The best and most commonly used description of what Freemasonry is, is that it is “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. The reason that this is the most popular descriptions, is because it is the most accurate description that can be given for it. What does this mean, exactly? There is no simple way to describe the degree system that the initiate goes through as part of the Masonic system. The reason for this is that the experience is meant to be trans-formative for the individual and no one person will find the same path to illumination. Freemasonry holds the keys in it’s ritual, but it is up to the individual to truly find the “light”. In the following lecture, distinguished Brother W. Kirk MacNulty discusses the philosophy in Masonic symbolism and it’s connection to other philosophical systems, such as Hermeticism and Neo-Platonism.
The legend surrounding the Emerald Tablet is that it is a tablet that was made/created by Hermes thousands and thousands of years ago and were said to be made of a crystalline substance that was indestructible . It is said to have existed before the great deluge and is also said to have contained the keys to the great Alchemical tradition. It was kept protected in the Pillars of Hermes or some say the Pillars of Enoch which also contained sacred items and manuscripts. These ancient teachings were stored in these pillars to protect them against disaster and were said to survive the great flood because of this. These same pillars can be found throughout the ages in various traditions. The pillars of Freemasonry (the pillars on Solomon’s Temple), the pillars on the High Priestess tarot card, and the pillars on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, to name a few. The contents of the tablet and other sacred manuscripts made their way into various esoteric and mystical writings throughout the ages and have been kept alive by various mystery traditions to this very day. In the linked article, the author delves into the contents and history of the Emerald Tablet. Hope you enjoy!
The second Western Mystery Tradition that will be presented is the Kabbalah. The basic structure of the tradition centers around The Tree of Life. The tree consists of ten emanations or Sefirot. These Sefirot correspond with aspects of the self, the Chakras, and consciousness. Within it’s esoteric teachings are explanations of the great mysteries of the universe. It has it’s roots in Judaism, but is not a religion. Hopefully this video will help shine light on this mysterious tradition.