Category: Symbolism

Symbolism in art and architecture, secret societies and the occult.

Cremation of Care Ceremony at the Bohemian Grove

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Charles K. Field (1946, 1953) [Ritual still used at the Bohemian Grove]

The Sire

Bohemians, by the power of our fellowship,
Dull care is slain.
Hearken!
High up the hill you may hear Care’s funeral music.

[Tolling of the bell and faint, far strains of the funeral dirge (DENKE). Torches are glimpsed in the distance. Music and light approach.]

The Sire

Behold, the effigy of this, our enemy, is carried hither for our ancient rites.

[Music ceases, drumbeat accompanies the descent of cortege. The cortege passes through the dinning circle and down the main isle as the Band and the effigy of Care proceed down the road to the floor of the Grove. When the torch bearers are leaving the dining circle, followed by the Old Guard.]

The Sire announces

Bohemians, follow to Bohemia’s Shrine!

[The band resumes the funeral dirge ( Denke ). The band turns into the traffic road, where it continues to play; the spectators pass to their seats opposite the shrine, through the two columns of the Torch Bearers who flank the path to Edwards Road. The shrine is bathed in the soft, flickering light from the lamp of fellowship. The radiance of the rising full moon touches the crown of Hamadryad’s tree. 0ffstage chorus of woodland voices. The Hamadryad emerges from the bark. Music by Jan Philip Schirhan and W.J. McCoy]

Lamp of Fellowship

Members of the class of 1912, University of California, Berkeley, California, at Bohemian Grove.
(The Lamp of Fellowship, next to Owl Shrine.)

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Masonic Emblems on Coins and Medallions during the French Revolution

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by Terry Melanson, April 24th, 2012 (Update/Introduction Aug 11, 2015)

The impetus for this compilation of numismatic Masonic symbolism during the French Revolution stems from a single paragraph (and accompanying end notes) in James H. Billington’s Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (pp. 93, 537-8):

In the early days of the revolution, Masonry provided much of the key symbolism and ritual—beginning with the Masonic welcome under a “vault of swords” of the king at the Hotel de Ville three days after the fall of the Bastille.[36] To be sure, most French Masons prior to the revolution had been “not revolutionaries, not even reformers, nor even discontent”;[37] and, even during the revolution, Masonry as such remained politically polymorphous: “Each social element and each political tendency could ‘go masonic’ as it wished.”[38] But Masonry provided a rich and relatively nontraditional foraging ground for new national symbols (coins, songs, banners, seals), new forms of address (tu, frère, vivat!), and new models for civic organizations, particularly outside Paris.[39]

[…]

36. On the use of the voûte d’acier on Jul 17, see J. Palou, La Franc-maçonnerie, 1972, 187.
37. D. Mornet, Les Origines intellectuelles de la révolution française (1715–1787), 1954, 375; discussion 357–87; bibliography, 523–5; and outside of France, Billington, Icon, 712–4. A. Mellor, Les Mythes maçonniques, (1974) also minimizes Masonic influence, though vaguely acknowledging the influence of the occultist revival on the revolutionary movement.
38. Ligou, “Source,” 46, also 49.
39. This subject has never been comprehensively studied. For the best discussions in general terms, see O. Karmin, “L’Influence du symbolisme maçonnique sur le symbolisme révolutionnaire,”Revue Historique de la Révolution Française, 1910, I, 183–8 (particularly on numismatics); J. Brengues, “La Franc-maçonnerie et la fête révolutionnaire,” Humanisme, 1974, Jul–Aug, 31– 7; Palou, 181–215; R. Cotte, “De la Musique des loges maçonniques à celles des fêtes révolutionnaires,” Les Fêtes de la révolution, 1977, 565–74; and the more qualified assessment of Ligou, “Structures et symbolisme maçonniques sous la révolution,” Annales Historiques, 1969, Jul Sep, 511–23. 
For the heavy reliance on Masonic structures in provincial civic rituals, see, for instance, F. Vermale, “La Franc maçonnerie savoisienne au début de la révolution et les dames de Bellegarde,” Annales Révolutionnaires, III, 1910, 375–94; and especially the monumental work for la Sarthe which lifts the level of research far above anything done for Paris: A. Bouton, Les Franc-maçons manceaux et la révolution française, 1741–1815, Le Mans, 1958. See also his successor volume Les Luttes ordentes des francs-maçons manceaux pour l’établissement de la république 1815–1914, Le Mans, 1966.

The Karmin article is the main source for what follows.

His methodology is simple: he mined a standard numismatic reference work and highlighted the examples of Masonic influence—minus illustrations, hence the need for my own treatment. The evidence is clear and seems deliberate, although one isn’t quite sure whether the artists involved were actually Masons themselves.

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Enter The House Of The Temple

The young tour guide tells the camera man those snakes near the pillars represent “chaos.” Poppycock. The meaning of the serpent in Masonry is the same as other occult initiatory sects, namely the keeper of wisdom or the mysteries themselves.

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Oprah Winfrey, New Thought, “The Secret” and the “New Alchemy”

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by Terry Melanson ©, Apr. 11, 2007

Though the demonism of the Middle Ages seems to have disappeared, there is abundant evidence that in many forms of modern thought – especially the so-called “prosperity” psychology, “willpower-building” metaphysics, and systems of “high-pressure” salesmanship – black magic has merely passed through a metamorphosis, and although its name be changed its nature remains the same.

– Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages, pp. 101-2

Screenshots from the movie, The SecretThe foregoing quote reads like an excerpt from a review of the movie, The Secret. This is not the case, however. Manly P. Hall wrote those words in the late 1920s when New Thought metaphysics was in full swing, and the original self-help gurus combined the burgeoning science of applied psychology with that of Bernays-like manipulative advertising. An eager public was caught unaware and would consume mass market “willpower-building” manuals, by the millions. Each successive generation has had its own purveyors, and the Oprah-inspired phenomenon that is The Secret, as we shall see, stems from the same fount.

Self-Help Popular Religion and the New Thought Movement

Pray! In other words, get an urgent, insistent desire. The first principle of success is DESIRE – knowing what you want. Desire is the planting of your seed.

– Robert Collier (1885-1950), The God in You, p. 7

There is no limit, you know, to Mind. Visualize this thing that you want. See it, feel it, BELIEVE in it. Make your mental blue-print, and begin to build!

– Robert Collier, The Law of Higher Potential, p. 368 (1947)

The creative power of thought is now receiving increasing acceptance in the West, which is in some cases taking over, and in others, discovering anew, for itself, what was thought by the ancients in India. Because they have discovered it anew, they call it “New Thought”; but its fundamental principle is as old as the Upanishads which said, “what you think that you become”. All recognize this principle in the limited form that a man who thinks good becomes good, and he who is ever harboring bad thought becomes bad. But the Indian and “New Thought” doctrine is more profound than this. In Vedantic India, thought has been ever held creative. The world is a creation of the thought (Cit Shakti associated with Maya Shakti) of the Lord (Ishvara and Ishvari). Her and His thought is the aggregate, with almighty powers of all thought. But each man is Shiva and can attain His powers to the degree of his ability to consciously realize himself as such. Thought now works in man’s small magic just as it first worked in the grand magical display of the World-Creator. Each man is in various degrees a creator. Thought is as real as any form of gross matter.

– Arthur Avalon, “Shakti as Mantra,” Shakti and Shâkta, 1918

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The New Age Magazine and Occult Explanations of the Great Seal

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by Terry Melanson ©, Dec. 3rd, 2005

New Age Magazine, February 1971I‘ve recently acquired sixty issues of The New Age Magazine, spanning the years 1968-73. The New Age Magazine was “the official organ of the Supreme Council 33°, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction.” The magazine was inaugurated in 1904 and still continues today. In 1990, however, the title of the publication was changed to the Scottish Rite Journal—probably in an effort to distance themselves from being identified with the New Age Movement. In any case, the original name for the magazine alludes to those same esoteric yearnings of the socialist utopians and occult theosophists at the turn of the 20th century. They believed that the world was on the cusp of a New Age of enlightenment. The Age of Aquarius was about to begin; occultists had generally agreed that a shift in consciousness was imminent, and the transformation of society—based upon a masonic ideal—would soon be realized. It is thus appropriate that Grand Commander George Moore, in 1904, named the magazine after the “rite of perfection” conferred on those who partake in the ritual of the 18th degree, the Rose Croix. Candidates who pass through this degree symbolically ascend the mystic ladder from darkness to glory and perfection. The Rose Croix degree, in turn, refers to the 17th Century mystic secret society of adepts, the Rosicrucians, who themselves called for a new age. They practiced the transformation of self through an amalgam of rituals involving hermeticism, gnosticism, alchemy and the kabbalah.

The February 1971 edition of The New Age Magazine has an article about the Great Seal of America, pp. 51-5. Simply titled “The Great Seal of the United States,” Elmer W. Claypool, 32°, gives his own opinion of the symbolic meaning of the seal and then quotes from a 33rd degree mason who elucidates a more esoteric viewpoint. I will include the whole piece and make a few comments afterwards (illustrations are mine):

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The Semiotic Deception of September 11th

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by Phillip D. Collins ©, Dec. 31st, 2004

Replete with esoteric symbols, conspiracy research certainly warrants semiotic examination. Although fraught with historical flaws and theological distortions, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown acknowledges the value of semiotics in studying the conspiratorial world. In fact, the novel’s central character is a semiotician specializing in symbology. Evidently, Brown recognized the potential of semiotics in analyzing the coded messages of cabals occupying history’s darker corners. September 11th is one such corner that is worth semiotic analysis.

Numerous researchers like Michael Ruppert and Dennis Cuddy have done an excellent job compiling the evidence of government complicity in 9-11. Recapitulating their arguments is not the purpose of this article. However, it is this researcher’s contention that there is a supranational power elite positioned above the political machinations of national governments. It was this supranational elite that created Bin Laden and, through strategically placed surrogates, de-activated portions of American’s national security apparatus that could have prevented 9-11. Commenting on this supranational elite, Professor Keller explains: “Like a secret society, those at the top rarely reveal the inner workings of their worlds” (3).

Semiotics could provide the Rosetta Stone to deciphering the esoteric language of the elite, particularly the subtle messages that they embedded within the events of 9-11. This article shall semiotically dismantle the early media reports that NBC broadcasted on September 11, 2001. It is this author’s contention that these early reports, working intertextually with sci-fi films of previous years, helped the power elite to impose a politically expedient narrative paradigm upon 9-11.

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Bohemian Grove: Molochs, Moles and Rituals

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By Terry Melanson (2012/08/05)

Anyone the least familiar with the Bohemian Grove has come across the claim that the 40-foot stone owl is a reference to Moloch, associated with child sacrifice in the Bible and rabbinic tradition. The owl, however – to the Bohemian club, as well – has traditionally symbolized wisdom. While there’s no ancient description of what a Moloch idol actually looked like, relatively modern representations have invariably depicted a bull-headed statue. Throughout history, in fact, not once was Moloch ever associated with an owl – until, that is, the age of the internet.

Classic Moloch illustration from the early 1700s (Johann Lund: Die alten jüdischen Heiligthümer ...)

Classic Moloch illustration from the early 1700s (Johann Lund: Die alten jüdischen Heiligthümer …)

I’d initially surmised that Alex Jones was the first person to put the Moloch spin on the owl. In 2000, as we know, he snuck into the Grove, videotaped the Cremation of Care ritual, and became an internet superstar – and rightly so. Numerous times in his film, Alex matter-of-factly states that the Bohemian owl represents Moloch.

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