Mentioned briefly in comparison to the white-lambskin apron of the Craft Lodge, the symbol of the double-headed eagle is perhaps one of the most ancient emblems in Scottish Rite, having been represented for thousands of years in many of the worlds cultures. What is the significance of this symbol such that it has found its way into the mythology and symbolism of so many cultures over time?
As a symbol, the image embodies many layers of meaning, each of which are significant. The eagle itself has always represented such ideas as nobility and just rulership. The large wings are protective, while the razor sharp talons inflict punishment to evil. The noble white head indicates just and aristocratic ruler. Strength, courage, foresight and immorality have all been associated with this image. What, however, of the double headed eagle?
Something in this image speaks to humanity at a primal, archetypal level. In order to understand this symbol we will necessarily have to venture into the recesses of the secret chambers of our hearts, the true sanctum sanctorum or secret shrine of the Divine.
Recovered from the remains of the Babylonian city of Lagash they record the foundation of the city by Gudea. King Gudea had a dream in which a divine man came to him; a man whose stature was immense, with his feet firmly on the earth and his head reaching to the heavens, and upon his head was the corona of a god surmounted by the Storm Bird that extended it wings across all of Lagash. Associated with Ningersu is an eagle called Imgig, usually depicted lion-headed.
There are a few extant examples of Imgig depicted as a double headed eagle. The oldest known example is a clay cylinder from a priest of the Sun god Ningersu which depicts a Priestess presenting a nude neophyte before an altar to the goddess Bau.
Raised behind the goddess is an inscription supported by the heads of the double headed eagle. To date, this is the oldest known representation of the double-headed eagle. In ancient Mesopotamia among the ruins of the Hittites, dating from around the sixth millennium B. The Hittite empire went through three general phases, at its greatest point stretching from Mesopotamia to all of Palestine and Syria. A conquering empire, they had successfully taken over Sumerian remnants of Babylonian civilization, and in doing so had adopted many of the cultural, political and religions ideas of the conquered peoples.
The civilization fell first to the invasions in B. Excavations at the former capital have unearthed cylindrical clay seals with a double-headed eagle with outspread wings upon it which appear to have been used as a type of currency. Similar images have been found in Alaca Huyuk and Yzailikaya, dating from and B. Similarly, in the city of Cappadocia there are several ruins which contain the image of the double-headed eagle, almost invariably at the entrance to gates, surrounding a sanctuary, or at the doorway to a palace.
In the ruins of the city of Boghaz Keui is the temple of Iasily Kaya with a sculpture depicting a royal and divine procession. The significance of the double headed eagle is unknown. But that there was a local worship associated with the eagle is indicated by the discovery at Boghaz Keui of a sculptured head of this bird in black stone, larger than natural size. Alluded to in the 29th psalm as a Lord of thunder and lightning, powerful and majestic, whose voice shakes the deserts of Kadesh, the god was no doubt inherited from the Hittites and their storm god represented by a double headed eagle.
Long before the unification of the two kingdoms of Egypt by King Narmer, before the Pyramids of the Giza plateau had even been dreamt of let alone built, the pre-dynastic culture of the Nile were worshippers of a earth mother type of goddess.
While little is known of this period, it is remarkable that stone representations of a two-headed bird were frequent, with many tombs having been discovered containing these relics which were built thousands of years before our common era. The last dynasty to rule the Byzantine Empire was led by Palaiologos.
Rising to power after the close of the Fourth Crusade, in AD he recaptured Constantinople, attempting to unite the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church, and adopting the double-headed eagle as his emblem. After the fall of Byzantium the double-headed eagle found its way into the imperial ensigns of many eastern European nations.
The symbol was also used as the coat of arms for many of the primary crusaders in their journeys to protect the Holy Land, most likely having been acquired in their journeys in the eastern Turkish empires.
The Order of the Royal Secret was considered the ne plus ultra of Masonry at the time. The emblem of the Council was the double-headed eagle. We see echoes of this inheritance in our rituals of the 17th degree, Knight of the East and West, and in our 30th degree of Knight Kadosh.
Many authorities feel that the pre-cursor body, the Council of the Emperors of the East and West, were given explicit permission to use the emblem from King Frederick of Prussia. As such it represented the effort of unification of the fractured Holy Roman Empire. These are just a few references to the historical usage of this icon.
The emblem of the double-headed eagle has made a significant appearance throughout time and across cultures, awakening within man a remembrance of his nobility, aristocracy and remembrance of his divine nature. We find some indication by looking to the Scottish Rite itself, and in particular the writings of Albert Pike. He held that the Scottish Rite was the supreme sanctuary of Masonry, containing a synthesis of all the wisdom of the ancients, and a complete system of initiation for spiritual enlightenment.
Encoded within the degrees of the order are doctrines of the western mysteries from the kabala, hermeticism, philosophical schools and Rosicrucian traditions. Much of the work of revising the rite from the old French rituals was a result of Pikes learning in these areas of study, and his work on the ritual committee to revise the rituals was, in his own words, motivated by a desire to spiritualize the work. In a letter to the Masonic historian Robert Gould from , Pike writes that he has spent considerable time collecting the old Hermetic and alchemical works in order to ascertain their relationship to Masonic symbols.
To these men we owe, I believe, the Master's degree. As a science and art, alchemy was practiced throughout the ancient world. The alchemists thrived in the middle ages predominantly in Europe and Arabia. The most acclaimed goals were the transmutation of base metals into gold, the creation of the elixir of life which would prevent and cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely, and the discovery of a universal solvent.
The Stone has many titles and attributes. In some texts it was said to be composed all of fire; in others, of a special water of the stars that does not wet.
It was said to be composed of a common matter that was often overlooked or outright rejected, thought useless by the ignorant and discarded. Alchemical work was called the spagyric art, and was under the aegis of Hermes Trismegistus or Thrice Greatest. The texts are structured as several dialogues between Hermes and his disciple, covering a wide range of philosophical and spiritual subjects.
The text contains traces of Gnostic and Egyptian thought, with the ultimate subject being the regeneration and spiritual illumination of man. In one of the most famous passages from the Corpus Hermeticum, Poemandres explains the constitution and spiritual regeneration of humanity: So he who hath the whole authority o'er the mortals in the cosmos and o'er its lives irrational, bent his face downwards through the Harmony, breaking right through its strength, and showed to downward Nature God's fair form.
And when she saw that Form of beauty which can never satiate, and him who Rulers as well as God's own Form, she smiled with love; for 'twas as though she'd seen the image of Man's fairest form upon her Water, his shadow on her Earth. He in turn beholding the form like to himself, existing in her, in her Water, loved it and willed to live in it; and with the will came act, and he vivified the form devoid of reason.
And Nature took the object of her love and wound herself completely around him, and they were intermingled, for they were lovers. And this is why beyond all creatures on the earth man is twofold; mortal because of body, but because of the essential man immortal. Ye powers that are within me, hymn the One and All; sing with my Will, Powers all that are within me! O blessed Gnosis, by thee illumined, hymning through thee the Light that mind alone can see, I joy in Joy of Mind.
Sing with me praises, all ye Powers! Sing praise, my Self-control; sing thou through me, my Righteousness, the praises of the Righteous; sing thou, my Sharing-all,the praises of the All; through me sing, Truth, Truth's praises!
Sing thou, O Good, the Good! O Life and Light, from us to you our praises flow! Thy Logos sings through me Thy praises. Take back through me the All into Thy Reason — my reasonable oblation!
Thus cry the Powers in me. Receive from all their reasonable oblation. With possible roots in Arabic alchemical writings, the Emerald Tablet outlines the entire doctrine of the Alchemical work in a few short lines which purported to describe the work of the Philosophers Stone, also known as the Operation of the Sun. Found among the alchemical notes of Isaac Newton is a translation of the tablet: That which is below is like that which is above that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, 5. The wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nurse. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth. Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry. So was the world created. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
Alchemists and Hermeticists of the middle ages wrote countless studies of the Philosophers Stone and its attributes. In the Golden Tract by an anonymous German philosopher, the Stone is described as one, the medicine one, which, however according to the philosophers, is called Rebis Two-thing , being composed of two things, namely, a body and a spirit red or white Rebis is two things, and these two things are one thing the nature of sulphur and mercury above ground, while underground they become gold and silver.
The philosophers have given sulfur, or fire, the name gold not for nothing, because it is truly gold both in essence and in substance, but much more perfect than common gold. The alchemists held that the Philosophers Stone was created by unification of two opposites to create a third, perfected thing. In this was God and Man mingled, and the powers of creation would open up to the perfected adept who had cultivated the philosophical stone. By the application of an intense heat, or fire, the separated elements would be combined into philosophical gold.
The sage Paracelsus wrote: First, and chiefly, the principal subject of this Art is fire, which always exists in one and the same property and mode of operation, nor can it receive its life from anything else. It possess a state and power common to all fires which lie hid in secret, of vivifying.
The fire in the furnace may be compared to the sun. It heats the furnace and the vessels, just as the sun heats the vast universe. For as nothing can be produced in the world without the sun, so also in this Art nothing can be produced without this simple fire. No operation can be completed without it. It is the Great Arcanum of Art, embracing all things which are comprised therein . It abides by itself, and needs nothing; but all others which stand in need of this can get fruition of it and have life from it.
Know, then, that the ultimate and also the primal matter of everything is fire.
Mentioned briefly in comparison to the white-lambskin apron of the Craft Lodge, the symbol of the double-headed eagle is perhaps one of the most ancient emblems in Scottish Rite, having been represented for thousands of years in many of the worlds cultures.
- Product Specification
- 28 Nov What are your experiences with the Band Select feature.? November 28, PM in Nebula AP. What are your experiences with the.. Watch...
- Blended From Around The Web
- BØRNS on Vevo - Official Music Videos, Live Performances, Interviews and more .. Watch...
- No Comments
- 29 Jul The One Lyrics: When you come around I don't really know what to say / My mind is racing with thoughts that I can't erase / Like if we've had a.. Watch...
I regret, that, I can help nothing, but it is assured, that to you will help to find the correct decision.
You are mistaken. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.
It not absolutely that is necessary for me.
You are not right. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM.