptiness and not by fullness.

The Enneagram is a personality model that describes conscious and unconscious human behaviour, but it also provides insight into blockages and a practical solution for removing these blockages. The word Enneagram stems from the Greek ennea, meaning nine, and grammos, meaning something written or drawn. The symbol of the Enneagram is a nine-pointed star polygon. A person's behaviour and motivation can be described by means of this model. The Enneagram groups behaviour in a model of 9 personality types. The nine-pointed star you see in my presentation is a so-called Nonagram. It stands for the original typology, as I use it myself.

Science or practical model?
Despite the fact that scientific psychology regards the Enneagram as a pseudo-science, it is a practical and usable model. For example, direct connections can indeed be made between the behaviour of the 9 personality types and scientifically established behavioural disorders.
A few years ago, the Stanford University School of Business organised a course "Personality, self-awareness and leadership" in which the Enneagram played the leading role. The course was extremely popular.

The FBI, General Motors, Motorola, Marriott Hotels, Mitsubishi, Arthur Andersen, UC Berkeley and the US Postal Service use the Enneagram as a tool to understand individual communication styles and to help resolve conflicts between employees. At Silicon Graphics, it is part of the continuing education programme. Even clergymen from the Vatican took an Enneagram course.
The CIA and the FBI use the Enneagram as a profiling tool to help its agents describe and understand the behaviour of world leaders.

Mystical heritage?
Because there is simply too little scientifically based evidence for the widespread but incorrect historical origin of the Enneagram, I will start from the first mention of the current model.

The modern Enneagram of personality types is a modern synthesis of some ancient wisdom and traditions, but the person who originally compiled the system was Oscar Ichazo.
Perhaps a similarity with Freemasonry is that in recent years a certain legacy of the Order of the Knights Templar has been claimed. Again, there is no evidence for this. The strength, in my opinion, lies in the thought and intentions that have been adopted.

Just as Freemasonry has its roots in early Judeo-Christian thought, thought from ancient Egypt, philosophical currents from the Middle East, the thought of the Knights Templar and modern philosophers, so the Enneagram is a wonderful blend of Western mystical and occult tradition, insights from ancient Sufi, Kabbalah and even alchemical thought.

Freemasonry and the Enneagram.
Just as the first degree of Apprentice Freemasonry is the gateway to the mysteries of Freemasonry, the second degree of Companion Freemasonry is about the methods by which one advances in spiritual knowledge. Building on oneself with the tools available. In a sense, the rite of the second degree is the incorporation of the candidate into the Masonic world. One of the means to increase our capacity for the Light is found in Freemasonry in the form of a staircase; an important symbol for the second degree. Spiritual work is central to the lodge, but it has a different content and meaning in each degree. In the apprentice phase, for example, the emphasis is on self-examination, working on an attitude to life that allows for freedom in diversity. The associate is confronted with reflection on his responsibilities as a human being in a changing society.

The 9 types of the Enneagram.

Many Brothers and Sisters are already familiar with the Enneagram. For those who do not know it yet, I will give a short introduction.

Enneagram Type 1 The Perfectionist

Perfectionists are focused on perfection and say that everything can always be improved. They are principled and idealistic. They have high standards and values and judge others accordingly. They want to improve everything and are afraid of making mistakes.
They are very well organised and logical. They have high standards. They suppress anger until it erupts unexpectedly. They are wise, realistic, noble and have high morals. Ones set great store by rules and structures.

The Perfectionist
- likes structures
- sticks to rules
- thinks there is always room for improvement
- Is annoyed by mistakes
- wants to work towards a perfect world

Enneagram type 2 The Helper

Helpers are focused on helping others. They are sociable, sincere, friendly and warm. They have their hearts in the right place. Twos are always focused on others and know what they need. They sacrifice themselves to help the other. They can be sentimental and want to please others. They do not pay attention to their own needs, but want to be needed by others. They hope for the love of others by giving love to others.
Deep inside, Twos feel loneliness.

The Helper

- Focuses on others
- is not self-minded
- is always ready to help others
- seeks love and appreciation
- always wants to be there for others

Enneagram type 3 The Winner

Winners are successful and always work hard. They are ambitious, charming, competent, have lots of energy and value status. Threes often worry about their image and what others think and say about them. They are workaholics, and are very competitive. They adapt their image to the situation. They are good at leading, and never lose sight of their goals. Threes always want to win.

The Winner

- Can't stand to lose
- is goal-oriented
- knows what he wants
- Focuses on being successful

Enneagram type 4 The Romantic 

Romantics are sensitive, highly creative and self-confident, but also reserved. They are emotionally honest and personal, but are often guided by moods. It goes up and down. They experience the feelings of others as if they were their own. They can feel inferior and vulnerable. Celebrants do not want to be ordinary, and that alone makes them unique.

The Romantic 

- is emotionally unstable
- focuses on the finer things in life
- seeks confirmation in love
- feels misunderstood
- wants to give the world more colour

Enneagram type 5 The Observer

Observers are alert, have insight and above all overview. Fives are the observers who can isolate themselves to look at things from all sides and then come forward with a razor-sharp analysis. They do not care about clothes or image, and do not like emotions. They are calm, analytical, independent, competent, but can also be eccentric. They are calm people with a vision. And they do not stand out.

The Observer

- is short on communication
- withdraws into his thoughts
- wants to understand everything
- researches and observes
- wants to understand life

Enneagram type 6 The Loyalist

Loyalists are dedicated, security-oriented, reliable, hard-working and responsible. Loyalists need to have what is expected of them and who is responsible for what. They can work well under stress, while at the same time complaining a lot. They have problems with their self-confidence and look for confirmation. They are often too cautious and somewhat fearful. Sixes are sociable and value reliable friends and colleagues. They stand up for the weak.

The Loyalist

- Seeks certainty and resists uncertainty
- is loyal and faithful
- is not afraid to roll up its sleeves
- is less inclined to take the initiative
- likes to do everything together

Enneagram Type 7 The Adventurer

Adventurers are productive, busy, optimistic and spontaneous. They bubble with ideas and need many options to function well. They are charmers who seek adventure. They love challenges and see few problems, only solutions. They are practical but not very disciplined. Sevens like to postpone things that are not fun to do. They are sociable, fun and charming. But their impulsiveness can get them into trouble.

The Adventurer

- wants to enjoy life
- runs away from painful moments
- is always optimistic
- wants to be able to choose from many options
- can quickly come up with solutions

Enneagram Type 8 The Challenger

Challengers are powerful, strong, dominant and confident. They like to protect others, but hate weakness. They are proud people and often appear physically strong. They want control over the situation and if they do not get it, they become confrontational and intimidating. They have a big heart but make sure that others do not get too close. They rely on their own strength. Eights are the leaders of the Enneagram.

The Boss

- is powerful and comes across as strong
- always wants to be in control
- does not dare to show his vulnerability
- comes across as dominant
- thinks that others usually take the bait

Enneagram Type 9 The Mediator

Mediators are easy-going, stable, inspire trust and avoid arguments. They are friendly people who understand all points of view but find it hard to choose: "Is it yes or shall I say no?". Nines are spiritual, understanding and need time to get things done. They can also be quite stubborn. They like to bring people together to talk out a conflict, but numb themselves when problems arise in their own lives.

The Mediator

- finds it difficult to make choices
- is very satisfied
- finds it difficult to cope with arguments
- enjoys nature and tranquillity
- is sociable and accommodating
- Can be very stubborn

Nine Enneagram types are described from the point of view of their way of living. The model provides insight into your own character and the motives of others. Each of the nine personality types of the Enneagram has formed itself around a central passion. The unconscious focus that arises from this, largely determines the attitude to life and communication style of each of the nine types. The Enneagram is about returning to the essence. Every passion has its opposite in an aspect of the higher virtue of the essence. The human being is supposed to be looking for that aspect of the higher virtue that we miss.

Know thyself and it comes to you. A person who works on himself comes from fullness and not from emptiness. A certain structure of identical behaviour patterns is practically described by the Enneagram. I would like to make it clear that one personality type is not better than another, that a type 8 is not higher than a type 2 and that it is not the intention to pigeonhole people on the basis of behaviour. Each type has specific characteristics that can be effective and that are born of a reaction to the outside world.

Sins and Virtues.

The idea of nine divine forms. This idea was discussed by Plato as the divine forms or platonic bodies, qualities of existence that are essential and cannot be broken down into constituent parts. This idea was further developed in the third century of our era by the Neo-Platonic philosophers, especially Plotinus in his central work The Enneads.

These ideas found their way from Greece and Asia Minor south through Syria and finally to Egypt. There it was embraced by early Christian mystics known as the Desert Fathers who concentrated on studying the loss of the divine forms in ego-consciousness.

The specific ways in which these divine forms became distorted became known as the Seven Deadly Sins: anger, pride, jealousy, greed, lust and sloth. How the original nine forms, in the course of their journeys from Greece to Egypt over a century, were reduced to seven deadly sins remains a mystery.

Oscar Ichazo's work connected the Enneagram symbol with the three centres of human intelligence, Thinking, Feeling and Instinct. He called the higher, essential qualities of the human spirit the Sacred Ideas, in accordance with the Western mystical tradition. Here too we recognise the similarity with the work in Freemasonry, the Mores.

The fixations, or sins, in the Enneagram correspond directly to the 7 Deadly Sins.

The seven deadly sins are:

  1. Superbia (haughtiness - conceit - vanity)
  2. Avaritia (greed - avarice)
  3. Luxuria(unchastity - lust )
  4. Invidia (envy - jealousy - envy)
  5. Gula (intemperance - gluttony - gluttony)
  6. Ira(rage - wrath - revenge - wrath )
  7. Acedia (laziness - sloth - indolence)

The 7 Virtues form the growth path of the various personality types.

  1. Prudentia(Prudence - Wisdom)
  2. Iustitia(Righteousness - righteousness)
  3. Temperantia(Temperance - self-control)
  4. Fortitudo(Courage - strength - tenacity - focus)
  5. Fides(Faith), in Latin texts often described as Pietas
  6. Spes(Hope)
  7. Caritas(Charity-Love)

The Ennegram and the Maçonnieke Graden.

When an Apprentice Mason is promoted to the Companion Degree, two things become clear. The first revelation is that he himself is the highest judge in life. Secondly, it is made clear to him that although he has seen the Light, he is now given the tools with which he can refine his self-development. Whereas in the1st Degree, seeing the Light and looking at the inner self was important, in the2nd Degree, the interaction between man and his environment is a central theme. the website of our Grand Lodge says;

"In the pupil degree he tries to get to know himself, his deeper self. In the second or companion degree, he tests his relationship to his fellow man, and in the third or master degree, he tries to determine his attitude towards the unmentionable: that, or that which Masons symbolically refer to as the "Supreme Builder of the Universe".

Within the Enneagram, there is a corresponding development of the personality. This can be divided into positive growth and negative stress.
In both cases, a person will start to behave differently. Each type takes over the positive properties of a certain other Enneagram type, his relaxation type, when he is relaxed. When he is stressed, he takes over the bad characteristics of his stress type.

The Enneagram as a mirror.

A number of similarities with the growth and stress directions strike me.
Isn't it true that an Apprentice Mason is going to see the Light? The similarity is that, before you can grow as a human being, you first have to get to know yourself. Seeing the Light means that you realise what type you are and understand what mechanisms are driving your present behaviour.
As a Companion Freemason, it becomes clear that you will be given all the tools to allow refinement to take place. You are, as it were, put in front of a mirror to be confronted with the highest judge...yourself. You experience this confrontation when, under stress, you start to show negative behaviour or even false behaviour and realise this. Look in the mirror and see yourself. See what really drives you, your patterns and also your blind spots.
The Enneagram holds up this mirror to you.

When the mechanisms are clear, you can return to your own essence, back to your core type. An Eight will then realise who he is and the time has come for refinement. The Eight grows, becomes calmer and the true power of its personality comes to the surface. At this time, which is not without its struggles, the Eight grows into a Two. He becomes more social, protects people, starts coaching people and finds the way to his heart.
The Companion has grown into the Master.

The Enneagram as a Maconic Tool, a Ritual Journey.

Every Freemason makes a ritual journey through his Lodge. As a candidate, you encounter stumbling blocks and must empty the bitter cup. It is symbolic for the journey that every human being makes in which setbacks and resistance are part of life itself.
If you find the strength to go on, helped by your fellow man, there comes a moment when you see the Light. However, the Brotherhood clearly points out that it all comes down to you. It is your personal journey, just like another person has his own journey.

The Road to Freedom.

If I want to make the parallels with the Enneagram clear, I will have to go a little deeper into the Enneagram as a model. Apart from insight into one's own core type and that of others, the Enneagram has another practical application. It gives insight into the blockades, incurred during the development of every human being. The Path to Freedom within the Enneagram is a model in which the developmental phases of the child from 0 to 21 years are taken as a starting point. This cycle of 21 years is cyclic. A child from 0 to 21 years old forms, goes through puberty and grows towards adulthood. On this road, the child encounters all kinds of stumbling blocks. These stumbling blocks can be overcome, but almost everyone develops blockages.

Within the path to freedom, seven steps (themes) are taken to complete this process and arrive at our own freedom. They are the seven steps of development that we go through from birth to adulthood. Each step is important how and in what way it is developed. After 21 years of age, these stages of development naturally continue.
The steps that a person must take are: Safety; connection; independence, me and the other; sexuality and intimacy; responsibility and freedom. In these phases you also need the fulfilment of the 12 basic needs. These are: acceptance; care; reassurance; admiration; trust; encouragement; approval; respect; recognition; affirmation and appreciation.

This symbolic journey within the Enneagram follows a fixed route. 1,4,2,8,5,7,1
The 3,6, and 9 are not included. These are considered to be the influences from outside.
The Apprentice sees the Light, gets acquainted with his own personality and recognises himself. The Companion is confronted with himself and receives all the tools to work on personal refinement. I see the Path to Freedom as dealing with blockages from the past. Letting go of old things and growing through to the essence of yourself. Will we ever reach the Master Degree? I cannot guarantee it, but are we not all eternal Companions?

No pigeonholes.
In my experience during my training, but also in coaching people, almost always the same experience emerges. Recognition. A feeling as if the pieces are falling into place. But resistance also emerges. Is it really all so predictable? Can everyone be pigeon-holed?

Just like every Freemason essentially works on himself to form a perfect cubic stone, every type in the Enneagram will have to work on himself to eventually integrate. The beauty of the Enneagram lies in the fact that it does not think in pigeonholes. If every Freemason forms a cubic stone and with that the symbolic Temple of Solomon can be built, other stones are still needed to complete the construction. Each Enneagram type grows precisely by learning about other types and finding personal growth in them. The essence is found through the diversity of all people.

Still, the biggest pitfall is the narrow mindedness. When people learn about their type, they quickly think only in terms of that type. When you look at the model, you see nine boxes.
You soon notice that it goes further, when you start reading about it in recognised books like
The wisdom of the Enneagram or the Enneagram Basic Book of Riso and Hudson.

The Enneagram is meant to get people out of their pigeonholes and patterns. First awareness and then personal growth follows if you know how to break free from these. But the road to personal growth has been started and is irreversible.

The numerological and symbolic meaning of the number 9

Nine is a unique numerical special number. It is a non-corruptible number.

Nine is also the number of the circumference, hence the division into ninety degrees and 360 degrees for the whole circumference. It is symbolised by the figure of the two triangles, which in turn symbolise the male and female, fire and water, mountain and cave principles. In Buddhism, 9 is the highest spiritual power; a heavenly number. The triangle is known as one of the Platonic forms. Working with a sacred geometric structure like the triangle is known from Astrology (four triangles), Sufism (three triangles or Nonagram) and Judaism (two triangles or Star of David).

The number nine plays an important role in, for example, Royal Arch Freemasonry or the Holy Royal Vault. It stands for wholeness and completion. A quote from a ritual says:

Q. How shall I know you to be a Royal Arch Mason?

A: By three times three. Three Times Three, Under a Living Arch.

As a side note, I have to say that I use the original typology. This changes the Enneagram into 3 triangles as shown below. Next to it, you can see an illustration of the Maconnique use of this form, as in the Royal Order of Scotland.

The three times letter T is also recognised in the symbol for Royal Arch freemasonry, the Triple Tau. In addition, I have already noted that the nonagram appears in the logo of the Royal Order of Scotland.

In the Enneagram process model, the number 3, 6 and 9 are not included.
The process model describes an inner journey and considers 3,6 and 9 as influences from outside. In Freemasonry, besides 3 degrees, we also know the All-Seeing Eye with a triangle and the Three Great Lights. 3 x 3 is the triple triad; completion; fulfilment; attainment;

In ancient China, 9 was the Celestial Power, 3 x 3 being the most auspicious of all the numbers in Feng Shui. It also refers to the eight cardinal directions with the ninth as the centre, as in the 'Hall of Light'. In the division of land in China, it was divided into eight outer squares for the cultivation of the land by the owners, and the central, ninth, square is a 'god square', dedicated to Shang-ti, the supreme ruler.
It is also called the 'imperial field', referring to his position as a delegate of heavenly power.

In early Judaism, the number 9 stands for pure intelligence; truth, as it produces itself when multiplied by itself.
In Kabbalism, it symbolises foundation.

The Hindus know the number of Agni, fire; the square of nine forms the mandala of eighty-one squares and leads to, and encloses, the universe.

The Mayas knew nine underworlds, each ruled by a god.

In the Scandinavian myths, Odin/Wodan hung from the Yggdrasil for nine days and nights to gain secret wisdom for mankind. Skeldi, the northern Persephone, goddess of the snow, lived on her mountain for three months and by the Niord Sea for nine months. Nine is the sacred number in Scandinavian-Teutonic symbolism. The above links to the number 9 were given to me fraternally by my Br.˙. Peter Blom.

Insights from outside, Revelations from within.

Another similarity is that the Companion works on himself, but in interaction with the outside world. The Gezel finds this interaction inside and outside the Lodge. He visits, participates in Maconnade formation, rituals and Building Pieces. The journey has begun.
It offers tools for self-reflection, self-knowledge and self-acceptance. The Enneagram helps you to look more mildly at yourself and others. It touches you to the core beyond your blind spots.

When there is interaction with the outside world and the Lodge, the Companion, if it is good, gets inspiration. He takes this inspiration with him to eventually gain renewed insight. This exchange between outside and inside, inspiration and insight, forms a dance.
The Freemason carries this dance with him all his life. It forms him and gives him the strength to continue to see the light in order to eventually receive wisdom.

In a similar way, the Enneagram is all about the dance between integration and disintegration, between stress and growth. In this way, blockades and old, negative patterns are broken through and the journey can be continued. Here, too, strength is needed to ultimately experience wisdom.

Female energy and male energy.

There is a big difference between male and female energy in the world. Men tend to think with their heads and work in an efficient, practical way. With men, there is, generally speaking, a focus on means, roles and goals. They are collaborative individualists.

Women, on the other hand, often think from their feelings and work in a social way.
Women generally pay more attention to the group and to harmony in the team. They are collaborative group thinkers.
The beauty of the male and female energy is also reflected in the Enneagram. Types 2, 3 and 4 are the feelers. These people generally think on the basis of emotion and are more socially oriented. Types 5, 6 and 7 are the thinkers. These people generally think with their heads and are often more individualistic. Finally, types 8, 9 and 1. These are the doers of the Enneagram. These people generally think with their heads and are often more practical.

Just as a doer must learn not to suppress his emotions, a thinker must learn not to forget to do. A hardened person, in which the male energy predominates, has lost contact with the feminine. A soft person may have beautiful feminine energy, but will have to give attention to her masculine sides.

The world in transition
We live in a time of transition. Freemasons are trying to be more conscious in life and to be a better person in society. They work to learn the Masonic lessons, in order to take the next step in individual and collective consciousness development. These lessons want to make clear to our presently evolved consciousness that for a further, more spiritual development it is necessary to approach things in a totally different way. The old forms of externalised masculinity and enclosed femininity cause suffering and misery.

In addition, the unilaterally internalised form of femininity has expressed itself in the erasure of personal boundaries. For this one-sided feminine energy wants unity at all costs, so that differences and any resulting conflicts must be hidden under the suffocating cloak of love. Manifested masculinity has created hierarchy, over-regulation and the arrogant convincing of each other's opinion, if necessary with war and terrorism.

A harmonious union of male and female energy, inspiration and insight and growth and stress is thus not only the practical journey of the Freemason to mastery, but also the recognition of oneself, on YOU, and the emotional journey in the Enneagram to freedom.

Everything revolves around movement. Movement in the internal and external world. I see it as a dance. Like atoms dancing around each other. Like planets dancing around suns. And like people dance. Movement is life. Life is pain and pain is the best teacher a person can have.

Do you also want to know what Enneagram type you are?
Here you can do an extensive test:

Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

He is a certified Enneagram Coach and studied philosophy (Uva) and sociology (University of Edinburgh).

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Freemasons usually know well the many pioneering, influential Brothers who joined the Order before them. Few, however, have ever left such a moving legacy as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the famous composer who changed Western music forever. In this piece, we examine his life, his brief but dedicated experience in Freemasonry and how this influenced his career.

Early life and career

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on 27 January 1756. His father, Leopold, discovered the great talent that his son possessed, encouraged his son and followed Mozart's education in every way possible. Amazingly, he had already started composing music at the age of five and from then on produced some of the best pieces the world has ever heard. He spent his youth performing for the nobility throughout Europe and writing sonatas, concertos and operas.

Uniquely, Mozart wrote all music himself and excelled in all musical genres of his time, which was unlike any other musical composer in history. Some of his notable works include Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Cosi fan Tutte and the Jupiter Symphony. Much of Mozart's work came from the values and beliefs of Freemasonry. He wrote many pieces of music for Lodges and various Masonic rituals throughout his career. According to Robert Levin of Harvard University, an expert on the famous composer, the last piece he completed before his death was K.623, 'Kleine Freimaurer-Kantate'."

Joining Freemasonry

Mozart was initiated into Austrian freemasonry on 14 December 1784 in the lodge 'Zu Wohltätigkeit' in Vienna. He was 28 years old at the time. He soon became a Master Mason and was a loyal and committed Brother until his death in 1791. Experts state that he was listed as 3rd Degree Freemason in a membership list and that he was a very regular visitor to his Lodge.

It is not exactly known how Mozart first became acquainted with Freemasonry. However, he came from a Masonic family. Both his father-in-law and brother-in-law were freemasons. As Levin notes, Mozart was attracted to Masonic lodges "because of their fascination with human dignity and freedom."

Mozart's devotion to Freemasonry is evident from his subscription during the Catholic Church's ban on Freemasonry.
Pope Clement XII had banned membership in 1738, but seeing no conflict between the two, Mozart defied the Church's orders and joined Freemasonry. He remained a devout Catholic and composed more than 60 pieces of sacred music for the Roman Catholic Church, some of which were the most famous liturgical scores in Western history.

The maçonic impact of Mozart

Freemasonry had a powerful effect on Mozart's life, which can be seen in his various musical works. He wrote at least eight compositions for the Freemasons, including his Freemason's Funeral Music. Experts also discover influences of Freemasonry in his famous opera 'The Magic Flute'. For those who have studied his life and work, it is clear that Mozart consciously used Masonic themes and symbolism in his music.

While Mozart established a legacy as one of the greatest composers of all time, he did not enjoy much glamour towards the end of his life. He spent his last years in debt and was sometimes depressed. He died tragically at the age of 35 and was buried in an unmarked grave, unrecognised by society. Through his struggles, Mozart often reached out to his brothers for financial and moral support, and often sought solace in various lodges during his time on tour.

Despite the unfortunate last chapter of his life, Mozart left an eternal legacy through his music. To this day, his works inspire countless people and new generations all over the world. A man of unparalleled creativity and influence, we are proud to call him Brother.

In 1784 Mozart was recommended for membership in the Vienna Welfare Lodge by his friend and patron Otto von Gemmingen. According to this, Mozart introduced his father, Leopold Mozart, and his friend Franz Joseph Haydn to Freemasonry.

"When Mozart was admitted to the Vienna lodge "Zur Wohltatigkeit" ("Benificence") on Tuesday 14 December 1784, Freemasonry in Austria was forty-two years old. Banned by the [Roman Catholic] Church in 1738, its continuation was mainly due to the discretion of the sovereign; this was Franz I (originally Franz Stephen) who had been a Freemason until his death in 1765, as was the Prussian King Friederich II, the mortal enemy of Franz's consort and successor, Maria Theresa. She repeatedly banned Freemasonry, but the movement grew stronger. After her death in 1780, her son Joseph II acceded to the throne. At the time, there were fourteen lodges in Vienna alone, including several with an esoteric or Rosicrucian character. At court, however, the strongly rationalistic opposition party, the secret order of the Illuminati, sought to infiltrate Freemasonry in order to further its anti-clerical and republican aims. In fact, under the influence of the Masonic Illuminati, witch-hunts were abolished and educational reforms were implemented. The secret centre of the movement was the elite lodge "Zur wahren Eintract" ("True Concord") under its grandmaster, the miner Ignaz von Geboren. Mozart was a frequent guest there and became an enrolled pupil and then master. In 1785, the Illuminati convinced the Emperor to radically limit the number of lodges in order to put an end to other forms of Freemasonry. However, the result of this edict, "The Masonic Patent", was state control and the immediate cessation of all activities. In 1800 Freemasonry was virtually banned by Franz II and the ban practically ended only with the declaration of the Republic in 1918.

By the time of his initiation into Freemasonry, Mozart already had knowledge of its practices. His father had maintained a then risky contact with freemasonry under the Catholic-fundamentalist prince-archbishop of Salzburg, and the sixteen-year-old Wolfgang wrote a cantata in response to a commission from a lodge in Munich. During his stay in Mannheim in 1777, Mozart was supported by Otto Freiherr von Gemmingen, who would later become the first Honorable Master in Vienna. After the decree of Joseph II, Mozart did not want to come to terms with the decline of Freemasonry, so he planned to make a new start by founding a secret society called "Die Grotte".

Music and Freemasonry by Mozart

To this day, Freemasonry has different, even opposing priorities: in the predominantly Catholic countries of the Romance and Latin American countries, the Order saw itself as a republican and anticlerical reform movement. Outlawed and an abomination to the Church. In Protestant countries, however, it counted kings, bishops and presidents as its distinguished members. In the nearly three hundred years of its modern history, which began on 24 June 1717, the day five Masonic lodges in London merged to form one Grand Lodge, it has not changed direction substantially.
The goal is the same: the acquisition of people, from the rough to the smooth, to become part of the temple of universal love for humanity. The process remains Apprentice, Companion and Master Mason.

Grouped under the United Grand Lodge of England, the regular lodges follow their ancient symbolic rituals. And music is still used in these Lodges.
Chanting has been central to Freemasonry from its earliest days and is derived from the stone masons' guilds of the Middle Ages. An intellectual and cultural organisation that designed and built cathedrals and buildings, which survived all the dark doubts of superstition. The client, the church, was the main cause of this darkness. And so the builders of the cathedrals met with their pupils in private places where they could pass on their ancient wisdom. Of primary importance in Masonic symbolism is the number 3 and the musical flat sign (b).
In Freemasonry, three is the most important number, the consonant B is linked to the Temple of Solomon, which symbolises the ideal building for mankind, but also the construction of a Masonic Temple. However, the musical keys that have three faces are E flat major and C minor, the musical keys associated with Freemasonry.

E flat major is the fundamental musical key of Freemasonry; C minor is the symbol of death, while the pure key of C major, which has no key, represents the resurrection of the enlightened man to the degree of Master Mason. Mozart extended this key symbolism further. To represent the first level of Freemasonry, that of the Apprentice, Mozart often uses the key of F major, which has one plane. The second level, that of Companion Freemasonry, is indicated by the use of B-flat major, which has two bars. Moreover, Mozart introduced the key of A major, which has three sharps, into the Masonic canon. His clarinet concerto and the clarinet quintet, both in A major, were performed in a Lodge. Mozart composed these works for performance by the virtuoso clarinettist Anton Stadler.
Finally, the keys of G major and G minor also occur in Mozart's maçonic works, probably because the consonant "g" has a symbolic meaning.

Lodge songs, usually with piano or organ accompaniment, were sung at the beginning and at the end of the meetings, as well as during the meal that followed. Mozart wrote thirteen of these lodge songs, but five of them are missing.
Mozart wrote some instrumental music pieces to accompany the rituals in the lodge. Examples are the Masonic Funeral Music or the Adagio K.410 and 411.

In works that were not intended for the Lodge, maçonic material is occasionally used. It has therefore been suggested that Mozart's last three symphonies represent the three degrees of maçonic life. Mozart's last three symphonies are No. 39 in E flat major K.543, No. 40 in G minor K. 550 and No. 41 in C major K.551, also known as the Jupiter Symphony. Please also note the keys in which these symphonies were written in the light of this article. E flat major as the fundamental key of Freemasonry, with G minor having a symbolic connection to the letter "G" and
C major symbolising "the ascension of the Enlightened Man to the degree of Master Mason".

Attached is a link to a Mozart mace playlist on YouTube:
YouTube playlist Mozart Masonic music


Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

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Masonic shop history of Royal Arch Freemasonry

The Royal Arch, or Order of the Holy Royal Arch, is a so-called continuation path or higher obedience within Freemasonry. It is present in all major Masonic systems, although in some it is worked on as part of Blue Degrees and in others in a contiguous order. Royal Arch Masons meet in a Chapter. The Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch as practised in the British Isles, much of Europe and the Commonwealth, confer on Chapters the Degree of Royal Arch Mason. In the Netherlands, this is called a Fellow of the Order of the Holy Royal Arch.

As with Blue Degrees, the Royal Arch conveys moral and ethical lessons. In the three Degrees of Craft, the candidate is taught a series of practical principles of service to his fellow man. But since man is not only a practical being, he also has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. The Royal Arch further develops this latter aspect through a consideration of the spiritual nature of man, not in substitution but in support of what the candidate has learned from his own religion. In the chapter, the teachings of the Royal Arch are conveyed through a ritualised allegory based on the Old Testament stories of the return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile to rebuild the city and the temple. In clearing the ground of Solomon's Temple for the foundations of a new temple, the candidate makes important discoveries. By adding a further explanation to the practical lessons of Craft Freemasonry, the Royal Arch is seen as an extension of the previous degrees and the philosophical lessons conveyed are appropriate to that stage in a candidate's Masonic development. The symbol or grand emblem of Royal Arch Freemasonry is the Triple Tau.

In the British Isles, most of continental Europe and most Commonwealth countries (with the notable exception of Canada), the tenets of Royal Arch Freemasonry are contained in the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch - a self-contained degree of Freemasonry open to those who have completed the three Blue Degrees. Until 1823, only Freemasons who had previously held the chair of a Blue Lodge were allowed to take part. Nowadays, candidates for an English Holy Royal Arch Chapter must have been a Master Mason for four weeks or more. In Freemasonry in Scotland, the candidate for the Royal Arch must also be a Mark Master Mason, a degree that is part of the York Rite. It can be done in a Chapter, or more often it is done in a Scottish Lodge. After the Mark degree, a candidate must complete the Excellent Master degree before being elevated to the Royal Arch degree. In Ireland, a candidate must complete one year of Master Masonry before being admitted as a member of a Royal Arch Chapter. The Mark Master Mason degree is first obtained separately and only then can the Royal Arch Degree be obtained.

In the United States, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Paraguay and the Philippines, the Royal Arch is not used as a separate degree, as described above, but is part of the York Rite system of additional Masonic degrees. Royal Arch Masons in the York Rite also come together as a Chapter, but the Royal Arch Chapter of the York Rite has four different degrees: 'Mark Master Mason', 'Virtual Past Master', 'Most Excellent Master' and 'Royal Arch Mason'. Although the York Rite degree of 'Royal Arch Mason' is roughly comparable to the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch as practised in England and Wales, the other degrees may have equivalents in other related orders. The Royal Arch is also the subject of the 13th and 14th degrees of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (called "Old and Accepted Rite" in England and Wales).

At the beginning of the 18th century, there were only two Blue Degrees. The degrees and rituals, as we know them now, did not exist. The two ceremonies were very short and consisted of a recitation of the old legendary history of Freemasonry, an obligation and an assignment, together with the entrustment of a grip accompanied by a word. The Festive Board was followed by a form of catechism among the Brethren. This procedure was gradually extended and finally, around 1724/25, a Third Degree appeared. By 1730 the Third Degree was fairly widely known, though not extensively practised. At this stage, all three working ranks within the Blue Degrees were covered by separate ceremonies. However, there was still no awarding ceremony for men who had presided over a Lodge as Honorable Master.

Three theories are currently postulated. The least likely is the suggestion that the Royal Arch was once part of the Third Degree ceremony, which was then mutilated to produce a Fourth Degree. Some believe that the Third Degree and the Royal Arch had a common origin; a view supported by the fact that what is lost in the Blue Degrees is found in the Royal Arch ceremony.

Others believe that the Royal Arch was imported from Europe and quickly found favour with English freemasonry. There is no doubt that something was emerging in the early 18th century that later became the Royal Arch, although the form and content of its development will probably remain veiled in the mists of time.

If the European theory is correct, it is likely that the ceremony originated in France, where a large number of Masonic innovations and degrees were introduced in the early 1740s. There is an interesting reference in the "Sceau Rompu", a 1745 exhibition, to a superior class of Freemasons with a ceremony designed to commemorate those who worked "... with the trowel in their hand and the sword at their side". Several similar pieces of evidence support the view that certain characteristic features of the Royal Arch ceremony, by whatever name it was known at the time, existed on the continent at an earlier date, but this cannot be taken as proof of origin.

King Henry Frederick (1745-1790), first Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn with the regalia of the Holy Royal Arch.

The first documented evidence of the Royal Arch as a separate degree comes from the minutes of Lodge No. 21 in Youghal, County Cork in 1741. However, the oldest known Chapter in the world is Stirling Rock Royal Arch Chapter No. 2 in Scotland, which has operated since 1743. Laurence Dermott's "Ahiman Rezon" states that the degree was worked in London from at least 1744. This assertion is supported by a book entitled "A Serious and Impartial Inquiry into the Cause of the present decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland" ", by Fifield Dassigny MD published in Dublin in 1744, which states that the Degree was at that time worked in London and York. In 1749 the Grand Lodge of Ireland issued orders to Lodges 190 and 198 to establish "Royal Arch Lodges". The degree is also censured in Dassigny's "A Serious and Impartial Inquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland", published in Dublin in 1744. Separate notes in this work indicate that the rite was practised in Dublin, London and York, and described it as an "organised body of men who have passed the chair" (i.e. who had presided over a Blue Degrees Lodge as Honorable Master).

The ties between the royal family and the Royal Arch in England began in 1772, when HRH Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland (brother of King George III) became a member. In 1774, he was elected Grand Patron of the Royal Arch - a portrait of him in his robes for that office still hangs in the Masonic Hall. In 1776 he was elected First Grand Principal and held that position until 1785. On his death in 1790, he was succeeded as Grand Patron by his nephew HRH William, Duke of Clarence (later HRH King William IV).

England and Wales "Antients" versus "Moderns
In 18th century England, the role and purpose of Royal Arch Freemasonry was the subject of a long debate between the two rival umbrella organisations of Freemasonry. In 1717, four Blue Degrees lodges had formed the original Premier Grand Lodge of England to govern Freemasonry as practised in England. From 1751, this claim was disputed by another group of Blue Degrees Lodges who formed the Antient Grand Lodge of England. In the ensuing debate, the newer Grand Lodge was briefly known as the "Antients", while the older Grand Lodge was called the "Moderns".

In 1746 Laurence Dermott, who would later become Grand Secretary of the Antients, was admitted to a Royal Arch Chapter in Dublin, which at that time was only open to those who had previously served as Masters of a Blue Degree lodge. He regarded the Royal Arch as the fourth degree of the traditional Blue Degrees. Under his influence, the "Antients" defended the Royal Arch degree in England, while it was received with hostility in the Premier Grand Lodge of England.

In 1764 a Lodge of Scottish Freemasons attached to the "Antients" changed sides and became the Caledonian Lodge attached to the "Moderns". The following year they helped to establish a Royal Arch Chapter which admitted Freemasons from other Blue Degrees lodges attached to the Moderns. In 1766, with the elevation of Lord Blayney, the Grand Master of the Moderns, this organisation became known as the Excellent Grand and Royal Arch Chpater, taking on administrative responsibilities and thus becoming the first Grand Chapter in England. At the same time, James Heseltine, the Grand Secretary of the Moderns, stated about Royal Arch Freemasonry that "it is part of Freemasonry but has no connection with Grand Lodge" in a letter to a senior German Freemason. He was also one of the signatories of the charter establishing the first Grand Chapter. The minutes of the first meeting of Grand Chapter show that it met at the Turks Head, in the London district of Soho, the same tavern where, shortly before, the birth of the Antient Grand Lodge of England had been held. On this occasion, Thomas Dunckerley was elected to hold the office of Z (chief officer of the chapter) in the absence of the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master. He was later appointed Grand Superintendent and promoted Royal Arch Freemasonry in the provincial lodges of the "Moderns" with great energy and success. In 1774 the "Antients" formed their own Royal Arch Grand Chapter at the instigation of Laurence Dermott. The members were officers of the Grand Lodge who happened to have the Royal Arch degree, the meetings were ordered by the Grand Lodge and the proceedings approved by the same body.

Uniting the two Grand Lodges
At the beginning of the 19th century, as the 'Antients' and the 'Moderns' moved from rivalry to union, the role and purpose of the Royal Arch became a sticking point. The "Antients" regarded the Royal Arch as a fourth degree of traditional Freemasonry and worked it as part of the rituals of Blue Lodges, while the "Moderns" ignored it almost entirely. They believed that Freemasonry consisted of only three degrees and that the Royal Arch was at best an extension of the third, Master Mason degree that had to be administered separately. Moreover, the "Moderns" embedded certain teachings in their third degree ritual that the "Anten" revealed only to those who joined the Royal Arch.

In 1813, the "Antients" and "Moderns" agreed on an Act of Union and formed the United Grand Lodge of England. This was only possible after reaching a compromise on the role and purpose of Royal Arch Freemasonry. The compromise was that after the union, the Royal Arch degree would be fully recognised by the United Grand Lodge (to appease the "Antients"), but would become a separate order (to appease the "Moderns"), while all Blue Degree Lodges would be given sanction to work the ceremony (to appease the "Antients"). At the same time, no compromise could be reached on the role and purpose of the Mark degree. It was effectively banned by the Union until the 1850s, when it was organised into an independent Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales. In most countries outside England and Wales, however, Mark Freemasonry became associated with Royal Arch branches. In its Book of Constitutions, the United Grand Lodge of England therefore declared that "... pure Antient Freemasonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely those of the Apprentice, the Companion and the Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch.".

In 1817, four years after the "Antients" and "Moderns" had united their Blue Degrees Grand Lodges, the new United Grand Lodge oversaw the formation of a "Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England" to govern the Holy Royal Arch in England and Wales. By this time the Grand Chapter of the "Antients" had effectively ceased to exist (only a few meetings are recorded for the time after 1813), so their remaining members were simply absorbed into what had previously been the Grand Chapter of the "Moderns. ".

Another important constitutional development in Royal Arch Freemasonry took place in 1823, when Master Freemasons were allowed to join the Holy Royal Arch Chapters without having previously passed through the chair of a Blue Degree Lodge.
In 1835 the ritual was reformed, when part of the ceremony known as "Passing the Veils" was dropped. It was re-adopted by Bristol Chapters at the beginning of the 20th century.

Development since reunification.
The "Antients" Grand Lodge, which seceded in 1751, received Royal Arch Freemasonry with great enthusiasm. Laurence Dermott, the second Grand Secretary, described the Royal Arch as "... the root, the heart and the marrow of Freemasonry". It was openly granted as a Fourth Degree in its Lodges with the consent and approval of the "Antients", who became known as the "Grand Lodge of the Four Degrees". Indeed, their first set of Rules and Regulations states that "Ancient Freemasonry consists of four degrees - the apprentice, the fellow Craft and the sublime degree of Master" and goes on to provide that "... a brother who is well versed in these degrees and has been discharged the offices of his lodge, especially those of Master, shall be eligible to be admitted to the fourth degree, the Royal Arch". The Rules also state that "Each Regular Lodge shall possess the power to form and hold Lodges in each of its several Degrees, the last of which, of its superiority, shall be designated among Masons, a Chapter". At that time there were no separate Chapters and so one was opened in the Blue Degree Lodge under the authority of his Warrant to confer the degree.

In 1764, Cadwaller, the ninth Lord Blayney, became Grand Master of the "moderns" and was the first head to be promoted to the Royal Arch degree. He "passed the arch" (was elevated) in June 1766. In July 1767 he formed the Caledonian chapter into the "great and royal chapter of the Royal Arch of Jerusalem" by Charter of Compact. Interestingly, one of the signatories of that document was Thomas Dunckerley, who became Grand Superintendent of Hampshire in 1778 and of the then separate county of Isle of Wight in 1793.

Masonic shop history of Royal Arch FreemasonryWhile the Act of Union of 1813 recognised the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch as part of "pure, Antient Freemasonry", the wording in the United Grand Lodge of England's Book of Constitutions that "... pure Antient Freemasonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely those of the Apprentice, the Companion and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch" was subsequently often interpreted to suggest that the Royal Arch was not an additional degree, but only the completion of the Master Degree. This view was so widespread among Freemasons in England and Wales that the newly exalted candidate was told during the Royal Arch ritual that he should not think that he had attained a fourth degree, but that he had in fact attained his third degree.(Statements to this effect can still be found today, for example, "When a Mason has attained the rank of Master, he is entitled [...] to be elevated to a Royal Arch Chapter to complete his Master fully in the Master Degree." While it expressed a compromise position between the traditional views of the "Antients" and "Moderns", this interpretation placed the Royal Arch in contrast to Masonic practice in most countries outside England and Wales. No other Masonic constitution has ever claimed that the Third Degree and the Royal Arch are two parts of one whole. The Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England eventually questioned its own reasoning.

In December 2003, the United Grand Lodge of England recognised and declared the status of the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch to be "an extension of, but not a higher or lower part of, the degrees that precede it". On 10 November 2004, after deliberations by a special working party, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England, at its regular meeting in London, formally rejected the compromise position of 1813 and declared the Royal Arch to be a separate degree in its own right based on the completion of "pure ancient Freemasonry", consisting of the three Blue Degrees and the Royal Arch. Words in the ritual that suggested the previous compromise position and led to misinterpretations were removed by mandatory regulations. The official position of the Supreme Grand Chapter today is that the "Royal Arch is the continuation of Blue Degree Freemasonry" as taught in the three degrees of Apprentice, Companion and Master Mason; in this sense, "pure ancient Freemasonry" can be seen as a journey of self-knowledge and discovery whereby the Royal Arch completes the practical lessons of the Blue Degrees through a contemplation of the spiritual nature of man.

Building a Chapter.
Once accepted into a Chapter, the Holy Royal Arch equivalent of a Blue Degree Lodge, a candidate becomes a Companion, with Royal Arch meetings described as a convocation. The ceremony in which a Master Mason is promoted to Companion is called elevation. Holy Royal Arch Chapters are governed by three principals, who jointly rule the chapter, together in the east of the meeting.

In addition to the three Principals, who jointly govern and form the Principate, a Holy Royal Arch Chapter has elected and appointed officers with individual responsibilities within the Chapter. Similar offices exist at the Supreme Grand Chapter level (national) and also at the intermediate level (metropolitan, provincial or district), with appropriate prefixes for the titles.

  • Zerubbabel - Prince of Jerusalem
  • Haggai - the Prophet
  • Joshua or Jeshua - the High Priest
  • Author Ezra
  • Author Nehemiah
  • Treasurer
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • 1st Resident
  • 2nd Inhabitant
  • 3rd Inhabitant
  • Assistant Master of Ceremonies
  • Kapellmeister
  • Steward (there may be more than one Steward)
  • Dekker

All these offices are contained in, and regulated by, the constitutions or by-laws of the various national Grand Chapters, including that of the 'mother' Grand Chapter, the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. Within the 'York Rite' version of Royal Arch Freemasonry, the Deacon may be known as the Tyler or Sentinel.

In Scotland, the Principal and Assistant Sojourners are replaced by 1st Sojourner, 2nd Sojourner and 3rd Sojourner. The 3rd Sojourner behaves a bit like the Deacon of a Blue Degree Lodge. It is common for the 3rd Princeps (Joshua) to have the Mark Lodge affiliation within the Chapter, and the 3rd Princeps (Haggai) to follow the Excellent Master Degree. Similarly, in some Scottish Chapters, the 2nd Sojourner will lead the candidate through the Excellent Master Degree, while the 1st Sojourner leads the candidate through the Royal Arch Degree. When the Mark Degree is worked in a Chapter, it is often the office bearers of the Blue Degrees Lodge, who are Royal Arch Masons, who take their usual Lodge role, as they are most used to it.

Regional level
In England and Wales, Holy Royal Arch Chapters are grouped at the regional level as either a 'Metropolitan Area' or 'Provinces' (based on the old counties), while the overseas chapters are grouped in Districts. These Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Chapters are governed by a 'Grand Superintendent' appointed by the 'First Grand Principal' as his personal representative for the specific area. Each Grand Superintendent is usually assisted by a deputy, and always governs together with a Second Provincial Grand Principal and a Third Provincial Grand Principal (the word 'Provincial' being replaced by the word 'Metropolitan' in a Metropolitan Area such as London, or the word 'District' in an overseas area governed from England). In many cases, the men who act as regional dignitaries in the Royal Arch will also hold the equivalent regional offices in mainstream Freemasonry.

Supreme Grand Chapter
The Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England is governed from the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England in Freemasons' Hall, London. The Supreme Grand Chapter is governed by three Grand Principals, who have their headquarters. The First Grand Principal is the Holy Royal Arch-equivalent of the Grand Master in the Blue Degrees. If the holder of this office is a Royal Prince, as is currently the case, he is supported by a 'Pro First Grand Principal'. As at the regional level, many officers of the Grand Lodge hold the same office in the Supreme Grand Chapter.

The legend of the Holy Royal Vault.
The Temple of Solomon existed for about four centuries until about 586 BC, when it was destroyed by a Chaldean army under King Nebuchadnezzar. The survivors from Jerusalem were forcibly deported to Babylon (the Babylonian exile), where they and their descendants remained in captivity for some 70 years. During this time Babylon was conquered by Cyrus, who became king of Persia, and, encouraged by the prophet Jeremiah, the exiled people of Jerusalem prospered. Eventually, King Cyrus issued a decree allowing the exiles to return to Jerusalem where, after a further period of delay, work finally began on rebuilding the temple on the ground where the first temple stood. This is the point at which the Royal Arch picks up the story and tells how the loss suffered by the death of the chief architect of the former Temple was made good by the restoration of that which the Master Mason recognises as lost.

Masonic shop history of the Royal Arch Freemasonry Temple of SolomonThe legend of the Vault and its discovery by the Companions forms an integral part of the Royal Arch ceremony. It is based on two stories. First, the Biblical story that describes the return from Babylon and the rebuilding of the Temple and, second, the ancient legend that describes the discovery of a vault containing an altar on which a sacred word was written. The biblical story is explained in detail in the sacred writings and the legend of the Vault is a very well known myth. The story of the discovery of a long-lost treasure in a vault is very old and is found worldwide, especially in the Middle East. The historian Philostorgius wrote such a story in his "Ecclesiastical History of Solomon" around 400 BC. In chapter 14 of book seven he tells about the discovery of a column in an underground cave on which the name of God was engraved. The story has many aspects in common with our own ceremony. Many such stories, previously considered folklore and legend, were confirmed by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In 1659, Samuel Lee of Wadham College, Oxford published a remarkable book entitled "Orbis Miraculum", or "Solomon's Temple Depicted by Spiritual Light".
It contains references to two pillars, the ineffable Name of the Most High and other topics so familiar to Freemasons. There is also an English translation of a Greek book by Callistus, who lived in the 14th century. His work was an ecclesiastical history in which he elaborates on the earlier story of the Vault worked out by Philostorgious. This relates to Julian the Apostate's attempt to rebuild the temple around 362 AD, when a book was discovered and when opened appeared to begin with the words: "In the beginning was the Word and was with God, and the Word was God". These are the opening words of the gospel according to John. It is significant that, in the early days of Freemasonry, this chapter of the Bible was always opened in many lodges, which were consequently described as St. John's lodges or St. John's lodges.

Lee's book reveals that our legend was well known, before the 18th century, and is rich in material applicable to many other Masonic degrees besides the Royal Arch. It is therefore easy to suppose that the contents of the book might have been a guide for those who first began to formulate the Royal Arch ritual. Many learned Freemasons are inclined to think that this did indeed happen and that the basic principles of the Royal Arch spread into Lodges from this source. If this was the case, then the foundation of the Royal Arch may have been laid many years before we have any knowledge of it! Such an early reference is found in the "Book of Constitutions", written by Anderson in 1723, where he says: "The Master of a particular Lodge has the right and authority to assemble the members of his Lodge in a Chapter". This would indicate that the so-called Chapter must have performed a particular rite or ceremony, which differed from those normally performed in the lodge. If this work was related to the Royal Arch, such as something akin to "passing the veils", it must be considered part of Freemasonry, yet different from the normal degrees. Since this regulation was included by Anderson in his "Constitutions" and worded in such a way, it shows that everything that was meant by a "Chapter" was already in practice and accepted in 1723.

The Royal Arch Freemasonry today.
There is no doubt that the Royal Arch was a major factor in the negotiations between the two Blue Degrees bodies. If the Premier Grand Lodge had made any attempt to leave Royal Arch Freemasonry in an unofficial or unrecognised position, it would certainly have destroyed all hope of reconciliation. The Act of Union in 1813 "Declared and pronounced that pure old Freemasonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely: that of the Apprentice, the Companion and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch". From that date Royal Arch Freemasonry in England was no longer officially a Fourth Degree, it became an addition to or completion of the Third.

In the year following the union, representatives of the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland met to discuss the position of the Royal Arch. It was hoped that an International Compact could be formed, but unfortunately each of the Grand Lodges went its own way.

In England, the two Grand Chapters continued to co-exist until 1817, when a joint meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Duke of Sussex, and the two Grand Chapters became one, with the happy result that the United Grand Lodge was able to pass the following resolution on September 3 of that year: "That the Grand Lodge will at all times be ready to recognise the proceedings of the Grand Chapter, and, so long as their arrangements are not inconsistent with the Rules of the Grand Lodge and in accordance with the Act of Union, they will stand ready to recognise, facilitate and maintain them".

The United Grand Lodge of England has always maintained that Royal Arch Freemasonry is not a separate degree in Blue Degrees of Freemasonry. The Royal Arch is the natural development that provides a Brother with the real secrets and replaces the substitute secrets entrusted to him in his Education. As such, it is truly an integral part of English Freemasonry. However, this situation has changed. In December 2003, the United Grand Lodge decided to add the following statement to the definition of pure old Freemasonry, which since 1853 has been the preamble to the rules in the Book of Constitutions: "At its Quarterly Communication of 10 December 2003, the United Grand Lodge of England recognised and declared the status of the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch as 'an extension to, but neither a superior nor a subordinate part of, the Degrees preceding it' ".

At the same time, a Ritual Committee had been set up to look at the effect of the addition to the definition on the Royal Arch ritual and to consider the rector's lectures. The Committee recommended the deletion of 27 words from the Exaltation Ceremony, the deletion of the Installed Master's qualification for the chair of the third Rector and recommended that the texts of the Rector's Lectures be revised. These were demonstrated to the Grand Chapter in November 2004 and adopted. The deletion of the 27 words and the qualification of the Installed Master became mandatory, but the new Lectures were optional, with each Chapter having the right to either stick with the old texts, adopt the new ones or use a combination of both.

Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

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In modern culture, there are many references to the Illuminati, a secretive order that controls the world behind the scenes and wants to establish a new world order.
At least, that is what is said about it. The Illuminati play a role in well-known books and films and many famous pop stars hide so-called Illuminati symbolism in their video clips and music.
But who are or were the Illuminati? It is certain that there is a historical origin for this illustrious group.

Rise and fall of the1stIlluminati Order.
In 1717, the first Masonic lodges were founded in England. These were derived from the traditional guilds of stone masons.
Masonic lodges used masonry as a metaphor for symbolic building on their own development and enlightenment ideals and made use of mystical symbols and rituals.
Freemasons mainly wanted to build a better society by means of spiritual development and turned their backs on church dogmas, among others.

Johann Adam Weishaupt was born in Ingolstadt, Germany on 6 February 1748. He was a German philosopher, professor of law and the original founder of the Illuminati secret order.
Weishaupt grew up in the Catholic south of Germany. After the death of his father in 1753, he came under the care of Baron Johann Adam Ickstatt, who left Adam's education to the Jesuits. They had appointed him as the curator of the University of Ingolstadt in 1742. He was responsible for the reorganisation of this institution and continued to supervise university policy even after his retirement in 1765. Weishaupt studied law and in 1772 was appointed professor. When Pope Clement XIV banned the Jesuit order on 21 July 1773, he decided to "break with" the Jesuits.

On 1 May 1776, Weishaupt founded the "Bund der Perfektibilisten" or Order of Perfectionists with the help of the Count of Saint-Germain, Master Rakoczy, who in retrospect was probably a fictitious person and Baron Adolph Knigge, a prominent Freemason who only joined in 1780 and left the order in 1784 after accusing Adam Weishaupt of Jesuitism. Weishaupt took the name "Brother Spartacus" and renamed his order the Illuminati. The organisational structure with locally operating cells that were unaware of each other's existence, or as little as possible, was based on the structure of the Order of the Jesuits and was later adopted by occultists, among others. It was only in 1777 that Adam Weishaupt became a member of the Masonic Lodge "Theodor zum guten Rath"in Munich, where he tried to introduce his Illuminati ideas into the doctrines of Freemasonry. He also used Freemasonry to recruit members for his own pseudo Masonic lodge.

At the founding of the Illuminati Order, there were five members, but soon intellectuals and politicians also became part of this organisation. In total, there were approximately 2,500 members, who lived mainly in Germany. Members of the Illuminati had to swear secrecy and were divided into three classes. Only when a member had penetrated to the inner circle was he informed of the secret agenda. In 1777, the Elector of Bavaria, Charles Theodore, banned all secret societies, including the Illuminati. In 1784, the Illuminati planned a coup against the House of Habsburg, but the plot was foiled by police spies who had infiltrated the order in the king's name. This led in March 1784 to the banning of the Illuminati and in June of the same year to the banning of all secret organisations in Bavaria on pain of death, forcing Adam Weishaupt in 1785 to flee to a neighbouring province. This brought a definitive end to the Order. The documents were confiscated and published and Adam Weishaupt finally died in 1830 in Gotha, a district in Thüringen. Some sources assume that he died as early as 1811.

Ingolstadt, the source.
But in the city where it all began, Ingolstadt, this peculiar legacy remains little known among the residents. "Not so many people know about it. But the Illuminati are part of Ingolstadt's history," explains local journalist Michael Klarner outside the old University of Ingolstadt, a modest, church-like building. "The Illuminati was never meant to be noticed but Weishaupt was a revolutionary in many ways," Klarner continues. "He loved the idea of teaching people to be better people. He wanted to change society, he dreamed of a better world, of a better government. He started the Illuminati with the idea that everything known to mankind should be taught, something that was not allowed here at the university."

University of Ingolstadt

But the idea of a secret society rebelling against the state has since caught the imagination, encapsulated in conspiracy theories concocted by those who believe the Illuminati never really disbanded. A claim that has been widely debunked by historians. Yet conspiracy theorists say the organisation has been working secretly behind the scenes to undermine authority. The Illuminati has been presented as the party responsible for the French Revolution, the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy and even the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and has been made famous by books and films such as Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.

Weishaupt wanted to change society, he dreamed of a better world. "The Illuminati conspiracy theory is what we call a 'super conspiracy', or basically a conspiracy that controls smaller conspiracies," said Dr Michael Wood of the University of Winchester, an expert in the psychology of conspiracy theories. "People do talk about the Illuminati, but often it's in a funny or self-conscious way, almost mocking the idea of a global conspiracy." And all this began in a modest Bavarian town better known as the setting of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein than anything else. Little points to the secret society's founding in Ingolstadt, except perhaps a small, easily missed plaque outside Weishaupt's former home, a pale blue building on Theresienstrasse, marking it as an Illuminati meeting place in the late 18th century. But if you dig a little deeper, there are signs of Ingolstadt's unlikely role in history.

Plaque Illuminati Order

Hidden behind two sets of metal doors in the Stadtmuseum Ingolstadt, city archivist Maria Eppelsheimer worked through row upon row of centuries-old books in search of Ingolstadt's Illuminati past, written in the words of the founder himself. The thick smell of aged paper filled the narrow spaces between each bookcase, from which precious archaic hard covers and delicate manuscripts protruded. "I think it is one of the most interesting subjects we are looking at here," said Eppelsheimer as she studied the dusty writings in a section devoted exclusively to the history of Ingolstadt. She carefully pulled out one of the smallest books on the shelf. It is "Apologie der Illuminaten", a work from 1786, written by Weishaupt in which he defended the founding of the Illuminati shortly after his exile from the city.

"It's crazy what the Illuminati are made of," the archivist said as she flipped through the pages of the worn manuscript. "What it is made of has nothing to do with the real Illuminati". More of Weishaupt's words can be found in small, unassuming volumes hidden in the city's vast archive. It is as if more than two centuries after its creation, Weishaupt's Illuminati has remained as elusive as possible. However, there are some people in Ingolstadt, like Klarner, who are actively trying to bring this unusual historical legacy to light. "You know that Frankenstein is said to be based in the city because of the Illuminati," Klarner enthuses. During a short tour of Ingolstadt's historical and religious sites, he explains, "At the time of the French Revolution, there were already theories that the revolution began in Ingolstadt and that the Illuminati were the intellectual fathers of the revolution. This is why many literary theorists believe that Mary Shelley knew about Ingolstadt, and why Frankenstein was then placed here."

The2ndIlluminati Order
At the end of the 19th century, the Illuminati was revived by science fiction author Leopold Engel, who claimed that his order was related to Weishaupt's and that the origins of the Illuminati lay in the ancient cultures of Egypt and India. He associated himself with, among others, the British occultist Aleister Crowley, who has also been accused of Satanism. The Order of Angel continued to exist until 2008. In that year, Annemarie Aeschbach died as the last leader of this group. After that, the Illuminati remained active to a limited extent and many other associations have taken over the Illuminati name.

Conspiracy theories
To this day, the idea of hidden purposes that are not known to the entire organisation recurs in conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories surrounding the Illuminati have never fully died out, and were even used by fascist and other far-right groups in the period between the First and Second World Wars.

John Robison, 1739-1805

The first conspiracy literature on the Illuminati appeared in 1797. A number of authors, including the Scottish mathematician John Robison, wrote that the Illuminati operated underground and were very influential. In the same year the book Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism by the reactionary Catholic Augustin Barruel appeared, which claimed that the Illuminati were responsible for the French Revolution of 1789. As successors to the Templar Order, which had been destroyed by the French king Philip the Handsome in 1314, the Illuminati wanted to take revenge on the monarchy and Christianity and establish a new world domination. In 1806, J.B. Simonini reacted to this in a letter in which he claimed that the illuminati, and also the freemasons, were founded by Jews who wanted to conquer world power. Historian Norman Cohn considers this letter by Simonini as the origin of the myth of the world conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons: the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that helped to cause the Holocaust. In Hermann Goedsche's 1867 novel 'Biarritz', this theory reappeared: one chapter described how chiefs of twelve Jewish tribes met every century to discuss the secret plan to conquer world domination. Unfortunately, this chapter was reproduced in other publications as a factual account and thus led to 'The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion'. This text was written to resemble a statute drawn up by Jewish leaders plotting and eventually became one of the Nazis' most important propaganda texts. Extreme right-wing activists in the US and radical Muslims also use this anti-Semitic text.

In the 1960s there was also a battle against fake news.
A journalist from Playboy Magazine named Robert Anton Wilson, together with the writer Kerry Thornley, wrote a funny text about the Illuminati. The two men decided that the world was becoming too authoritarian and one way to make that clear would be to get people to question what they were reading. The pair started sending fake letters from readers talking about a secret organisation called the Illuminati. In response, more letters were then sent that contradicted these claims. They hoped that these opposing views would cause people to view the news more sceptically. Instead, everyone became very enthusiastic about the Illuminati and the myth spread around the world.

Other, more popular conspiracy theories arose in 1975, when the trilogy 'Illuminatus' by Robert Joseph Shea and Robert Anton Wilson was published. In this story, Weishaupt is said to have gone to America and founded the United States in the name of George Washington. It is striking that the Great Seal of the USA, as also depicted on the dollar note, contains a number of symbols that are attributed to the Illuminati. It shows a pyramid with an 'all-seeing eye'. The pyramid consists of thirteen steps, which are said to symbolise thirteen Illuminati bloodlines, and at the bottom is written in Roman numerals 1776, the year in which the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati was founded. The eye is supposed to represent the eye of Lucifer, the devil. In reality, the year refers to the birth of the United States. The all-seeing eye is a symbol for the eye of God. And the thirteen steps represent the original thirteen states of America.

Yet these suspicions led to a widespread belief in the Illuminati as a secret organisation, of which prominent state leaders were members. The members were also said to be followers of Satanism: after all, Illuminati means 'the enlightened' and Lucifer is the bringer of light. Other symbols associated with Satanism were also linked to the Illuminati, including the pentagram, a five-pointed star and the bucking salute, a hand signal in which the little finger and the index finger point upwards and which is said to activate mind control. Many well-known politicians and pop artists have been recorded making this hand signal. The number 666, which according to the Bible is the 'sign of the beast', is also a common Illuminati symbol.

It is a very old, powerful and closely guarded organisation that secretly controls the entire modern world, probably while wearing cloaks and performing devilish rituals. This is done by infiltrating the media and brainwashing everyone. This organisation is behind every conspiracy you can think of, such as the fake moon landings in 1969, the assassination of John F Kennedy and 9/11. The Illuminati have existed since the beginning of time. Their logo can be seen on the pyramids and they played an important role in the life of Christ. Top members are Queen Elizabeth, the Beatles, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, who are actually lizards from a race that existed before the age of man.

Illuminati symbolism in contemporary culture
The use of Illuminati symbolism in pop culture dates back to The Beatles. Here, too, conspiracy theories come into play. From the release of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), Illuminati symbolism could be detected in the Beatles' work and in photographs, such as the buck greeting and the number 666. One theory is that members of The Beatles were brainwashed by an Illuminati organisation. This organisation wanted to get a grip on the world and The Beatles were enormously popular in the 1960s. This theory also explains John Lennon's statement "we are more popular than Jesus".

Why are the Illuminati so intriguing? As long as pop culture flaunts them and things happen in the world that are susceptible to irrational explanations, the Illuminati will continue to crop up. Since the year 2000, there has been an increase in references to the Illuminati in cultural expressions. Dan Brown's popular thriller The Bernini mystery describes the Illuminati as an organisation that wants to put an end to the Vatican. Also in the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider2001, the Illuminati are a group bent on world domination.

In today's music industry, pop and rap stars such as Madonna, Jay Z, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyoncé make extensive use of 'hidden' Illuminati symbolism. Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Rihanna are particularly daring: symbols such as horns, pyramids and the all-seeing eye are usually incorporated into their shows or clips. Singer Rihanna - who recently started collaborating with none other than Beatle Paul McCartney - showed the phrase 'Princess of the Illuminati' in a clip. The hidden Illuminati symbols seem to be part of a brilliant marketing strategy and generate a lot of attention for the artists. On the Internet, young people exchange information about the latest discoveries and there is much speculation about the link between pop stars and the Illuminati. For example, big stars are said to have sold their souls to the devil in exchange for fame. Madonna's new album, Rebel Heart, includes the song Illuminati, a very explicit reference. In this song, she makes it clear that Truth and Light are more important than the typical symbolism and warns her audience not to turn it into something unsavoury. This warning is not entirely unjustified: after all, history shows that Illuminati conspiracy theories are dangerous, especially when large groups of people take them for granted. How long the trend of spotting Illuminati symbols in clips and music will continue remains to be seen. The more explicit and often this symbolism is used, the less interesting it becomes to track it down.

The last Illuminati order, the Scammers.
That good-for-nothing on the other side of the internet decides one day that the Illuminati are the ideal theme on which to hang his scam organisation.
Thus, an extensive network of spam and scam e-mails is set up in which the gullible Internet user is swindled out of a lot of money.
They ask for a photo and information about where you live, for the eventual "initiation ceremony". Of course, if you pay, you get access to "secret materials", a top secret Illuminati ID card and immediately the payment via Western Union. Once the money is sent, there is little chance it will ever be returned.
Don't fall for it.

Source material:
"Flirting with the Illuminati in pop culture" - Trouw

"Illuminati symbolism in pop culture is fodder for weird conspiracy theorists" - Elsevier
"Hip sect" - De Volkskrant
"Nesta Webster and the Illuminati" -
"Illuminati" - HoaxWiki
"Scientias, The Illustrious Illuminati"
"What is the Illuminati" - Martha Gill

Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry shop Loge Benelux Thierry Stravers Freemasonry shop Dutch regalia Benelux Loge Royal Arch Mark Master Mason Franc-Maçon Huguenots France


George Washington

George WashingtonIf you look at portraits and photographs of notable men from the 18th and 19th centuries, you might notice that many of them have the same rather unnatural-looking pose.
They sit or stand while holding one hand in the front of their coat. They look as if they are trying to appear stately for the photo, while also trying to avoid the painter rolling up their wallet.
With images of everyone from Napoleon to Joseph Stalin using the gesture, historians and curious art lovers have marvelled at its significance.

A Masonic tradition?
It is certainly a Monastic tradition to speak with the hand on the heart, but that does not seem to correspond entirely to the hand-in-the-vest posture.
Freemasonry's homage to the heart through the sign of the hand is explained by some Masonic historians in the fact that the rituals of Freemasonry hark back to ancient Egyptian religions.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead addressed prayers to "My heart of my mother... My heart of transformations", meaning the source of rebirths.

The mother goddess of Egypt was worshipped with different names; Isis, Hathor, Rhea, etc. She was the one to whom men "gave their hearts", signifying their sincere devotion and loyalty. As the Goddess of sacrifice, it was considered necessary by her admirers that men should sacrifice their "energy" on her behalf. The Goddess was said to take possession of the hearts of men. The tradition of the hand in clothing, on the other hand, actually dates back long before the 18th century. In modern Freemasonry, the hand is placed on the heart when one is allowed to speak, to show respect for the person being addressed. It is also used in rituals as a gesture of loyalty to the Lodge, the Master and the Brotherhood.

Bad manners in ancient Greece.

The pose goes back to classical antiquity. In some social circles in ancient Greece, people considered it disrespectful to talk with your hands outside your clothes. Sculptures from the sixth century BC therefore showed famous orators such as Solon with their hands inside their dressing gowns. Aeschines, founder of a school of rhetoric, suggested that talking with one arm outside one's chiton was bad manners, as Aeschines said in his famous speech to Timarchus (346 B.C.):

'And so decent were those public men of antiquity, Pericles [495-429 B.C.], Themistocles [524-459 B.C.], and Aristeides [530-468 B.C.] ), that talking with the arm outside the cloak, as we all do today as a matter of course, was then considered ill-mannered, and they carefully refrained from doing so. And I can point to a piece of evidence that seems to me to be very heavy and tangible. I am sure that you all sailed to Salamis and saw the statue of Solon [638-558 B.C.] there. So you can testify for yourselves that the statue standing in the Salaminian market square shows Solon with his arm in his cloak.
This is a reminder, fellow citizens, and an imitation of the attitude of Solon, showing his usual posture as he addressed the people of Athens'.

The ancient Greeks did not know that their legacy would endure for no less than 24 centuries. In the 18th century, artists looked to antiquity for inspiration.
They took their cue from the statues of famous Greek and Roman orators, posing with their hands in their cloaks.
Portraitists began to depict subjects in a similar pose, believing that it conveyed noble, calm behaviour and a good education.

El Greco The Knight with his hand on his BreastPopularity in the 18th century.
The pose was used in 18th-century British portraits as a sign that the painted figure came from the upper class.
Portraitists such as Jonathan Richardson (1667-1745) began to apply this painting theory to their realist works. Richardson and his contemporaries identified in his Essay on the Theory of Painting (1725) that the general appearance ("air") and body language ("posture") of the person depicted were the keys to an excellent portrait, Richardson and his contemporaries began to look to classical orators and the poses used in ancient sculptures for inspiration. To make it clear that the model was both "good-humoured and a suitably exalted character", the pose of "hand-in-vest" was soon adopted. Ironically, it became so popular among the English ruling class because it was thought to convey one's appearance "in a manner considered agreeable and without affectation".

The pose also became a visualisation of the English national character in the post-Restoration period; in the context of increasing Anglo-French rivalry, the pose promoted "a natural, modest and restrained image sanctioned by a classical precedent" in contrast to "the exuberant gestures of the French rhetorical style with its Catholic and absolutist associations

Napoleon aux TuilleriesThe most famous of all...Napoleon.
One of the most recognisable historical figures depicted in this pose was Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
Of course, the most famous portraits where "hand-in-vest" is used are of Napoleon Bonaporte (1769-1821), including Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte, First Counselor (1804) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867 ), The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries (1812) by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), and the posthumous Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1848-50) by Hippolyte Delaroche.
Several portraits of the French emperor show him with one hand in his coat, leading theorists to wonder what the reason was. In the end, it cannot be said definitively that Napoleon was a victim of itchy clothing, or suffered from the early onset of a stomach cancer that would not claim him until much later. In the case of the hidden hand, he was rather a victim of circumstance, and perhaps a victim of fashion.

Another painter, Thomas Hudsonpainted so many men in this pose that his contemporaries wondered if he was just not good at painting hands. The fact is that Napoleon and his portraitist followed a fad.

The "hand-in-glove" posture often appeared in reliefs depicting ancient Romans as the go-to for public orators.
It is said to have given them an aura of refinement and boldness, two qualities that were certainly attractive to emperors such as Napoleon. The pose became popular again in the 18th century and even became such a staple that artists who relied on it were accused of not knowing how to paint hands! Given his fame, it is probably much more logical that Napoleon would choose to be painted hand in glove. But again, it was not really his decision! The portrait that confirmed Napoleon's hidden hand, Napoleon in his study by Jaques-Louis David, was one that he did not even sit for, but rather was commissioned by a nobleman.

By the 18th century, it had become a trademark for men of quality, nobles and royals. Having a portrait painted was the privilege of a distinguished gentleman, and the hand-in-glove pose was another symbol of his stature. Other common symbols of "boasting" are a window from which one can see the subject's fine mansion, and props such as an oriental rug on the table to indicate wealth and books to indicate a scientific mind. With the advent of photography in the early 19th century, the trend continued. Great historical figures, such as US President Franklin Pierce, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Simon Bolivar, the Marquis de Lafayette, Hosni Mubarak and many others, have all been immortalised with their hands in their coats.

Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry shop Loge Benelux Thierry Stravers Freemasonry shop Dutch regalia Benelux Loge Royal Arch Mark Master Mason Franc-Maçon Huguenots France


The youth of Mucha.

Alphonse Maria Mucha was born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia, today's Czech Republic, on 24 July 1860.

Excited by light and colour, Mucha's earliest memory was of Christmas tree lighting.
His singing skills enabled him to continue his education through secondary school in the Moravian capital Brünn (now Brno), although drawing was his first love since childhood.
A baroque fresco in his local church awakened his interest in art, and he began working as a decorative painter in Moravia.

Mostly painting theatrical sets, he moved to Vienna in 1879, where he became an apprentice stage painter. Surrounded by the explosion of art in the Austrian capital, he learned and admired the work of Hans Makart. He worked for a leading Viennese theatre design company, while informally continuing his artistic education. When a fire destroyed his employer's business in 1881, he returned to Moravia, where he did freelance decorative and portrait painting. Mucha grew up in the shadow of two powerful cultural forces: the Catholic Church and the Slavs' desire for independence from the Austrian Empire.

To earn his living, he carried out portrait commissions. This led him to an important mentor, Count Khuen-Belasi, who hired him to paint murals in Hrusovany-Emmahof Castle.
Mucha's own poverty and popularity were brought into sharp focus while he worked at the castle. His poverty was so great that his only real trousers became so shabby that a group of community girls bought him new ones.
Count Khuen-Belasi paid for Mucha's training in fine art in Munich, where he continued to work as an illustrator, notably for the magazine Krokodil, where he developed his distinctive calligraphic style.

In Paris.

In 1887 he was in Paris and studied at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. Here, artists such as Vuillard and Bonnard came to the fore.
Along with these artists came new ideas about what art could do. Art was seen as an endeavour that could reveal greater mysteries, and as something to be incorporated into everyday life and objects. These ideas began to develop into what would become the Art Nouveau conception of art in everyday life.

Around Christmas 1894 Mucha happened to enter a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected demand for a new poster to advertise a play starring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Théatre de la Renaissance on Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha offered to make a lithographed poster within two weeks and on 1 January 1895 the advertisement for Victorien Sardou's play Gismonda appeared in the streets of the city.
It was an overnight sensation and announced the new artistic style and its creator to the citizens of Paris. Bernhardt was so pleased with the success of that first poster that she entered into a six-year contract with Mucha.

Mucha produced a flood of paintings, posters, advertisements and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper and theatre sets in what was initially called the Mucha style, but became known as Art Nouveau, French for 'new art'. Mucha's works often featured beautiful healthy young women in flowing, vaguely neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers that sometimes formed halos behind the women's heads. In contrast to contemporary poster artists, he used lighter pastel colours.

The 1900 World Fair in Paris spread the "Mucha style" internationally, of which Mucha said, "I think [the Exposition Universelle] has made some contribution to bringing aesthetic values to art and crafts." He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated on the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated.
However, this was a style Mucha tried to distance himself from throughout his life; he always insisted that, rather than sticking to a fashionable stylistic form, his paintings came purely from within and Czech art. He declared that art existed only to convey a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration with the fame he gained from commercial art, when he always wanted to concentrate on more elevated projects that would elevate art and his birthplace.

The Slavic Epic.

In 1910, despite his enormous success in Paris, Mucha returned to the Czech Republic. He devoted the rest of his life to a series of monumental works about the history of the Slavic people, the Czechs in particular. He hoped to rekindle a nationalistic consciousness after years of oppression by the Austro-Hungarian empire. The American Charles Crane sponsored the work. Mucha himself considered this series to be his most important work.
It expressed his patriotic feelings and his support of Panslavism. For these twenty works he made several study trips through Eastern Europe.

Mucha worked for eighteen years on the paintings that depict the most important events in Slavonic history. The works are divided along four lines: allegory, religion, battles and culture. The main themes are the celebration of the Slavic people, the liberation from foreign powers and Slavic unity. In 1919, the first 11 works were exhibited in the Clementinum in Prague. They were only moderately received. In 1928 Mucha donated the entire epic to the city of Prague. In 1935 the canvases were rolled up and during the Second World War and the following communist regime they were forgotten.

By the time of his death, Mucha's style was considered outdated. However, his son, author Jiri Mucha, devoted much of his life to writing about him and bringing his art to the attention of the public. Interest in Mucha's distinctive style had a strong revival in the 1960s (with a general interest in Art Nouveau) and was particularly evident in the psychedelic posters of Hapshash and the Colored Coat, the collective name for two British artists, Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, who designed posters for groups such as Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band. In his own country, the new authorities were not interested in Mucha.

Only in 1963 were the canvases exhibited again at the castle in Moravsky Krumlov in Mucha's native Moravia. At the end of July 2010 the exhibition was closed. The works were transferred to Prague, although Mucha's family opposed this.
His Slavonic Epic was rolled up and stored for twenty-five years before it was shown in Moravsky Krumlov and only recently has a Mucha Museum in Prague, run by his grandson, John Mucha.

Mucha the Freemason.

Alphonse Mucha is considered the father of Czechoslovak freemasonry.
Mucha joined a lodge in Paris in 1898 and after returning to Prague he helped found the first Czech speaking lodge, Jan Amos Komenský.
In 1923 Mucha became Grand Master of the new Grand Lodge of Czechoslovakia and in 1930 he was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the High Council in the AASR or Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Czechoslovakia.
He designed famous lapels and jewellery for the Czech Grand Lodge, with his unique style. After Freemasonry was banned by the Nazis during the Second World War, it resurfaced and today the brotherhood is led by the Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic.

Partly due to his long-standing interest in spiritualism, Masonic symbolism comes to the fore in what many believe was one of his most important works, Le Paterpublished in the same year that he became a member of the lodge in Paris.
As an artist, Mucha made a great contribution to the artistic representation of various artifacts of Czechoslovak freemasonry. He was the author of graphic magazines and designed Masonic stationery and stamps.
Mucha's designs of Masonic jewellery are also very popular worldwide.

His close association with Freemasonry made him a target for the Gestapo when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. They caused massive damage in Bohemia and Moravia, with the explicit order to completely exterminate the Slavs and Jews there. Hitler had declared that both peoples were "subhuman". As Freemasons were considered servants of Judaism, Freemasons were also directly targeted. Mucha's importance within the Czech Grand Lodge made him a valuable prize. Betrayed by an associate named Arved Smichkovsky, he was arrested at the age of 79 and subjected to harsh interrogations by the Gestapo.
Soon he was diagnosed with pneumonia and released in a weak condition.
Mucha died on 14 July 1939. In open defiance of the Nazi ban on public gatherings, more than 100,000 Czechs attended his funeral and he was praised in speeches by his fellow anti-fascists.


Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry shop Loge Benelux Thierry Stravers Freemasonry shop Dutch regalia Benelux Loge Royal Arch Mark Master Mason Franc-Maçon Huguenots France


The Freemason's Chronicle, 2 January 1875, Number 1

This opening article of The Freemason's Chronicle was written 145 years ago, but its timelessness still appeals.

Members of Freemasonry agree on the social, moral and religious benefits of Freemasonry.
The Master Mason, regardless of his creed or country, knows that his connection with the Institution complements his other opportunities to become a good citizen, a rule of life that encompasses all the blessings scattered throughout the various beliefs into which the nations of the world are divided.

He is assured that honour, virtue and benevolence are the qualities which alone should distinguish one class from another: and that within the sacred bond of brotherhood all good Masons are equal in the eyes of the Supreme Master of the Universe. Unfortunately, the outside world or the popular world, which has not entered into the Initiation of the Royal Art, is inclined to apply to its members the ordinary tests prevalent in social life. Therefore, it is vital for the institution itself that all its members are persons of impeccable character, and it is equally important that they possess that culture which distinguishes the gentleman from the non-gentleman.

It seems to us quite possible that a brother may be a good, ordinary Freemason, capable of fulfilling all the duties imposed by the principles of fraternal love, help and truth, and yet fall short of that practised learning which, though it increases the courtesy of life, is all too often accompanied by a cold, cynical understanding. At the same time, we consider it absolutely necessary that every Mason should do his utmost to polish and refine his intellect. Indeed, we go further, and honestly and fearlessly express our opinion that no one should be chosen to hold an office whose cult will not enable him to pay tribute to the great and important duties of his position.

What happens behind the closed doors of a Masonic Lodge is sacred to the whole world.
The seal of secrecy is set on the freemason's heart and lips. He is not a professed believer in proselytism.
His task is clear and straight ahead of him.

To lead his life, to lead his deeds, so that all the outer circles of the people may know that he is one of a glorious group of brothers, pledged to live a pure, clean life, to help the sick and needy, to speak and act the truth, of which his insignia are but the symbols. Seriously impressed by the sacred and secret nature of the Craft, we nevertheless understand that it is common knowledge that Freemasonry embraces a ritual which, because of the splendour of its declamatory composition, is perfect in its way.

Our contention is that such a ritual should at all times be entrusted to ministers in whose mouths it should lose nothing of its sonorous and impressive qualities. The appeals to virtue and loving-kindness, the accusations of acts of self-denial and friendship, of pure and beautiful love, where shame and passion have no place, must be uttered in tones where musical intonation is a just rivalry with exactness of accent and perfect grammar.

If it were otherwise, what would be the result? It seems possible to us that men with an imperfect upbringing, but with a fastidious, coercive nature, would, on entering a Lodge, leave no chance of advancing themselves, in season and out of season, until, with the energy that not infrequently accompanies vulgar spirits, they had obtained an office in the teeth of fitter but more modest brethren.

It would be possible for such persons, supported by the power of scholarship - which Freemasonry does not recognise, but which does not have to be left out of the calculation of probabilities - we say that it would be possible for such persons to so manage the duties, which were weakly entrusted to their maintenance, to drive people of greater culture and refinement out of the field of local Masonic activity. If such a state of affairs were possible, it would be a pity.

How much more unfortunate then would it be if a neophyte with superior mental advantages were introduced into the society of such persons, who, shocked by the incongruity of the position, withdrew during the first stages of his enlightenment, and before all else the splendour of the system penetrated his astonished gaze.

Surely these are possible damages against which one must protect oneself.
However, these are misfortunes which, because they are limited to the Royal Art itself, may go unpunished, if not uncriticised; but there are more than these. Let us take a fictitious example.

We shall suppose that some royal character is visiting a large provincial town.
The mayor and the company have exhausted their ingenuity by providing a variety of entertainment.
There was the inevitable concert in the town hall; the visit to local factories; the district flower-show; and indeed, the general round of mild dissipation proper to the occasion. At last it presented itself to the Provincial Grand Lodge that a monstrous Masonic ball would give the desired liveliness, and when permission was granted for the use of clothing, the great work was set in motion.

We assume that all the preliminaries have gone smoothly. The magnates of the county have received and accepted invitations, and the eventful evening has finally arrived.The brothers are assembled, ranging from the simple white boy and light blue silk to purple and scarlet and gold; the collars and jewels we all want.
Sensitive girls and cleverly trained matrons are present, with keen eyes for all the pomp and circumstance that is visible.

There are many expressions of delighted surprise that Lord Such-and-Such, or Mr. Nominate, should be a Freemason, and in the course of time, when things are somewhat settled, the question becomes bold as to who is the chairman or president , or Master, as he is called, of the local Lodge?

Suppose it were possible in such a case that that same chairman, or president, or master is none other than a certain person with a notorious lack of culture; one, whose lack of proper education, and ignorance of the courtesies of society, are the common joke of the town. If such a thing were possible - we do not say that it is - it would be a reproach to the Order of Freemasonry.

It may be asked, would we put mere cultivation and what are called manners above sincere integrity and a good heart? Our answer would be that in the affairs of ordinary life we should not do so, but we think that all representative men should possess these decorative attributes; and just as an ignorant and vulgar man is out of place in the pulpit, in the senate, or in the city council, so he is out of place as an officer of a Masonic Lodge. All men cannot be, nor is it desirable for them to be, Lord Chesterfields, but all men who seek to represent institutions must possess as much polite knowledge as will honour the position they occupy.

Certain middle-class Englishmen are too inclined to despise what they call somewhat disdainful, but we have the authority of the laureate that 'manners are not vain, but the evidence of loyal nature and of noble spirit'. Above all, we would like to remind our Brethren that The Freemason's Chronicle will never degenerate into the organ of whining criticism. No attempt will be made, in the interests of cleverness or fine writing, to wield the glittering rapier of sarcasm against less gifted members of the body to which we are proud to belong.
At the same time, we have an abiding belief in the good effects of an honest, outspoken opinion.
It will be noted that we have carefully refrained from making the simplest direct charge.

Our argument is that by becoming a Freemason, a man does not abrogate a single responsibility that he owed to society until now, but assumes new responsibilities towards an old, venerable and respectable company.
That in his new position, if he seeks both honour and benefits, it is imperative that he makes himself worthy.
Indeed, if ever a time came when the picture we have drawn might seem real; when we happened to see ignorance and vulgarity elevated to the seat of the teacher, it would be time for those who love the Craft to raise a warning voice.

Some ancient philosophers are said to have taught from behind a veil. The students heard the master's advice, but did not see his face. In that state where many wise truths, kindly spoken, were taught, they undoubtedly appealed to the intelligence of those who heard and understood. Pray that we may not be less fortunate.


Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry shop Loge Benelux Thierry Stravers Freemasonry shop Dutch regalia Benelux Loge Royal Arch Mark Master Mason Franc-Maçon Huguenots France


Blog Masonic Store Hermes Trismegistus As Above So Below

Hermes Trismegistus is a mythical figure, whose name means "Hermes, the thrice (or three times) greatest". It is also the Greek name of the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing, Thoth.
He was seen as an ancient prophet who revealed secret knowledge to man, and is the central figure in Hermetism. In antiquity, all kinds of hermetics were attributed to him; practical texts on alchemy, magic and astrology, but also mystical texts that were meant to lead to the acquisition of gnosis, such as the Corpus Hermeticum and the Asclepius.

The Emerald Table is a short, cryptic text that inspired the alchemists. According to popular legend, it was written by this mythical Hermes Trismegistus, but there are other stories about its origin. Whether the Emerald Tablet is a product of antiquity or was written in the early Middle Ages is still undecided. The most famous statement that can be traced back to this text is "As Above, So Below", which finds an echo in the views of alchemy, magic and western astrology. These three 'old sciences' start from the unity and connection of things above (the macrocosm) and below (the microcosm - our earth and life on earth). The iconography of, for example, the Rider-Waite tarot card The Magician also seems to be inspired by the Emerald Table.


Also in the Middle Ages, occult texts appeared in Arabic and European countries under the name Hermes Trismegistus, such as the Picatrix, Turba philosophorum and the Emerald Table.
This made him an important figure in the revival of esotericism in the early modern period. It was then assumed that he was a contemporary of Moses and was an important source of knowledge for prophets and philosophers such as Zoroaster, Orpheus and Plato. Trismegistus is best known for his axiom from the Emerald Table: "As above, so below", referring to the equality of heaven and earth, of microcosm and macrocosm. This hermetic axiom is a principle that is also held by Theosophy and the New Age movement.

Legends of the Emerald Table.

It is said that the Emerald Table is a tablet of emerald or green stone on which the secrets of the universe are engraved.
The source of the original Emerald Table is unclear; therefore, it is surrounded by legends. The most common story claims that the table was found in a hollowed-out tomb under the statue of Hermes in Tyana, clasped in the hands of the corpse of Hermes Trismegistus himself. And the creator of the Emerald Table is delivered in the myth as the Egyptian god Thoth,
whom Armando Mei writes, "divided his knowledge into 42 plates of emerald, with which he codified the great scientific principles that govern the universe.
Legend has it that after the fall of the gods, the hermetic tables were cleverly hidden so that no man could find them.
Only Thoth could find the mysterious book on his return to that dimension."

Another legend suggests that it was the third son of Adam and Eve, Seth, who originally wrote it. Others believed that the tablet was once kept in the Ark of the Covenant. Some even claim that the original source of the Emerald Tablet is none other than the legendary city of Atlantis.
Although various claims have been made about the origin of the Emerald Table, no verifiable evidence has been found to support them to date.
The oldest documented source of the text of the Emerald Table is the Kitab sirr al-haliqi (Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature), which was itself a compilation of earlier works.

This was an Arabic work written in the 8th century AD and attributed to 'Balinas' or Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana. It is Balinas who tells us the story of how he discovered the Emerald Table in the collapsed tomb. Based on this Arabic work, some believe that the Emerald Table was also an Arabic text and written between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, rather than an ancient work as many claim.

While Balinas claimed that the Emerald Table was originally written in Greek, the original document he supposedly possessed no longer exists, if at all.
Some say it was burned in the library of Alexandria. Nevertheless, Balinas' version of the text itself soon became known and was translated by various people over the centuries.

For example, an early version of the Emerald Table also appeared in a work called Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss al-Thani (Second Book of the Elements of the Foundation), which is attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan. However, it would be several centuries before the text was accessible to Europeans. In the 12th century AD, the Emerald Table was translated into Latin by Hugo von Santalla.

What is on the Emerald Table?

The Emerald Table would become one of the pillars of Western alchemy. It is and was a very influential text for medieval and renaissance alchemy.
In addition to translations of the Emerald Tablet, numerous commentaries have been written on its contents.

For example, a translation by Isaac Newton was discovered among his alchemical papers. This translation is currently kept in King's College Library in Cambridge University. Other notable researchers of the Emerald Table are Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus, John Dee and Aleister Crowley. And today, knowledge of the legendary Emerald Table (at least one interpretation of it) is reaching a new audience with its presence in the surreal German-language series Dark.

The interpretation of the Emerald Text is not a simple matter, as it is a piece of esoteric text. For example, one interpretation suggests that the text describes seven stages of alchemical transformation: calcination, dissolution, separation, conjunction, fermentation, distillation and coagulation. But despite the various interpretations available, it seems that none of their authors claims to have knowledge of the whole truth. Furthermore, readers are encouraged to read the text and interpret and find the hidden truths themselves.

The translated text of the Emerald Table:

Tabula emeraldina Hermetis Trismegisti.
The emerald table (1) of Hermes Trismegistus.

Verum, sine mendacio, certum et verissimum:
(The following is) true, without falsehood, certain and very true:

Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius
"What is lower is like what is higher

et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius
and what is higher is like what is lower";

ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
(Remember this) when performing the miracles of the one cause (2).

Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius,
And as all things are created from the one, by reflection (3) on the one,

sic omnes res natae ab hac una re adaptatione.
Thus (are) all things born of this one substance by means of adaptation (4).

Pater eius est Sol, mater eius est Luna.
Its father is Sun (5), its mother is Moon (5).

Portavit illud ventus in ventre suo.
The wind (6) carried it in its belly.

Nutrix eius terra est, pater omnis telesmi totius mundi est hic.
The nourisher of the earth she is (7), father of all perfection the world he is/is here (8).

Virtus eius integra est.
Its power is complete.

Si versa fuerit in terram, separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso suaviter.
If this power is poured into the earth, carefully separate (9) earth from fire, the fine from the coarse.

Magno cum ingenio ascendit a terra in coelum
(If you act) with great understanding, (this power) rises from the earth to heaven,

Iterumque descendit in terram et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum.
descends again to earth and receives energy from the higher and the lower.

Sic habebis gloriam totius mundi.
Thus you will gain the glory of the whole world.

Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Therefore (10) all darkness will flee from you.

Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis,
This is strength in its most concentrated form (11),

quia vincet omnem rem subtilem omnemque solidam penetrabit.
Because (this force) will penetrate every tenuous and solid substance (12).

Sic mundus creatus est.
This is how the world was created.

Hinc erunt adaptationes mirabiles, quarum modus est hic.
In the manner described here (13), miraculous adaptations will result.

Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi.
Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I possess the three parts of philosophy of the whole world.

Completum est quod dixi de operatione solis.
This is what I had to say about the operation of Sun (14).


Thierry Stravers is co-owner of Masonic Store.
He likes to combine his passion for style and elegance with his Masonic activities.
Thierry is the owner of Trenicaa marketing agency and is a board member of Loge Enlightenment No.313 O: Hoofddorp.

Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry shop Loge Benelux Thierry Stravers Freemasonry shop Dutch regalia Benelux Loge Royal Arch Mark Master Mason Franc-Maçon Huguenots France