The Philosopher’s Stone-The Key to all of the Mysteries?

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What is the Philosopher’s Stone? Is it a real object? Is it just a concept?

The exact historical date of the origin of the Philosopher’s Stone is not known. However, it is thought to date back as far as ancient Egypt. It is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament and is a key ingredient to many of the Western Mystery Traditions.

Despite what we do know about it, it still remains one of the great mysteries of all time. It is thought to be a white, powdery, flaky substance, similar to silica in texture and to have magical powers and properties. It is believed to be the key to turning base-metals into gold as referred to in the tradition of alchemy. It is also thought to have healing and even anti-gravitational properties! What it truly is, is still up to interpretation and conjecture, and may very-well remain that way for eternity.

It is referred to in the Bible as “manna“,”bread” or the “white stone”, and is one of the objects said to have been carried within the Ark of the Covenant. It is the food that was given to the Israelites by God during their travels and gave them the strength to endure. It may also be the substance that the Golden Calf that Moses burnt turned into. There are mentions of manna in Exodus, and Numbers from the Old Testament. The Philosopher’s Stone may also be what is referred to as “the stone the builders rejected” found in several of the Canonical Gospels (See Parable of Matthew for example), for it is said to look like a white powder and could easily be mistaken for rubbish by the unknowing.

The search for the Philosopher’s Stone is referred to as “The Great Work”. It is not only a physical substance, but a metaphorical idea as well. Like the tradition of Freemasonry, Alchemy teaches a system of self-improvement through a process. This process is as important as the end result in that works in a linear progression. The individual, or substance being transmuted goes through important changes through the entire process and arrives at perfection at the completion. In Freemasonry, this process is exemplified by two stones. The Rough Ashlar and the Perfect Ashlar. It is explained that the Rough Ashlar is a stone in it’s rudimentary state, before any work has been done on it. The Perfect Ashlar is the perfected stone, ready for use in the building process. It has been perfected by the workman’s tools, or through a process of learning. Just as the symbolic Philosopher’s Stone is said to be made in the Alchemical tradition.

The fact that the Stone finds it’s way into so many mystical traditions is really quite intriguing. In “The Shadow of Solomon” by Laurence Gardner, he discusses some of the Philosopher’s Stones mythological powers. He believes that the Philosopher’s Stone is what is known to modern science as “orbitally rearranged monatomic elements“. This would explain some of the magical properties that it was said to have had. In “The Shadow of Solomon” It is stated that the amount of gold used in the construction of the Ark of the Covenant would weigh so much (2,714 lbs) that it would have been physically impossible for several men to carry it. His hypothesis (p.378-379 of The Shadow of Solomon) is that the gold used in the construction of the Ark may have been used as a superconductor and created an electrical field around itself (a Meissner field) on which it could essentially levitate and be transported. Of course, the people chosen to be the care-takers, and transporters of the Ark, were the Levites (where the word levitate originated). There are some clues throughout the Bible about the electrical properties of the Ark. It is said to have emitted bolts of lightning and sparks. Perhaps the Manna held within the Ark, reacted in some way with the gold of the Ark, or was used in the gold-making process for the lid, and gave the Ark it’s special powers!

The search for the Philosopher’s Stone is the true goal of the Western Mystery traditions both physically and allegorically. As we strive toward personal perfection of morality, we too are becoming elevated. Just like the Philosopher’s Stone was thought to be able to heal and transform, so can we transform our consciousness as we go through life. Just as the Philosopher’s Stone was though to be able to aid levitation, so can we rise up above the mundane and the animal passions of this world through our own “Great Work”. This is the real key to enlightenment. The ancient cultures knew this and were constantly moving toward it. We must now do the same if we hope to get ourselves out of the predicament that we are in. We too can find the Philosopher’s Stone. It is within everyone of us!

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The Magical Side of Religion and Masonry

solomon102Something that most people don’t know about Freemasonry, including many Masons, is that the tradition of Masonry has roots in magical practice. The Masonic rituals themselves are ceremonial magic rituals where specific props, floor movements, and symbols are used to create a powerful environment. These rituals are used to impress truths upon the minds of the initiates and change their way of looking at life.

Magic; as defined by the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, is “the Science and Art of causing Change in conformity with Will.”

Many early religions have roots in ceremonial magic as well, despite what any fundamentalist might say. The Catholic Church, for example, uses ritualism in conveying the power of Christ. The Holy Sacrament is a ritual in which the participants are told that they are being given the blood and flesh of Christ to take into themselves. The participants are given crackers and wine, or juice as a substitute substance for flesh and blood, but are told to visualize them as the real thing. This imposition of the will placed upon the participants by the priests is meant to act as psychological transmutation of consciousness. This is, for all intents and purposes, magic. As Monotheism took over the spiritual world, magic was gradually phased out of religion, but there are still a few remnants of it left, even today.

Freemasonry has also lost touch with it’s magical side, and has even tried to distance itself with it’s occult roots. However, many of those elements are still present and are used in the lodge system today. Many esoterically-minded Masons out there revel in the magical side of the Craft. One such Mason, is Lon Milo Duquette. Lon Milo Duquette has written on the subject of magic and Masonry in his fabulous book The Key to Solomon’s Key. Lon explains the basics of Solomonic Magic and how Freemasonry fits in. King Solomon and his Temple from the Old Testament is the primary backdrop of the Masonic legend. Solomon was the son of David and God’s chosen one to build the temple in His name. As the legend goes, Solomon made contact with God and asked for wisdom. God was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom rather than wealth or honors and granted him the privilege of building the Holy Temple. According to some mythology, Solomon was also granted with magical knowledge from God Himself. Solomonic Magic involves casting a protective circle on the ground and conjuring spirits into a triangle that is adjacent to the circle. These spirits can be made to do whatever task that the magician wills them to. Though Masonic ritual doesn’t include a protective circle or triangle like Solomonic Magic, it is filled with the Solomonic legends. Many Masonic rituals involve dramatic re-enactments of these legends in which King Solomon is present and portrayed by an officer of the lodge.

Though an attempt has been made to remove the magic from religious ceremony and Masonic ritual, it is still present to this day. This is a treatise to magic’s importance in the transmutation of consciousness. It is my belief that the removal of the magical element of these spiritual practices is yet another attempt at keeping the human race back. Back from fulfilling out true destiny of expanded consciousness. An attempt to keep us from our destiny of communion with the Divine. We must embrace the magical and make it our own today. We must take back our magical birthright; our right to cause Change in accordance with our Will!