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The Columns Jachin and Boaz

   There was a time in the early history of man, as mentioned in Genesis, when he was hermaphrodite, male-female, and able to reproduce his kind without the aid of another. Later, one half of his creative energy was turned upward for the purpose of building a brain and larynx that he might learn to create by thought and to express these thoughts through words. Thus man ceased to be physically hermaphrodite and became uni-sexed. Then came his fall through the temptation of the senses, as given in the story of the Garden of Eden.

   For aeons of time since, he has wandered far from the Father's house and wallowed among the swine in materiality and eaten of the husks of fleeting and transitory things. But always the spirit within has been calling him to arise and return unto the Father's house. The parable of the Prodigal Son bears a universal significance and parallels the life of every man. It is his awakening to the consciousness of the real and the true, and his starting in quest of it, that is symbolized in the Masonic Lodge as the demand for Light. "Blessed is he that knocketh for it shall be opened unto him, and blessed is he that seeketh, for he shall find." Here we have the answer to the Quest of every earnest and sincere Temple builder.

   Spiritually the creative force expresses itself in a dual manner, namely, as Creative Will and Imagination. These are the masculine and feminine columns of the Temple, the Jachin and Boaz, the pillars of Strength and Beauty, through whose united creative powers the human body is given form and substance. Relative to this, it is interesting to note that upon the two columns fronting the tomb of Osiris and Isis were these inscriptions:

   Isis: "I am Isis, Queen of the country. I was instructed by Mercury. No one can destroy the laws which I have established. I am the eldest daughter of Saturn, most ancient of kings. I am sister and wife of Osiris. I first made known to mortals the use of wheat. Rejoice, Oh land that gave me birth."

   Osiris: "I am Osiris, the King who led my armies into all parts of the world (esoteric Truth). I am the eldest son of Saturn. I was born of the brilliant and magnificent egg and my substance is of the same nature as that which composes light. There is no place in the universe where I have not appeared to bestow my benefits and make known my discoveries."

   In Masonry, likewise, we find the two columns by the tomb of Hiram., one upright and one broken. A woman weeps above the broken column, even as Isis sat at Byblos weeping above the column of tamarisk which had grown around the body of Osiris. When Isis extracted the body, she bore it away wrapped in thin drapery, and perfumed. It is of especial interest to the esotericist to read that Isis was accustomed to pour ambrosia on the bands of her women devotees and disciples, as Time does on the hands of the woman beside the tomb of Hiram. (Time=Saturn.)

   The two columns stand also for the two distinct types of egos who inhabit the world. They may also be described as masculine and feminine, regardless of the sex of the body which they inhabit. Very generally they may be designated as the "doer" and the "believer." Their two distinctive keywords are knowledge and faith, respectively. He who walks by faith is the churchman and is allied to the heart path and to the feminine column of Boaz. He who demands reason to supplement faith (which ofttimes supersedes it) is allied to the head path and the masculine column of Jachin. As Albert Pike has well said: "These two columns explain all the meanings of natural, religious, and political antagonisms."

   So long as this inharmony exists between these two "columns" in humanity, so long must wars be waged, both within man himself and in the world without. And so long as this universal conflict reigns will there be need of Temples of Initiation, such as that conceived and wrought by Solomon, the wise king, the representative of faith, and Hiram, the Master Builder, representative of knowledge, with the two mighty columns symbolic of this bidden mystery, in order that man may be brought into a realization of the divided state in which he now lives and learn the sooner to work towards its rectification in spiritual unity.

   This amalgamation in both the inner and the outer fulfills the mandate of the supreme Temple Builder, to "be about the Father's business," for only thus may the candidate find the Light which shines in the East.

   Physiologically, the two pillars represent the masculine-feminine psycho-physical energies by which regeneration is accomplished in the alchemist's laboratory. This laboratory is in general the whole man; in particular it is the spinal cord which connects the physical creative organs with the mental creative organs. Again, this is the Jacob's Ladder of which every Mason learns, whereon the Angels of God (rhythms of creative life force) ascend and descend.

   Truly the body is the temple of the living God! It is likewise the Lodge of the Mystic Mason. The thirty-three Degrees of the Lodge are represented in the spinal vertebrae and the nerve plexuses of the cord, the sensitization of which parallels the building of the soul body in which we shall meet Christ "in the air."

   The life force, like the Creator from whom it emanates, is dual in manifestation, and has been aptly described as Fire-Mist by seers. In Hindu terminology this corresponds to the masculine Sushumna and the feminine Kundalini ("the goddess Kundalini") which lies dormant in the sacral center in the majority of the race, but which is awakened by a life devoted to purity, high thinking and good deeds.

   The principal organs of the body are also dual in formation, but those which are particularly a channel for the feminine soul forces are partially dormant, none of them are as yet operating at their full powers. The life forces play more powerfully through the masculine chains than through the feminine. Hence, masonically the "tools" are kept in the column Jachin, and for this reason egos desiring to incarnate in a body adapted to the initiatory work, have generally chosen a masculine body. The masculine, or Sushumna current, uses the masculine organs, brain and pineal gland as its foci of power. These positive forces are symbolized in the Jachin, the Creative Will.

   The feminine, or Kundalini current (elixir vitae), operates through the feminine organs, heart and pituitary body as focal centers. The feminine creative energy is linked with the imagination, or image-making faculty, and is represented by the column Boaz. Until the Kundahni is awakened, 'She' is termed in mystic Masonic phraseology "the young widow."

   It is the attainment of equilibrium between the two columns that is the consummation of the Great Work, symbolized in the Keystone of the Arch; and biblically in the Mystic Marriage wherein the "Widow" becomes the "Bride." It is the ecstatic union of the Sushumna and the Kundalini which is celebrated in the Song of Solomon and is the high insignia of his Initiateship, as a result of which the Fire-Mist (blended of the essences of Sushumna and Kundalini) radiates throughout the body, permeating it with Light. Man himself is then the third column of the Temple Wisdom, a column formed by the united forces of Strength and Beauty. Thus by lifting up the dual creative force man becomes like unto the holy Angels and creates by the power of the Lost Word, now no longer Lost, but familiar as the Creative Fiat that makes all things new.

   The symbolic ritualism of Masonry is perhaps the most complete the world has even known. As previously mentioned, the two columns denote man and woman in equality, and in at-one-ment, while the fallen column indicates the inequality between the sexes which has been so marked a characteristic of the Piscean Age. The elevation of the fallen feminine column to an upright position represents the ideal of the Aquarian Age, not only in the objective world of affairs but in the subjective world belonging to Initiation, for the Mystery of the Feminine has always been central to the great Schools of Initiation. The principal theme of the Zohar is the Exaltation of the Divine Feminine, and the establishment of equilibrium. In modern psychology, the feminnie principle is called "the subconscious" I; and from before this Isis the veil has yet to be lifted.

   In no literature is the "exaltation" more adequately and beautifully described than in the Masonic legend of the Pillar of Beauty that is the foundation of the Holy of Holies. According to the legend, after the death of the Grand Master Hiram Abiff, and the discovery of the Ninth Arch of Enoch under the Temple site, the workmen found a golden plate which they removed into another vault where the three Grand Masters who presided over the Sacred Lodge held their secret councils twice each year, at the midsummer and midwinter Solstices. This vault was in the center, or heart, of the Earth, and was the repository for the Pillar of Beauty, which supported the Holy of Holies above ground. (For further details, see our chapter on the building of Solomon's Temple.)

   Upon the Pillar of Beauty, Solomon impressed the Tetragrammaton, the sacred Four Letters, which is the Lost Word of Masonry, THE NAME OF ALL NAMES. It was "lost" when the Divine Feminine "fell" in human consciousness or from human consciousness; i. e. the "subconscious" or "unconscious."

   The position of the Holy of Holies in the center of the Earth is a mystic allusion to the Path of Initiation, which takes the Initiate to the inmost Center of the Universe and to the creative Power from which it springs.

The Alchemists

   The Alchemists were in many cases Initiates of high degree, who, in order to protect their real work from the curious and the unworthy, couched their formulas and methods of procedure in symbol and allegory. Thus the gold in which they were primarily interested and which they sought to make by transmutation of the baser metals was the spiritual gold ("golden wedding garment") of the Initiate. The turning of base metals into gold was simply the path of Illumination wherein death and mortality were exchanged for continuity of consciousness. As they express it: "The soul of man which is impelled onward to purity and union with the Eternal, has within itself a higher life which cannot be annihilated by death."

   The initiatory Path, as symbolically depicted in alchemical literature, leads the novice through the experiences of the Four Degrees which are designated as Fire, Water, Air and Earth, these being the names of certain definite works in Initiation. The Alchemist calls the receptacle in which these operations occur "the Grave." In the Masonic Lodge the Grand Master receives instruction at the grave of the slain Hiram, and the work given relates to his death and funerary experience. The Rosicrucians use the term "Rose Garden" instead of "Grave to designate the receptacle.

   The work of Masons, Rosicrucians and Alchemists is closely related, and shows every indication of having a like point of origin. Rosicrucianism, as known to history, is the link between Alchemy and Masonry, for it has been demonstrated that it was by way of the Rosicrucians: that Alchemy entered Masonry. Each of these three Schools describes a like Path, each points the Way to the Holy of Holies above which shines the effulgent splendor of the All-Seeing Eye. In Mystic Masonry, the spiritual kinship is still plainly visible. As in Masonry the candidate is at once the Lodge and the Work, so in Alchemy the novice is at once the Laboratory and the labor, the philosopher and Philosopher's Stone.

   By alchemical processes the "Philosopher" works upon the four Elements (which are the basic principles of human nature) in such wise as to form the Philosopher's Stone. The Stone must be tested by Fire, by Water, by Air and by Earth. The Stone is sometimes white, sometimes red, and sometimes gold, according to the method employed and the amount of work accomplished. Sometimes it glows with all the colors of the rainbow.

   With the Water test begins the great purification of the emotional nature, designated alchemically as the processes of decomposition and putrefaction. This purification is continued in the Fire test, being here considered as combustion and calcination, when the "Red Lion" comes forth in all his strength and power.

   The Water test deals with "conception" (in a spiritual sense), the Fire. test with Birth. Here the Alchemical Child is "born in ashes" under the sigil of the Flaming Star.

   In the Air Test, which is designated as volatile and expansive, the subtle is separated from the gross. The black robe is discarded for the white. The White Eagle is symbolic of this attainment.

   In the Earth test the candidate descends into the center of the Earth and also ascends to a mountain top. This testing is alchemically called the work of distillation and transformation. The candidate is now described as the Salt that has become like crystal. The Air test deals with Temptation and the Earth test with Liberation.

   An old alchemical maxim states that the cost of making gold is thirty dollars. Christ Jesus, the perfect type pattern of alchemical gold without alloy, was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.

   The Water Initiation (control of emotions) confers the power of elongation, i.e., extending the psychic body and mind so that space is annihilated. The Fire Initiation (transmutation of desire) bestows control of the body functions, including those of the internal organs; the Air Initiation, the power of becoming invisible at will (out of the body); the Earth Initiation, ability to change the course of nature, and, by the act of willing, to place oneself anywhere within either the Earth or the invisible. Passing beyond limitations of the three-dimensional world, "the conquered Dragon has become the Double Mercury," namely, the Rebis or "Two-Thing" of Pike's thirty-second Degree. An old Masonic formula reads thus: "Make of man and woman a circle, then a square, then a triangle, then a circle — and you have the Philosopher's Stone."

Woman and Freemasonry

   In the light of the foregoing, the place of woman in the Lodge as related both to the past and future is illuminating.

   France is the country which claims the distinction of having opened the doors of Masonry to woman.

   The origin of Adoptive or Co-masonry is generally attributed to the seventeenth century, and its author the sister of King Louis XIII of France, who was also the wife of Charles I of England. After the death of Charles she was proclaimed protectress of the "children of the widow."

   The Rite of Adoptive Masonry consisted of four deeply symbolic Degrees. First, Apprentice, which consisted of preparatory work for Initiation; second, Companion, which dealt with the Temptation in Eden, and the "fall" of Eve; third, the Tower of Babel, the present chaotic world condition brought about by the inequality existing between man and woman.

   Jacob's Ladder symbolizes the Path of Initiation, or lifting of the feminine column, for no ladder is possible without two columns, mutually joined in support. The fourth degree symbolizes Moses and Aaron, the passage of the Red Sea and discovery of the Promised Land. This final Degree represents the completion of the Great Work, established in Polarity and consummated in the Union of the Mystic Marriage.

   In March 1775, under the Constitution of the Grand Orient of France, was founded the Lodge of Camdour. This Lodge, at the Spring Equinox of that year, gave a "Feted Adoption" which was attended by one thousand of France's representative members of society. The installation of the Duchess of Bourbon as Grand Mistress of the Lodge preceded this brilliant social function.

   The Adoptive Lodge in France in 1750 was presided over by the Abbe Bertaho as Grand Master and the brilliant and lovely Princess de Lambelle, the closest personal friend of Marie Antoinette, as Grand Mistress.

   These Lodges were broken by the Revolution but were re-established under Napoleon's protection and again came into great power and prestige. In 1805 the Empress Josephine was installed with imposing ceremonials as Grand Mistress of the Lodge Imperial d' Adoption at Strasbourg.

   In 1781 was founded the Illuminati Lodge in Paris which was based upon the ancient Memphis Rites. The Lodge of Isis was its feminine branch and numbered among its members the most illustrious women of France. The Third or Mastership Degree was one of great pomp and grandeur, and the Initiates of this Rite were presumed to possess the power to commune at will with celestial beings.

   Count St. Germain, Mesmer and Cagliostro were among the celebrated members of the Illuminati Lodge.

   With the fall of Napoleon, the feminine Masonic work in France was gradually dispersed. The work was then carried into Egypt where for a time in Cairo and Alexandria feminine Lodge members numbered about three hundred.

   The issue of March 13, 1875, of the English Freemason states that in one of the Lodges in the West of England a woman Tyler officiated.

   The manuscript Constitutions of Freemasons, bearing the date of 1693, contains numerous references to the "Dame" as well as to the "Master", noted in the following excerpt: "One of the elders taking the Book, be or she that is to be made a Mason shall lay their hands thereon."

   The fundamental truths upon which Masonry is established are coeval with the beginning of creation, and no ego who has earned the right to an understanding of them can be debarred by reason of sex in the body. The Masonic candidate is admonished that certain teachings can never be passed on by word of mouth, but must be earned through individual labor.

   The esotericist knows that the Akashic Scrolls are open to those who possess the ability to decipher them. The Book of Books which is the textbook of true spiritual Masonry reveals its mystic interpretation to aspirants who seek to live the life; and those records show that the cycle of evolutionary development has reached the turning point at which the feminine shall be no longer "slain." The new world must be built upon precepts of equality, fellowship and cooperation.

   In the new glory day which lies so immediately upon the grey horizons of our present stormy era, man and woman together, hand in hand, shall pass triumphant between the two equalized upright columns in a dedication of cooperative endeavor and of unified service. Already farsighted and liberal minded members of the Craft are predicting the coming of this day. And with its arrival, we may also look for a renaissance of the true spirit of the Church as esoteric Christianity, in which creed and dogma have been relegated to the superstitions of the past along with "the thumb screw and the stake for the glory of the Lord."

   During the five or six hundred years still intervening between the Piscean and Aquarian Age, humanity will recapitulate past cycles of spiritual evolution. We shall again go forth in quest of the Fountain of Eternal Youth, a Ponce de Leon of the spiritual life; but unlike this seeker we shall attain and drink of the Elixir Vitae. We shall speak the Word of Life which is the Lost Word of the Masons. Upon the Cross of the Body Mystical we shall behold, and be blessed in beholding, the full-blown white Rose of the Rose Croix Degree which grows by the Sacred Well guarded by the holy White Eagle.

   Says Albert Pike, writing for the Degree of the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret: "And as in each Triangle of Perfection one is three, three are one, so man is one, though of a dual nature; and he attains the purposes of his being only when the two natures that are within him are in just equilibrium; and his life is a success only when it too is a harmony and beautiful, like the great harmonies of God and the universe. Such, my Brother, is the True Word of a Master Mason, such the true Royal Secret which makes possible, and at length shall make real, the Holy Empire of true Masonic Brotherhood."

 — Corinne Heline


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