HE MASTER MASON’S lodge represents the sanctum sanctorum of
King Solomon’s Temple. That is, it is the inmost, or spiritual plane of
the cosmic edifice. Such a lodge, it is said, is composed of threeMaster Masons–The Master, the Senior Warden and the JuniorWarden–typifying in the constitution of man the ego, the divine soul, and the
spiritual body. It will thus be recognized that the Master Mason’s lodge typifies
existence in the spiritual world.
In the spiritual world the ego and divine soul function in a spiritual body; and the
other four factors of man’s constitution have been lost. At the death of the physical
body both the material form and the etheric form gradually disintegrate. The soul
then lives upon the astral plane and functions in an astral body. After its cycle of
existence on the astral plane–undergoing first, if gross or materially minded, a
period of purification in the lower astral regions corresponding to the purgatory of
Roman Catholicism–occurs the second death, in which the astral body and such of
the animal soul as had not been transmuted into divine soul, disintegrate; permitting
the soul to live unfettered in the spiritual body on the spiritual plane.
The candidate for this degree is prepared by being stripped naked and then furnished
with a pair of drawers reaching just above the hips. His drawer legs are both rolled
above his knees, and his shirt is slipped down about his body, partly covered by his
drawers, the sleeves and collar dangling behind over his waistband. His eyes are
bandaged and a cable tow is wound three times around his body.
Both feet and both arms are left bare to indicate that both the understanding and the
ability to work are unimpaired on the astral plane and on the spiritual plane. The shirt,
symbolizing the astral body, though largely discarded, still clings to the candidate.
This indicates that while yet in a physical body he may travel on the spiritual plane in
the spiritual body, but that there must also be a connection with the astral body, that
through it the connection with the physical may not be entirely severed. That is, a
portion of the astral body must be used to preserve communication between the
spiritual and the physical.
The woolen drawers are no longer red; for the animal part of man has been lost; yet
the presence of this woolen underwear still serves to draw the attention to the
importance of creative energy even on the spiritual plane. The candidate is
blindfolded; for he is first represented as so newly arrived from the astral plane as to
be unable to see things spiritual. Yet he has lost two-thirds of his clothing to indicate
the loss of his outer forms. The cable-tow is wound around him, in the region ruled by
the sign Libra, three times. Taurus is an earthly sign, and more typical of earthly love;
but Libra, the day sign of Venus, typifies the more spiritualized love; such a love as
triples the bond between soul and ego.
–The candidate desiring to enter the Master’s lodge must knock three times;
signifying his desire to enter the third, or spiritual plane. The pass word is
Now Cain, according to the Bible, was a murderer; hence symbolizes Mars in its
destructive aspect. But Tubal-Cain was an instructor of every artificer in brass and
iron; was versed in the constructive use of iron, or Mars, and of brass, which is two
metals in union. Cain thus represents the sex sign Scorpio in the aspect pictured by
the deadly scorpion; while Tubal-Cain represents the sign in the aspect pictured by
the eagle. And as the eagle is the highest flyer among the birds, so Tubal-Cain is the
symbol of that complete regenerate marriage by which, according to the doctrine of
the Ancient Masons, spiritual realms may be contacted.
As the candidate is permitted to enter, the two extreme points of a compass are
pressed against his naked right and left breasts, indicating the subjugation of all the
lower desires as well as the nobler aspirations to the spiritual laws, as signified by the
compass, that govern regenerate union. He is then led around the room three times in
the direction the Sun travels, and as he passes the Junior Warden, the Senior Warden,
and the Master, they give him each during the first time around one rap, during the
second time around two raps, and during the third time around three raps. This is to
indicate that each of his three higher components–spiritual body, divine soul, and
ego–have had an influence over him during his progress on the physical plane, on
the astral plane, and on the spiritual plane.
Preparation for Life on the Spiritual Plane
–While he thus travels about the room the Master reads from the Bible the first
seven verses of the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes:
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not,
nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the
sun, or moon, or the stars be not darkened; nor the clouds return after the rain; in the
day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow
themselves, and the grinders cease, because they are few, and those that look out of
the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of
the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters
of music shall be brought low: Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high,
and fears shall all be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the
grasshoppers shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long
home, and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the
golden bowl be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall
the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.
This whole passage is an exhortation to the candidate to prepare to abide in the
spiritual world, pointing out the transitory and unsatisfactory nature of all things
below the plane of spirit. The number 12 is the number of sacrifice, the number
indicating the end of the cycle of life, the completion of the zodiacal wheel. This
twelfth chapter then, quite consistently, warns that the physical must inevitably end
and that there should be a sacrifice of the lower nature. The vital forces, symbolized
by the sun, the mental forces, symbolized by the moon, and the powers of perception,
symbolized by the stars, should be sacrificed to higher things in youth before the
years of sterility approach, while the natural forces are undimmed by clouds of
emotional storm. The grinders, of course, are the planets which move over the zodiac
as mullers in this mill of the gods; and when their ability to vivify man’s body ceases,
the windows of his soul are darkened, and the doors of his speech close, the
vibrations cease their harmony, or music, and he passes as a bird might fly, in his
astral body to the astral plane.
In the astral world the memory pictures of his good deeds and his bad deeds are with
him, and he that has been guilty of wrong-doing must atone. Hence the fears, and the
elements of destruction symbolized by grasshoppers. But the good deeds shall be a
joy. Such are symbolized by the almond tree, which, like Aaron’s staff that budded, is
a symbol of creative power.
The silver cord is the magnetic thread connecting the spiritual body with the astral
body. The golden bowl is the vital forces animating the candidate, which become
broken at the fountain from which they spring, and the wheel is the birth-chart which
is broken at the cistern of emotional expression. Then does the physical return to the
physical and the spiritual return to the spiritual.
This all recalls to the candidate the inevitableness of death, and admonishes him to
prepare while yet in the flesh, through purification and the sacrifice of his lower
nature, for life on the higher plane; also suggesting that such preparation is quite as
necessary for one who before death expects to travel on spiritual planes.
Next, the candidate is led to the west, representing the material plane; and is
instructed how to approach the east, the place of light, representing the spiritual
plane, by advancing upon three upright regular steps, to the third step in Masonry, his
feet forming a square, his body erect. This is accomplished by first stepping off with
the left foot and bringing the heel of the right into it, signifying the understanding of
generation; and then stepping off with the right foot and bringing the heel of the left
into it, signifying the understanding of regeneration; and finally stepping off with the
left foot and bringing up the other so that the heels are together with the feet at right
angles, signifying the understanding of spiritual union. That is, these three steps
indicate that the candidate has mastered the knowledge of generation, regeneration,
and the great work.
He then kneels before the altar on both naked knees and raises both hands to heaven
with the arms bent. This is called the hailing sign. The kneeling position, both knees
being bent, signifies obedience upon the part of both to the admonitions of the higher
self, and the uplifted bent arms that they join in work upon the higher planes. In this
degree both points of the compass are shown above the square, indicating that
through obedience to the spiritual laws governing generation and regeneration the
candidate has freed himself from the limitations imposed upon him by his physical
and astral bodies. At this point, as in other degrees, the bandage is removed from his
eyes, signifying here that he perceives clearly the things of the spiritual plane.
The sign of a Master Mason is given by raising both arms as in the hailing sign, letting
them fall, and saying, “Is there no help for the widow’s son?”
The widow’s son is the divine soul of man, who has long been separated from his
Father in Heaven, the ego, and dependent upon mother nature. The two hands
represent the two divine souls of one ego, and the bent arms signify their desire for
reunion. The hands falling to the region of Scorpio, as well as the spoken sentence,
indicate the despair of reaching spiritual heights through mere physical means. The
dieugard of the degree shows where the hope lies. It is made by drawing the right
hand, palm down, from left to right across the abdomen in the region ruled by the sign
Libra and letting it fall to the side. Libra, as well as Scorpio, is a sex sign, but being an
airy sign it symbolizes unselfish love and spiritual union.
The pass-grip of a Master Mason is given by pressing the thumb of the right hand
between the joints of the second and third fingers where they join the hand. The
pressure is between the finger ruled in palmistry by Saturn, symbolizing the earth,
and the Sun, symbolizing spirit. It thus betokens desire to transmute and refine. Its
name is Tubal-Cain, signifying regeneration accomplished; and the word is given in
three syllables–Tu-Bal-Cain–to denote that the work has been accomplished on all
The apron, in this degree, is worn with the triangle down over the square. This
indicates that spiritual energies have completely permeated the creative forces, and
that the ego has come into full control of the physical form of man.
The Trowel is Especially Significant
–The working tools of a Master Mason embrace all the implements of masonry; but
particular attention is given to the trowel. The trowel in form is a triangle surmounted
by a plumb, representing the higher trinity of man’s constitution–ego, divine soul,
and spiritual body–receiving and utilizing the divine fire of creative energy. Its
significance is that of another symbol, the trine in the center of which is the Hebrew
letter, Jod. It is an implement used in joining stones to form a single structure, and is
thus symbolical of creative energy used to bind together in consciousness the various
experiences of life that build the temple of man.
In the Master’s degree, however, which has to do with the spiritual plane, the trowel
has an added significance. It signifies the use of creative energies to bind together
permanently twin souls. This inseparable union, which according to the ancient
doctrine insures joint immortality, takes place on the boundary of the sixth and
seventh states of the spiritual world. Henceforth the two divine souls occupy but one
spiritual body. These two and the one body they occupy form the triangle of the
trowel. The ego which is common to both is signified by the handle. The triangle, in
this aspect, thus represents the Lost Word recovered, as elaborated in the death,
burial, and resurrection of the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.
The Tragedy of Hiram Abiff Represents the Cyclic Journey of the Soul
–This tradition informs us that at the building of Solomon’s Temple there were
present three Grand Masters: King Solomon, as instigator of the work, is symbolical
of the sun in the sky and the ego of man’s constitution. Hiram, King of Tyre,
furnished the wood; the mental experiences, or perceptions. He typifies the spiritual
body of man, the planet Mercury in the finished macrocosmic structure and, as the
most earthly of the three, the mundane angles where the rays of sun and moon meet.
Hiram Abiff was the widow’s son, employed by King Solomon because he was a
cunning artificer, a skillful worker in all kinds of metals, stones, timber, and cloth,
and engraving upon them. He, of course, symbolizes the divine soul. Thus the ego
instigates the work, the body furnishes the materials, or experiences, and the soul
truly builds them into a fitting temple.
“It was the usual custom of the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, every day at high twelve
when the craft went from labor to refreshment, to enter into the sanctorum, or holy of
holies, and offer up his adoration to the ever-living God and draw out his plans and
designs on his trestleboard for the craft to pursue their labor.” The craft are the
celestial bodies that are more readily seen at night; for as midday is the period of
maximum sunshine the heavenly bodies are then more difficult to see, and may be
said to be at refreshment.
Now if we turn for a moment to the Kabala, we find that the holy of holies, called by
them the Shekinah, is the place where the devoted retire for communion with higher
powers. This Shekinah on earth, by them, also represents a spiritual union of man and
woman, a union represented in the sky by the joining of the sun and moon, that is,
new moon. And as our narrative relates to the temple of the sun, his holy of holies, his
own sign, the sanctum sanctorum of the sun is the sign ruled by it, Leo. Our story
starts, then, at noon, with a new moon in the first degree of the sign Leo. Hiram Abiff,
symbolizing the divine soul of man, is represented by the moon.
Fifteen (this is the number of Satan and of black magic) Fellow Craft conspired to
extort the Master’s word from Hiram Abiff, and in case of refusal to kill him. Twelve,
representing the twelve zodiacal signs, repented and confessed; but three,
representing the three visible angles–Midheaven, Descendant andAscendant–carried out the crime.
The names of the three ruffians that committed the crime were Jubela, Jubelo, and
Jubelum. Now in the Bible Jubal is mentioned as the father of all such as handle the
harp and organ. This refers unmistakably to the sign Leo, which rules the house of
pleasures and entertainment of all kind in a natural birth- chart. Hence we start the
story at the beginning of the sign Leo. In the same passage, but not of significance to
this story, the three other signs that each rule one of the four quadrants of the heavens
also are mentioned. Thus Jabal was the father of such as dwell in tents and have
cattle. This refers to Taurus. Tubal-Cain was an instructor of every artificer in brass
and iron. This denotes, as previously mentioned, the sign Scorpio. And Enoch, the
perfect man, represents the Man of the zodiac, Aquarius.
Jubel, it is quite clear, is the sign of the sun. The designation of the three ruffians is
shown by the suffix. The meaning of the letters used as suffixes to Jubel may be had
by referring to Course 6, The Sacred Tarot, the Hermetic System of Names and
Numbers. The letter A corresponds to the planet Mercury, and to the attribute of will.
The letter O corresponds to the planet Mars, and the attribute of destruction. The
letter U corresponds to the planet Venus, and to pliability. The letter M corresponds
to the zodiacal sign Aries, signifying transition through death to birth in a new life.
The sun and moon are represented in conjunction in the midheaven in the first degree
of the sun’s home sign, Leo; and evidently in some manner the Master’s Word, which
the villains try to obtain, refers to the most spiritual union thus symbolized.
Jubela, so the story goes, is stationed at the southern gate of the temple, or at the
midheaven. He grabs the Grand Master and handles him roughly, demanding that he
give the password. Hiram replies that if he will wait until the temple is completed and
the Grand Lodge assembles at Jerusalem, and he is found worthy, it will be given to
Now the “a” as a suffix to Jubel signifies will, in this case the will to obtain the
knowledge that confers immortality. The moon is with the sun, indicating that the
soul has not yet separated from its divine ego, nor from its counterpart. Nevertheless,
there is the will for conscious immortality. But it is only through experiences with
external life that the spiritual form of man can be constructed, and only when this
form has been completed that the permanent union of the divine counterparts can
take place. And this constitutes the Master’s Word as applied to the spiritual plane.
Not receiving the word, Jubela strikes the Master a blow across the throat with a
twenty-four inch gauge. The twenty-four inch gauge represents the twenty-four
hours of the day, hence the diurnal cycle of the sun. The throat is ruled by Venus, the
planet of love. Hence the blow on the throat signifies the rupture of the ties of love by
time; the separation of the twin souls at the moment of their involutionary descent
from the spiritual world to gain experience. In the more personal sense, it signifies
the effects of time to alienate the affections of the husband and wife when the sacred
rites of love are violated.
The Master rapidly retreats toward the west gate, the Descendant, which is guarded
by Jubelo. Thus is the moon, as it separates from the sun, carried by the diurnal
rotation of the earth immediately to the western horizon, or Descendant. And thus
also is the soul, in its involutionary descent before its first material incarnation,
rapidly carried down to the place where it enters the physical realm. So too, the man
or woman who violates the sanctity of love tends quickly to sink into the darkness of
Jubelo–representing the destructive tendency of Mars, the destructive tendencies of
unwise unions; for the western horizon in astrology is the place of partnerships and
unions, as well as of strife–gives the Master a blow across the breast with a square.
This square, while symbol of inharmonious union, also represents the first quarter of
the moon as it separates from the sun, and is a destructive astrological aspect. It
typifies the soul joined, at last, to a material body. In a more personal sense it
indicates inharmonious relations which injure the aspirations, these being
symbolized by the breasts.
The Master then goes to the east gate which is guarded by Jubelum. This signifies that
the moon, separating from the sun the while, is next carried by the diurnal motion of
the earth from the western horizon, where it sinks, to the eastern horizon, where it
rises. In relation to the progress of the soul, the period during which the moon is
beneath the horizon, and invisible, represents its evolution through the various
material forms of life below that of man. The east gate, where the moon rises into
view, symbolizes the state where the soul rises from the purely material and
incarnates in the intellectual being called man. Applied to humanity at large, this
indicates the desire for more knowledge.
Jubelum strikes the Master upon the forehead with a gavel, whereupon the Master
falls dead. This signifies that the moon arriving at her second quarter, receives the
maximum force of the sun’s rays, and is at the furthest point from her heavenly
spouse. After this time, according to astrology, vital and magnetic forces begin to
decrease, or die. This signifies also that the soul, arriving at the state of manhood in
its evolutionary ascent, is tempted by, and becomes a slave to, sensations. The pure
unsullied intuitions of the soul as to proper conduct are slain by the use of reason and
an unbending will (the gavel). As applied to humanity at large, this indicates that
having departed from the true source of light, yet seeking knowledge, it often falls
into one of two destructive extremes: dissipation, or the complete annihilation of the
emotions and sentiments through the use of an unbending will. Either deadens the
soul to things spiritual.
Now the Grand Master having been killed, is carried out the east gate and buried with
rubbish at low twelve. We have three thoughts here. The moon at full passes above
the horizon. Twilight obscures it, and as it is waning, instead of growing brighter it
grows dimmer, is covered with rubbish. This burial is at low twelve, because at
midnight the sun having reached the lowest point in its daily cycle, the moon has
reached the highest point overhead, and exactly at low twelve (midnight) descends
toward the horizon, descends into the grave. In the soul’s progress its first efforts to
learn the truth lead it to become buried in the various theories of materialists or the
innumerable uncritical fantasies of mysticism, both of which are still further covered
with the dust of prejudice. As applied to humanity at large, it represents man and
woman seeking light, but blinded by false teaching and covered with the rubbish of
The Grand Master is carried at low twelve in a westerly direction, and there buried in
a grave on the brow of Mount Moria; the ruffians hurrying, as the Master already
begins to smell. That is, the moon after midnight of its full does travel to the west and
sink in her grave below the western horizon. The reference to the smell signifies that
she has begun to decrease in light, or decompose.
Mount Moria is the region of sacrifice. But it should be remembered that Abraham
was finally commanded by the Lord (Law) not to sacrifice his son, not to sacrifice the
human qualities as is done in asceticism; but to sacrifice only the Ram, or creative
energies, on the altar of his devotion. The soul all too often, slain by false reasoning
and covered with dogmatic debris, sinks into the west of materialism, and sacrifices
its spirituality on the mountain of material ambition. This spiritual decay is indicated
by selfish thoughts. As applied to mankind as a whole, man and woman may be
misled by false doctrines and fall into destructive practices or into morbid asceticism,
thus to be buried on the mountain of sensual desire, or in the tomb of vain and foolish
sacrifices. The vibrations of sensualism and those of asceticism alike are offensive
odors to the spiritual senses.
The Grand Master is buried in a grave six feet due east and west, and six feet
perpendicular. The grave is marked by a sprig of cassia. This grave, or lowest point in
the daily journey of the moon, is the nadir. The grave is as long, therefore, as from the
eastern horizon to the western horizon. That is, the moon is invisible while in six
mundane houses, or feet. It is buried as deep as from the midheaven to the nadir. That
is, six mundane houses, or feet, deep. And it is marked by a sprig of cassia because
cassia, always being green, symbolizes immortality. It thus promises resurrection.
This resurrection of the human soul is symbolized in the heavens by the moon being
raised through the diurnal rotation of the earth on its axis from the nadir through six
houses to the midheaven. All above the horizon symbolizes the spiritual realm, and
all below the horizon symbolizes the physical realm. Therefore, the six houses, or
feet, east and west symbolize the boundary between the spiritual and physical planes.
This boundary marks the region of struggle that precedes the entering of the ego into
full control of the physical form, which takes place when the seventh state of
manhood, or adeptship, is reached.
Applied to humanity at large, the six feet east and west typify the material horizon,
and the struggle to obtain the physical necessities of life and at the same time
encourage the spiritual nature. The six feet perpendicular represent the six states of
the soul world which the soul must traverse before it can permanently be united to its
missing mate. Applied to humanity as a whole it represents the antagonism between
the sexes, their misunderstandings of one another, and the temptation to yield to the
dictates of the senses. This significance of the number six was given in chapter 4.
The sprig of cassia, in each case offers the hope of redemption through the
rejuvenating action of the creative principle. Fire, in the days of the Ancient Masons,
was used as a symbol of the sun; and the wood that fed the fire also was considered a
creative symbol. Cassia being ever verdant, adds the thought of perpetual youth and
life to the symbol of the creative principle signified by its wood.
After the murder of Hiram Abiff the three ruffians try to get a passage to Ethiopia; but
they only get as far as Joppa, symbolizing the astral realm. Ethiopia is the land of
darkness lying to the south of Jerusalem. While the sun is in Leo and the moon is
making this symbolic cycle, the sun moves southward, and the points where he rises,
culminates, and sets–the three ruffians–also travel southward. These ruffians are
discovered by a wayfaring man–the sign Pisces, which rules the feet of man and is
the sign of imprisonment–for the full moon, when the sun is in Leo takes place in
Aquarius, and the moon immediately passes into Pisces.
The soul also, in its pilgrimage, may try to escape from the penalty of its folly by
seeking oblivion in death, but only reaches the astral realm, where it is imprisoned
and must give an accounting in full to the ego, its King Solomon, for its crime. And
mankind may seek a like oblivion for itself in the doctrines of materialism; but the
absurdities of such a course are quickly revealed by those psychic investigations
ruled by the sign Pisces, and it must finally be brought before the throne of spiritual
Hiram Abiff was discovered missing at low six, when as usual King Solomon came
up to the temple. He found all in confusion, no plans having been laid out on the
trestle-board for the craft to follow. At full moon, which is the period we have been
considering, the moon sinks below the horizon, and is discovered missing, and the
sun, Solomon, rises in full sight, at 6 a.m. The light of the planets wanes and becomes
confused, owing to daylight. The soul of man, reaching the sixth state of manhood, or
cosmic consciousness, realizes it is separated from the ego, and that until they
become again united its work is not directed from the spiritual plane; the work is not
properly laid out. Applied to humanity, man and woman having arrived at a state of
antagonism are able to form no efficient plans because of lack of co-operation.
Twelve Fellow Craft Masons, the twelve zodiacal signs, are sent to hunt for Hiram.
Three, taking a westerly course–that is, setting–get news from the wayfaring man,
Pisces. Finally one of them sitting down to rest on the brow of Mount Moria, the
horizon, discovers the sprig of cassia, at the point of union of night and day. This
promises the coming resurrection, for the moon will rise again, as will the soul that
sinks into the grave. At this point, also, are discovered the three assassins, or visible
angles. The three Fellow Craft that discover the assassins, represent the three
zodiacal signs through which the moon moves from full to last quarter. They report
the discovery to King Solomon, the sun, who sends another to look, that is, the sun
during the moon’s journey around the cycle has moved forward a sign, so the moon to
reach it must, in addition to the twelve, move also through this sign.
When the body is uncovered, an offensive smell arises. The moon is still decreasing,
or decomposing, in light. A search is made for the Master’s Word, but nothing is
found except a faint resemblance to the letter G marked on the left breast. The letter G
found on the body is not recognized as a key to the Master’s Word; for being on the
left breast it signifies generation impelled by material motives. Yet while not the
Word itself the discerning will not fail to note that it is the key to the word. The three
signs by which the body is discovered represent the explorations of the soul on all
three planes. Applied to humanity at large, it signifies material, mental, and spiritual
The Master, finding the Word lost, repeats three times the Master’s sign and the
words; “O Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow’s son?” Unless the word, to
which Generation is the lost key, be recovered, there is little help on any of the three
planes for the soul, nor as applied to humanity is there much hope of greatly
improving the condition of the world.
Twelve Fellow Craft, zodiacal signs, are summoned to go with Solomon, the sun, to
raise Hiram Abiff, the moon. They form a circle around the grave–the zodiacal
signs form a circle–and the Master offers up a lengthy prayer the purport of which is
a plea for immortality. The Master then directs that the body be raised by the E.A.
grip, Boaz; but the skin cleaves from the flesh and it cannot be thus raised.
Immortality cannot be attained by the application of mere physical methods; for the
body is not the man, no more so than the skin is the whole body. It is next proposed to
raise the body with the F.C. grip, Jachin; but it cannot be done because the flesh
cleaves from the bone. The soul is not assured of immortality when it can work on the
astral plane; for the astral body is not the whole man, no more so than the flesh is the
Finding the grip of the two lower degrees inadequate, the Master raises the candidate
for the Master’s degree, who represents Hiram Abiff, with the Master Mason’s grip,
upon the five points of fellowship, uttering in his ear the Word Mah-Hah-Bone, used
as a substitute for the lost Master’s Word.
This Master’s grip is called the Lion’s grip, because it is typical of the sun’s action in
the sign Leo where it exercises its most virile power. It is made in shaking hands by
sticking the finger nails of each of the fingers into the joint of the other’s wrist where
it joins the hand. The five fingers of one hand represent woman, and the five fingers
of the other hand represent man. As all portions ruled by the various planets thus
come in contact, it represents complete fusion, soul infiltration of soul. Such is the
powerful influence of the Sun in the love sign Leo, by which the Moon is again united
to it; denoting the eternal union of twin souls through which their united immortality
becomes assured. It is called Mah-Hah-Bone, because the word, signifying marrow
of the bone, denotes a more complete fusion than that of the physical, symbolized by
the skin; or of the astral, symbolized by the flesh; or even of spiritual bodies,
symbolized by the bone. It refers to the complete and permanent soul union between
natural counterparts, soul of soul, heart of hearts.
The raising on the five points of fellowship is accomplished by taking the candidate,
who represents Hiram Abiff, by the Master’s grip and lifting him by bracing the right
foot against him. When raised, the Master’s right foot is inside his right foot, the
inside of the Master’s knee is against his, the Master’s breast against his breast, and
their left hands are on each other’s backs, each putting the mouth to the ear of the
other, in which position alone the Master’s word may be given.
In this manner the fullness of the reunion between sun and moon is designated. Being
together, both receive the five points, that is, the same aspects from the other five
planets. The three attempts at raising account for the three signs through which the
moon passes from its last quarter to reach new moon, which is its union with the sun.
By this time the sun, having started at the first of Leo, has reached the 28th degree of
the sign. According to the Hermetic System of Names and Numbers (see Course 6,
The Sacred Tarot), 2 plus 8 equals 10, which is the number of man and woman, that
is, the union of two 5’s, or the five points of fellowship.
The soul also, having taken its cyclic pilgrimage from spirit into matter and from
matter back to spirit again, not only arrives at its original state of exaltation in the
spiritual world, but the ego, having gained wisdom and love through its soul’s
experiences, has passed to still higher spheres, and the soul uniting with it is raised to
these regions. Applied to humanity as a whole, through the reestablishment of
harmonious relations between man and woman, and their united efforts, the misery
that has resulted from their strife is banished, and they become efficient agents for
building up a better world.
The union of foot to foot (Pisces) represents mutual understanding, which is essential
to united effort. It further refers to united effort in spiritual science and psychical
research, because these are ruled by the sign Pisces.
The union of knee to knee (Capricorn) typifies the value of mutual service. In this
manner co-operation yields the best results. It also indicates that there is united effort
in regard to material attainment, for this too is ruled by the sign Capricorn.
Breast to breast (Cancer) signifies that if best results are to be obtained there must be
unity of aspiration. It also indicates that the magnetism of each should nourish and
sustain the other, and that there should be unity in the home, for these things are ruled
by the sign Cancer.
The left hand to the back (Leo) of the other shows that each should work in a physical
way to strengthen and support the other. Each should support by his mental
endeavors, ruled by Gemini, the ambitions, ruled by Leo, of the other.
Lastly, there should be complete and mutual exchange of confidences between
husband and wife, such as is denoted by mouth to ear (Taurus). And the lips should
offer encouragement to the other, and both should fulfill their financial obligations,
these being ruled by Taurus.
How the Five Points of Fellowship Do Their Work
–The number five is the number of Jupiter, the planet of religion. And if the
resurrection of the soul, Hiram Abiff, is to take it through the astral realm–the upper
regions of which commonly are called the spiritual realm, but are not, as although
their vibratory rates are high, the velocities are still those which pertain to astral
substance–there must be great devotion, not to piety or any special orthodox belief,
but to true religion.
Velocities of substance below that approximating light define the substance as
physical in nature, and thus as belonging to the material plane. But when velocities
are attained greater than that of light, that defines the substance moved as no longer
physical, but as belonging to the inner realms. The planetary vibrations that affect
human life and destiny, the thoughts of man, and the unconscious minds, not only of
men, but of all other creatures, persist in substance having a velocity greater than the
Boundary-Line etheric energy, of which light, radiation and electricity are well
known manifestations. That is, they occupy the astral plane, and are not restricted by
the limitations imposed upon purely physical existence.
Things, by the mere circumstance of their physical existence, also have astral
counterparts in the astral realm; and all life-forms on earth, when the physical is
destroyed, tend to persist for some time as astral life-forms in the inner realm. Good
and bad, high and low, vicious and saintly; people continue existence after physical
death on the astral plane.
But although there are fewer limitations to existence on the astral plane than on the
physical, it too has its own restrictions. Life there is not everlasting. Planetary
currents and the cycles which affect astral life in time cause the dissolution of the
astral form, more slowly, to be sure, than the physical is caused to disintegrate, but
none the less surely. Immortality is not static, but depends on eternal progression.
When velocities still higher than those which astral substance can attain are reached,
new properties are at hand, and that which is affected is spiritual substance. But while
all life-forms on earth have an astral counterpart in which they survive for a time after
physical dissolution, none has a spiritual body until that form is built, either from the
material plane before death of the physical body, or from the astral plane, where time
and opportunity also are present, before the second death dissolves the astral form.
f the individual is to continue to survive he must construct, by the quality of his
aspirations, thoughts and feelings, a body in which he can function on the plane of
velocities still higher than the astral, the real spiritual plane.
While the range of vibratory rates on one plane often greatly overlaps those of
another plane; for molecular vibrations may be more rapid than some vibrations in
the Boundary-Line etheric substance; nevertheless, vibratory rates of a particular
kind can be used to affect substance on a still higher plane. That is, much as the
molecular vibrations of a piece of iron when they become sufficiently rapid through
heating, impart energy to etheric substance which we recognize as light, or an electric
light filament glows, so aspirations based on definite motives, love of the less selfish
kind, and certain combinations of thoughts which act as a flux one with the other,
affect spiritual substance directly. That is, the vibrations imparted to astral substance
by these mental states have the property of affecting spiritual substance which has
velocities that astral substance cannot reach.
And in the Master Mason’s degree particular stress is placed upon the higher types of
love thus to affect spiritual substance and build a spiritual form. Yet true religion in
its practice, although not so easily, also can be utilized for this purpose. This,
however, implies much knowledge of Spiritual Alchemy (explained in detail in
Course 3, Spiritual Alchemy), determined practice in thought control, and devotion
to Universal Welfare.
The individual, regardless of his physical environment, who resolutely directs all the
acts of his life, including his thoughts and emotions, to those things which after due
thought he believes are in the interest of society as a whole, by so doing is being
raised on the five points of fellowship. He is gaining in understanding (Pisces),
co-operating in attaining (Capricorn) practical benefits for mankind, developing
exalted aspirations (Cancer), strengthening (Leo) his will, and mentally exchanging
confidences and receiving (Taurus) encouragement from those still further along the
path who impress him from the inner plane.
In fact, to be truly a Master Mason implies that through diligent practice one has
learned how at all times to maintain a constructive attitude, and to keep the thoughts
directed to the accomplishment of those purposes which are of greatest assistance to
mankind. It implies that one has so conditioned his emotional nature that anger, fear,
hatred, grief, disappointment and jealousy are never felt; and that instead there is at
all times, and toward all persons, a feeling of benevolent kindness, which may
nevertheless be strict and firm; and that one has acquired the ability to feel, with no
great effort exalted love and tender affection.
Mastership, according to Ancient Masonry, thus is seen to be a very different thing
from the popular conception that to be a Master one must retire from the world and
devote the time to meditation and so-called spiritual practices. In fact, true spiritual
practices are now seen to rest upon man’s contact with others. It is impossible to
acquire spirituality or true Mastership through selfish seeking. Instead, they come
only as the result of pronounced effort to assist others.
It is not primarily to gain spirituality that the Master learns to develop a steady,
positive and rather high electrical potential, through which he is able to shut from his
consciousness thoughts of others or thoughts of his own which he has decided are not
constructive, and through which he is able to maintain control of his emotions. He
learns to do this, and to extend his consciousness to the inner plane and there acquire
information not to be had through other channels, because these abilities enable him
to help the people he contacts.
When, depends upon individual circumstances. But one who thus develops the other
requisites of a true Master Mason, will not too long have to wait for union with the
soul of his soul. For now it will be apparent that the whole tragedy of Hiram Abiff,
and his later resurrection, are meant to symbolize the soul’s separation from its
divine counterpart, its separate journey through the cycle of involution and
evolution, and its final attainment of an immortal life through reunion with its lost
In Egyptian tradition Osiris is dismembered, but the fourteen pieces representing the
fourteen days from full moon to new moon, are collected and reunited by Isis. The
ashes of Hiram, however, are represented as having been buried under the sanctum
sanctorum, and a monument erected over them figuring a virgin weeping over a
broken column, with a book before her, in her right hand a sprig of cassia, in her left
hand an urn; Time standing behind her, with his hands infolded in the ringlets of her
The virgin is Isis weeping over the slain Osiris, her lost mate, signified by the broken
column. That immortality be assured, as suggested by the cassia, it becomes
necessary under the law, signified by the book, that reunion take place. This has not
yet occurred, for the urn, symbol of affections, is still empty. Hair is ruled by the
planet Venus, and until the reunion takes place her affections bind her to the realms
where time is master. Applied to humanity at large this ensemble signifies the
destruction of the better impulses of the soul through the abuse of the creative
The involution of the soul into matter and its evolution back to spirit, is symbolized
astrologically by the Sun’s journey through the zodiac, as related in chapter 5. But the
separation of the two halves of the divine soul and their subsequent reunion after the
pilgrimage of zodiacal cycles is symbolized astrologically by the separation of the
sun and moon, and their ultimate reunion. It may be thought that the Ancient Masons
were somewhat arbitrary in enacting the scene with the sun in Leo, but not so in fact;
for in practical magic, at which they were adepts, operations of an electric and
repellent nature are more successful if initiated at noon of the day of the first new
moon after the sun enters Leo. On the other hand, as any astrologer readily
understands, operations of an attractive and magnetic nature are more successful if
initiated at midnight of the day of the first full moon after the sun enters Capricorn.
As Isis of Egypt searched for the fourteen fragments of Osiris, and as the moon
decreases for fourteen days between full moon and new moon, so we need not be
surprised to find it related that Hiram Abiff remained fourteen days in his grave
before being resurrected.
In the individual horoscope the tragedy of Hiram corresponds to the revolution of
psychic forces within the astral body of man from month to month and from year to
year. It is the magical cycle of the soul as measured from one transit of the moon over
the radical place of the sun to another such transit; and this is the exact measure of
psychic power received by the individual from month to month. It has a most
important practical application, for soul powers are found to have their periods of ebb
and flood, there being times when it is possible, and there being times when it is not
possible, to establish the essential conditions necessary for the successful practice of
high magic. This phase of the matter is explained in detail in Award Manuscript 13.