Hunt of the Unicorn
as we suppose, The Cloisters has been conceived as a masonic pantheon to collect
and exhibit works of art hiding esoteric symbols that Freemasonry
has incorporated into its own symbolism, a question may arise :
The Hunt of the Unicorn has been selected and bought a very great price
(about $ 10 million) by John D. Rockefeller Junior in 1922 to the French family
of La Rochefoucauld ?
Provided by our research and study of tapestries, we think it probably will not
take long for the informed view of a Freemason (French or U.S.) to recognize in
The Hunt of the Unicorn (and certainly in The Lady and the Unicorn)
many of the symbols, even hidden, of Freemasonry. Masonic symbolism has drawn
copiously in Christian symbolism, which itself was watered to much older traditions,
such as ancient mysteries and all other beliefs, religions and mythologies.
masonic symbols were originally those of the builders of temples, churches and
Freemasonry, especially what is called " high grade " offer some sort
of synthesis of a culture of initiation that includes many archetypes, thus forging
a Western tradition that has become the the conservatory of disappeared traditions.
" Irène Mainguy (2005) p. 28
- - - - - - - - -
us do the inventory of that symbolism common to Freemasonry and The Hunt for
the Unicorn. Three books by Irene Mainguy will be of an invaluable
contribution. We thank her warmly, and the publishing house Dervy.
Symbolic degrees of perfection and order of wisdom or The deep control : the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish and French Rites [Symbolique des grades de
perfection et des ordres de sagesse ou La maîtrise approfondie : aux rites
écossais ancien et accepté et français, éditions
The Masonic Symbolism of the third millennium [La symbolique maçonnique
du troisième millénaire : rite écossais ancien et accepté
et rite français, de 3 à 7 ans, éditions Dervy, 2006]
The symbolism of the chapters in Freemasonry, Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite and French Rite : the freedom of passage to the flight of the phoenix [De
la symbolique des chapitres en franc-maçonnerie, rite écossais ancien
et accepté et rite français : de la liberté de passage à
l'envol du phénix, éditions Dervy, 2005]
The various tables recapitulate all lodges important Masonic symbols.
The rough stone
The first job of the apprentice consists in giving the first three strokes to
side the stone ...
The apprentice mason identifies himself with the rough stone
for he has in common with the rock density and impermeability. The density is
considered as a spiritual factor return to the Unit.
The rough stone evokes
a beginning, devoid of forthcoming. It is characterized by its simplicity without
own dynamism. Dense, it is formless, but if it is not rejected, is that its quality
allows it to be trimmed and thus give rise to a masterpiece ...
The stone has appeared to men as a symbol of the sacred, as it is reflected something
of the great organizing powers of the cosmos. Often the stone locates divine presence
The stone is a symbol
of the building and thus the sedentarisation." Irène Mainguy (2006)
The cubic stone
it is the unshakable foundation of any building, like that of any earthly power
it is the earthly foundation or underground stone in the foundations of the building
: it provides stability
stone of perfection ", cut and polished perfectly: foundation stone buried
or keystone, which allows the elevation of the church, cathedral, temple.
rough stone can represent the original "chaos", "raw material undifferentiated",
the "materia prima" ; the cubic trimmed stone , instead, represents
the completion or perfection of the work.
The cubic stone-tipped
The "cubic stone tip" of the Freemasons (representation of the septenary
composed with the upper ternary and lower quaternary) is
in a hermetic figure of " the Philosophical Stone ", a volume in three
dimensions, a quadrangular pyramid on a cube.
has 9 faces : it combines the perfection of the cube and the high balance of the
It is the symbol that connects
the Square to the Compass and prepares the initiate for the transition to higher
states of being.
Master Mason finds the cubic stone tip in the ninth arch which includes all the
knowledge acquired previously. This figure combines together the perfection of
the cube and the balancedelevation of the pyramid of square base.
We can consider that the cubic stone tip appears almost like the image of balance
and stability than any Master Mason must develop in his life until his individual
consciousness extends and rises to the areas of the Spirit. Irène Mainguy
(2003) p. 481
stone recalls the start of the work of the apprentice, the second simple cubic
stone is the point of completion of the companion. The cubic stone tip is the
masterpiece ideal companion finished.
The pyramid is firmly attached to the ground by its square base, rising like a
mountain to heaven, therefore it is considered among the Egyptians as the sacred
The center of the square base fixes the sacred place, the axes that
cross in the middle mark the directions of space and time, while the vertical
axis that rises to the top of the pyramid gives the sense of the ascent to the
top of the mountain which should try to access an insider, and that can be understood
as access to pure spirituality. "Irène Mainguy (2006) pp. 292-293
humanae salvationis - Lapis in caput anguli
clm. 146, fol. 35 -
Staatbibliothek - Munich
figuration of the cornerstone in the form of a diamond
German word "Eckstein" has precisely both the meaning of "cornerstone"
and the "diamond".
or metal that was considered the hardest and most brilliant was taken in different
traditions, as "a symbol of indestructibility, invulnerability, stability,
light and immortality," and these qualities are often attributed to the diamond.
the Bible, God gives three times exact dimensions for the construction :
Tabernacle of Moses (Exodus, 25-27 et 35-40)
Temple of Salomon (First Book of Kings, 6-8)
Ark of Noah (Genesis, 6-9)
tools required are to "discover" particularly in the tapestry 2.
- - - - - - - - -
The tool is an extension of the hand, the link between mind and matter whose hand
is the executing agency. The tool allows the hand to improve and adjust the action,
to realize that it does not do so without damage to itself : arranging and mastering
the material. We will see later how does the conversion or the transfer of use
of the tool in a symbolic level for the working on ourself. "
"should be considered symbolically by Masons from the perspective of universal
building as cosmogonic forces related to the idea of effective action.
tool provides an energy in action, releasing a controlled force that obeys the
laws of nature.
outil met à la disposition du maçon une force naturelle applicable
à un usage pratique. Chacun d'eux est important et interpelle : - A quoi
sert-il ? - Quelle force met-il en action ?
tool provides to the masona a natural force applicable to practical use. Each
is important and calls : - What is it used ? - What power does it in action ?
a tool is needed to better understand its use. This done, it will be supposed
to have integrated its constructive nature, the best use of its handling and its
finality in order to work best on throughout the horizontal plane. "Irène
Mainguy (2006), pp. 331-332
- - - - - - - - -
four following tables are extracts from the book of Irène
Mainguy (2006), pp.359-360. They allow a better understanding by avoiding
- FUNCTION OF TOOLS
Plumbline / level
and chisel, ax
- PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATION
OF THE SYMBOLISM OF TOOLS
of the course of action, precision in the measurement, the presence in the instant
Thorough search, upright, balance, control of the vertical, honesty, conformity
with the rule
Happy medium, control of the horizontal and the vertical, search for justice,
fairness and balance
Straightness in action, righteousness, honesty, fairness, stability, precision
and correctness, accuracy
builder, sense of proportions, search for perfection, as our own abilities, logical
of reasoning research and control of the line
Moving force, power, protection, know how to separate and distinguish
in movement, spiritual will, firmness, energy, perseverance and consistency of
power in action
Energy control in action, control force, overcoming adversity, tenacity and determination
in achieving the objective
Kindness to each union of hearts, solidarity, establishment of a bond of brotherhood,
universal alliance in harmony
- ATTRIBUTES DES FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICERS
of the functions
(with eye and sword)
Venerable, Two Supervisors
- ATTRIBUTE OF THE THREE GRADES
of the grades
Chisel and mallet
Square and compasses crossed
It corresponds to the immutable time, to the Grande Universal Rule of the Order.
The rule used wisely leads the Mason to use it to find the measure
in the precision
and correctness of conduct,
the inherent order in all things,
on a daily basis
the presence in the moment,
the attention to everything
the constancy in a freely chosen line of conduct for the edification
of the temple interior. " pp.332-333
The perpendicular invites us to go down with righteousness and rectitude in ourselves,
to make our mind as an empty vessel in which new experiences and knowledge acquired
through the elimination of the overflow of profane knowledge.
tool invites us to research in depth, but also to find a balance and a aplomb
in maintaining all the attitudes of our being. " p.333-336
the level allows us to find the measure of daily life, a balance, to reach the
fairness and the balance, when we get to the perfect union of the vertical and
to overcome obstacles generated by the ego, to access the interior liberation.
because of its ascendancy, it shows us the spiritual duty of raising and caring
compassion for our neighbor." pp.336-338
"The ax represents the moving force because it cracks, breaks, with the power
It teaches the mason
to shape gradually insider trajectory, becoming master of the material on a spiritual
level ; but also an ax can also destroy harmful tendencies.
teaches that guns are also tools, and tools can be used as weapons.
mallet corresponds to the spiritual will which updates and stimulates the knowledge
that underlies the gesture.Tool of power over
matter, mallet symbolizes the energy and the power, and the constancy in work.It
corresponds to the presence of mind, self-control, perseverance and courage.
is also a symbol of power and authority for any master who has a management function
on on a site. " pp.343-346
We can consider that the chisel symbolizes a distinctive knowledge, the ability
to determine our choices by serious motivations, whose base is objectively verifiable.
Symbol of determination, the chisel
is the tool of discernment, virtue essential in any quest subtended by the wish
to make any action by the desire to achieve a work achevée.
of achieving the objective, the chisel marks the trimming points of the rough
stone. " pp.350-351
hook or lever
properly, the lever allows the builder to use his strength based on his knowledge
of the universe, to control his energy in action and effort, and to act consciously
under the law of cause and effect interactions.
lever provides a means to overcome the obstacle, the material, physical or moral
resistance , but it is only possible by knowing how to use a point of support
and having the will to overcome what appears above his forces.
use of the lever is based on the knowledge and the control of the forces in action.
It is illustrated by the tenacity of a strong will, to keep our commitments and
continue the path chosen to completion. " pp.351-352
(corresponding to the lever)
The trowel seals and helps the union and the fusion between the stones : it is
a symbol of unity, it is the tool by which the work is completed and the builder
is in art of wielding the trowel by reconciling necessary and fruitful oppositions
. It is the binder of the harmonious realization of the Beautiful, the Good and
True in the construction of a work of fraternity in search of unity. "
The symbol of the scale recalls the arduous path of the aspirant to knowledge,
his rise from bottom to top is not a continuous movement, but by degrees or in
successive steps, separated by time off. This
symbol of ascension in steps represents the transition from one plan to another,
a spiritual journey with various states of consciousness represented by degrees
or steps ...
levels can recall the seven virtues, or the seven days of creation , or the acquisition
of knowledge by deepening the seven Liberal Arts ..." p.510
Masonic symbols of the board to draw
: - What is the board to draw ?
: - A number of uses.
is used by the Secretary to draw up the record of the Works of the Lodge ;
the Masters, able to compose plans to instruct the Companions Apprentices and
other masters themselves ;
all persons to trace the plan of what they are planning ; is to say, to think
with maturity before carry it out, to do nothing rashly, and that has all the
the person of Brother Mason must be for his brothers and the profane, a line dignified
of a model, and which offers them good examples to follow.
board, tool and decor of the lodge, allows to search symbols.
saw can be used to saw wood or stone.
1. Solomon built his house again, which lasted thirteen years until he was entirely
9. For these constructions,
were employed magnificent stones, carved from measurements, sawn with the saw,
inside and outside, ever since the foundation to the eaves, and outside to the
tradition has made the compass the symbol of the Great Architect.
symbolizes the sense of proportions and of standards, the dynamism, the measurement
of ability, the research and the control of the line."
the grade of apprentice to the grade of master, its general meaning changes :
It is shown to the neophyte as one of the Three Great Lights.
- It is shown
to a companion as the basic tools of his work, as an audit tool.
- It is "the
jewel" of the master of lodge in his function (square with unequal branches
with the proportions 3, 4, 5).
square is the tool that leads to completion any work that is being built on a
building site or in the sanctuary of the heart."
with 13 knots
use measuring chain or rope knots providing the measurements and also the relations
A knotted rope is
present all around the tables of French lodges.
lodge is surrounded halfway up the walls of a knotted rope that starts from one
column to the west to get to the other column through the east, thus determining
a protective enclosure. pp.161-165
knotted rope ("lacs d'amour " ") ended by tufts frequently borders,
and especially limits, the tables of French lodges.
the seal of Solomon to the square and the compass, via the four elements
- - - - - - - -
"Three Great Lights" of Freemasonry :
The compass : the spirit world
The square : the material world
The "Book of the Law"
Bible open to the prologue of St. John "the
for the symbolic, not a religion, but a cosmogenesis.
- - - - - - - -
The compass and square became the Masonic symbols
of perfection and moral rectitude.
trowel and the sword
the Tapestry 2, Jacques the Major " has a "trowel" in his right
hand (his hand has the shape of a triangular trowel) and a "sword" in
his left hand (the spear can be likened to a sword) : is this an allusion to the
Knights who worked with one hand and fighting each other?
15th degree is called Knight of the East or the sword. At the completion
of the lodge, takes place the following dialogue :
D : - How do you work ?
: - The sword in one hand and the trowel in the other. " Irène Mainguy
(2005) p. 163
sword is the weapon of the noble knight in his fight against obscurantism in all
its forms, ready to fight to spread the Light and the most beautiful virtues where
his duty calls him.
The trowel is used to erase imperfections, to round the
corners, to grout the stones together.
The sword and the trowel, symbolically
associated, represent the union of the builder Master Mason and the active Knight
who becomes a Knight Mason, produced of the combination of knowledge of the Royal
Art with the activity of the Chivalry. "
Mainguy (2005) p. 79
the all-seeing eye : The Great Architect
" Ordo ab chao " : " order out of chaos "
currency is put into practice at the grade of apprentice by the sign of Order.
Coming from secular world (chaos), the initiate receives the Light and becomes
To the grade of Master,
the candidate is put to death (chaos) and then he gets up glorious (ordo) beginning
a new cycle of construction, of passage from the square to the compass.
the waters symbolize the chaos, the matrix informed of all potentialities.
touching the water (containing raw material in all forms power) with its horn,
the unicorn (the Logos, the Word) ordered and built the original Chaos, the cosmos
that the round shape of the fountain represents (the Greek word "kosmos"
The fine blue crescent of the moon on the cap of the hunter.
The sun rises
to east, it greets us and it wishes us a good day.
torch of Knowledge, not the torch of fire.
On the enclosure, letters can be read
from left to right
but also from right to left.
Sun, Moon and Planets
to page The Zodiac
The blue collar as the sky
punctuated 8 circles (one incomplete and seven complete) which represent the Earth
and the fundamental septenary , the "Seven Governors" , the two Great
'Luminaries' which are the Sun and the Moon and the wandering 'planets' (shown
with their orbits): Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
- The Book of the Law
presents the Tables of the Law to Aaron and the people
Illustration of the
Book of Deuteronomy- Bible - XIIè s.
BM de Sens - ms. 1, p. 157
- Representation of The Temple
- The ark and the Key of Arc
ark is said :
" Arch secret " if it contains a secret
" Sacred Ark " if it devoted
" Ark Royal " if used
as a symbol of initiation
imprisonment of the first two murderers of Hiram.
is the desire of wanting to conquer knowledge by force and cunning that brings
chaos and confusion" Irène Mainguy (2003) p. 264
tower is shown on the apron of Illustrious Elect of Fifteen, and is closer to
a kind of return to cabinet of thinking.)
Mont Liban - le Mont Héredon - le Mont Gabaon - le Mont des Oliviers -
Death of the king
future is a Freemason, in the cabinet of thinking, finds ritual objects which
proceed of a rigorous symbolism : to know the secular death to access the real
Symbols of physical nature: the pitcher of water and the bread
symbols : the hourglass and the falx
Symbols of an intellectual nature
: the skull and the bones, the testament, the mirror
Light symbols :
the candle and the sentences
Hermetic symbols: salt, sulfur and mercury,
the cock, the
Every nine years, the king of Crete
were to withdraw
in a cave of Mount Ida and to appear before Zeus. After this
retreat, the king appeared again purified and regenerated.
The order of the
initiation rites of a the most ancient initiation rites dating back to ancient
Crete is always scrupulously practiced by Freemasonry.
four successive parts and unchanging initiation can be found :
in the bowels of the earth
Purification by the four elements
The meeting of God
Irène Mainguy (2006) pp.
The 5 swords
the presentation of the Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom of Kilwinning,
"Five swords are embroidered on the front of the altar.
symbolize the five wounds that Christ suffered. "
Mainguy (2005) p. 504
We may wonder about the meaning of sacrifice in Masonry.
The first sacrifice
asked to apprentice is the counting of metal which is a form of poverty that should
bring it to a simple state of being, inseparable from spiritual fulfillment ...
" Can the sacrifice of Hiram which questions each Master Mason
be assimilated to the sacrifice of Jesus ?
This raises the question : has the
sacrifice of each individual the same symbolic value ?
is Hiram ? We can consider he is a mythical character (whose imprecise elements
are borrowed from the Bible) who embodies the perfect being who comes up against
the obscure powers of darkness, vices and passions. His sense of values and integrity
will lead him to sacrifice himself to preserve the ideals that must be saved.
"We can consider
that for the masons of whom are Christian, practicing Rectified Scottish Rite,
Hiram is clearly associated with Christ, according to the ritual of the Scottish
Master of St. Andrew, the other rites suggest the possibility of this option but
do not affirm it as an obvious. "
Mainguy (2005) pp. 253-258
" Perit ut vivat "
Perit ut vivat " is a formula that adapts well about the phoenix and
his resurrection, "it dies that it may live."
Unicorn is the phoenix that dies in the tapestry 6 to relive in the tapestry 7.
is also the pelican who devotes himself to others. Is the presence of white swans
at the base of the castle of the tapestry 6 the representations of these two volatiles
The currency "Perit
ut Vivat" is found in the internal order of Scottish corrected regime
in the rank of novice Squire .
Irène Mainguy (2005) p. 273
" The most humble of all "
the tapestry 6, " the most humble of all " is the unicorn horseback
riding to the city : this event may recall the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on
Q : - Where
have you been received ?
A : - In a chapter, where reigned decency and humility.
: - Who has received you ?
A : - The most humble of all.
Q : - What do you
mean by that ?
A : - In our assemblies, we distinguish ourselves by humility.
The Knight of
the East must make his request on his knees, bareheaded, before the door of
Irène Mainguy (2005) pp. 283 et 444
" The Last Supper or Agape Rose-Cross "
The Last Supper or Agape Rose-Cross" is the third point of the ritual ; it
is an allegory of the union of all people of good will and universal brotherhood.
unites more than the sharing of food. "
should be taken carefully in spite of the name "Supper", to assimilate
the fraternal sharing with the celebration of the Eucharistic Supper, whose "
imitation " would be a blasphemy.
is no christic or divine presence, nor flesh, nor blood, nor of any transubstantiation
in this union that aspires to peace and universal love.
mentioned in a number of rituals, the Last Supper is not particularly christic
; its inspiration has more a Greco-Roman origin taken over by the Judeo-Christianity.
Irène Mainguy (2005) pp. 468-470
In all traditions, the rose has a special place and it is the source of many legends.
rose, symbol of beauty and perfection, is here the development of the highest
realization that can reach the human condition.
in the center of the cross, it connects directly the superior achievement of the
human (the microcosm) with the creation of the universe (the macrocosm).
Rosicrucians, by the two elements of which it consists, thus represents there
integration of being in the center of the human condition and the full expansion
of its individual possibilities from this center. "
The rose is a symbol of knowledge, liberating from suffering. "
Mainguy (2005) p. 332
first vegetal symbol proposed to the apprentice is the fruit of the pomegranate.
The grenade appears in a unitary form, rounded in its bark, which contains a multitude
of grains containing a bright red and transparent pulp. Each pomegranate seed
is separated by a resistant and transparent membrane which forms partitions between
as a symbol can be likened to Freemasonry.
cells can be compared to Masonic lodges, with their own specific character. The
seeds are attached to each other, as welded to each other. Although there are
a multitude of boxes of different sensitivities, they form a whole, a universal
its seeds (or grains) the pomegranate symbolizes life, the infinite possibilities
of life, its capacity for renewal and fertility.
flavor of its red seeds, enclosed in a bitter bark, brings to mind the esoteric
Knowledge ; every initiate can reach this knowledge only after released from all
events in the way of initiation.
red pulp is a symbol of warmth and light, among the Greeks, as in India and Egypt
where the color red meant love sanctifying and regenerating.
pomegranate also symbolizes the apprentice has attained a new birth after having
germinated in the bowels of the cabinet discussion.
can also discern the infinite number of grains a picture of a group of people
all similar in appearance, from knocking at the door one day of the temple, and
all different in research and the expression of Truth. "
Mainguy (2006) pp. 170-171
The Pilgrim seems to follow the "slope" of the stream, from east to
west). A French pilgrim (it is a French tapestry) could move to Jerusalem and
reach the Golden Gate
a western human, the light comes from the east ; for every Christian, the light
comes from the East, Jerusalem, ideal and idealized city . The heavenly Jerusalem
of the Apocalypse is the image of the city solar, city of the Justes.
"orient" comes from the Latin "orior", "I get up",
"West" comes from the Latin "occidere", "lie or kill."
This etymological couple symbolizes life and death.
bridge of the tapestry 3, located downstream of a confluence, shows the existence
of a valley surrounded by hills. Bible mentions
a few : Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3, 2-12 - Jeremiah, 25, 31 - Isaiah, 66, 16),
Valley of Gibeon (Isaiah 28, 21), Death Valley (Psalms 23 , 4).
Mainguy writes : " We can consider that the valley is the seat of consciousness
of the Knight Rose-Croix, ready at any moment to do his duty to sacrifice.
valley is part of nature. The Knights Rose-Croix are not in a temple made of stones,
a human building, but in nature, in the open air. They are down to earth, directly
exposed to influences that come from above,away, however devastating winds that
blow on the top of the mountain.
have to build now, not a stone temple, but the inner temple. After the destruction
of the Temples in Jerusalem, the new Temple can only be the inside temple in the
sanctuary of the heart of each and to be informed of the finest virtues. "
water from the sky takes refuge in the valleys, so the valley is a place of life,
fertility. Many civilizations have arisen through the union of earth and water
in the hollow of fertile valleys which contrast with deserts.
These large green areas, plain, without
vegetation, represent the deserts (geographical, biblical or psychological).
valley is a refuge, a protection. The valley supports the action of chivalry,
and participates in the protection of the weak, it has a maternal function. The
alliance of land and water is producing food.
the valley is near the center, it is itself an axis, a direction, a groove, but
it is not a point. The point corresponds to the top of the mountain.
valley is the passage of the inexorable flow of the hourglass which leads us to
the end of a cycle. Time only makes sense that depending on the set deadline.
Down to rise, as is
the teaching of the valley of Knight Rose-Croix. It is an invitation to travel
to the pilgrim-knight. It calls for patience and deepening of the human being.
" Irène Mainguy (2005) pp. 290-292
" The wet way and the dry way "
Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne, in their book
The Recovered Symbol (Black River, 2009) from the novel by Dan
Brown, The Lost Symbol.
If the destiny of man is to achieve its own apotheosis, it is reasonable to consider
the paths that lead to such a revelation ...
In alchemy, there are two paths
that initiates know well the wet process and the dry process. The first, long
and progressive, is that of initiation, the second, more bold, is that of experience.
"the wet way", the transmission of symbolic knowledge, the active presence
of a master of reference, the membership in a group of initiation, are necessary
conditions for, gradually, achieve self-knowledge, a tolerance of others, which
constitute the real revelation from the highest part a man can hold. This is the
way of Freemasonry ...
An initiatory path that leads to wisdom, Sophia of the
ancient Greeks. For the Freemasons, if the divine exists, it is first in the greatest
"the dry way", man is alone in seeking his own way. Like Prometheus,
he must fight to seize his own light. He must multiply the experiences to unlock
the secrets of nature. This path is that of science ...
God is not a wisdom
to discover, but a power to acquire. And symbols of the esoteric, as the sacred
books of religions,
are only veils on the truth, veils that science must tear.
there is God, it is still unknown in the powers of the human spirit.
However, the two paths are not opposed. Katherine is devoted to noetic knowledge
because his brother has taught her to read the Bible as a scientific manual ;
Peter Solomon is closely following and finance the research of his sister.
The Lost Symbol, behind the fiction, gives a message, it is that of identity
found between initiatic knowledge and innovative science. " (pp. 239-240)
the tapestry 3 , the pilgrim comes to a bridge occupied by a hunter that we have
"recognized" Lucifer. It is a bridge made of a single plank of wood,
tough and strong, defended by an armed man (sword and spear, dog)
cross the bridge, ray of light, will be difficult for the Pilgrim. Will he have
the force, muscle strength, but also spiritual maturity in our interpretation
of "initiation" ? Internal forces, customs and internal resistances
are fighting for the conquest of controlling his own destiny.
a bridge, cross a desert, are metaphors to say the battle against the external
and internal forces, to liberate ourselves from from all obstacles.
Sign and countersign
to The Emerald Table of
Hermès Trismégiste (traduction of Fulcanelli) :
verses II :
est inferius est sicut quod est superius ; et quod est superius est sicut quod
est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
What is below is like what
is above, and which is above is like what is below; by these things are done the
miracles of one thing.
verses VII :
Ascendit a terra in coelum,
iterumque descendit in terram, et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum.
rises from the earth and descends from the sky, and receives the force of superior
things and inferior things.
the ritual Chevalier Rose-Croix and Knight of the Black Eagle, or Knight of the
Pelican, or Sovereign Prince of Heredom or St. Andrew (18th level) :
Make me the sign.
Answer : It is a sign to show the sky with
the index up, one answers by showing the earth with the same finger. Irène
Mainguy (2005) p. 295
show the sky, the index pointing upwards, can be interpreted as recognition of
a power greater than man,
in order to understand the unseen. It must indeed
come to control the matter by the knowledge, never to be dependent on its influence.
Designate the ground with the index finger in response, that is remembered that
man is born of the earth and after the liberation of the soul and spirit, his
body will return to earth.
also illustrate the state of the humblest of all and remember that it is vain
to take pride or to boast of anything,
that is showed strongly by the primitive
gestures of prayer in most traditions where worshipers prostrate themselves, position
the most humble of all.
can e se also in the symbolic gesture of the sign, the action of the Phoenix (or
eagle) that rises to heaven, and that of the pelican or countersign the necessary
sacrifice of the Knight Rose Croix who must necessarily renounce this world to
get free. " Irène Mainguy (2005) pp. 297-298
by the finger, the unicorn-Christ who is dying to save humanity is this pelican.
Their future place at the right hand of God is indicated by the raised index finger)
Signs with the fingers for recognition between Brothers
In the top of the tapestry 6 , the grid that allows encryption and decryption
of secret messages can be retrieved (The key of the ineffable characters, or
Royal Arch Cipher).
Mazet [Notes on the Masonic alphabet, in Traditional Renaissance
, No. 25, Jan. 1976] notes that the origin of the Masonic alphabet is not Masonic
because there is mention of a code based on the same principle in the sixteenth
century [16th century], in an environment far removed from the operative masonry
of the time.
The Christian Kabbalist Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim
(in his book Occult Philosophy or Magic) attributes to the Jewish Kabbalists
an old way of coding the Hebrew language, by dividing the 27 characters of the
Hebrew alphabet (counting the final forms) in the nine squares of a square, with
3 letters per box and using a double punctuation.
Tamain [The first key geometric Masonic alphabet (1745) in Masonic
History Chronicles, No. 1, second half of 1988] considers that the Masonic
alphabet is inherited magic squares used since ancient times, found by the esoteric
Arab from the late eighth century [8th century], developed and arranged by the
Jewish Kabbalists, then adapted by the Hermetic occultists and Christians throughout
the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and based on a cryptographic grid directly modeled
on the square of 3. (pp. 529-530)
Fadda, in her article Arte e alchimia negli ultimi anni del Parmigianino
(In L'Art de la Renaissance entre science et magie, sous la direction de
Philippe Morel, Collection d'histoire de l'art de l'Académie de France
à Rome, éd. Somogy, 2006, pp. 295-324), proposes the following two
Agrippa Von Nettesheim, Alfabeto. In De occulta Philosophia,
1531, s.1., p. CCLXXV
de Vigenère, Alfabeto. In Traictés des chiffres ou
des secrètes manières d'éscrire, Paris, A L'Angelier,
1586, p. 275
the website : http://www.esoblogs.net/2081/l-aiq-bekar-ou-kabbale-des-neuf-chambres/
gives the Nine Chambers of Cabalists :
that Cornelio Agrippa von Nettesheim repeats the final figure in an inverted position)
can consider this "walker" as a Knight Pilgrim that the Masters
Masons are familiar with.
He bears the sword of the knights.
He walks from east to west (from left to right).
He walks, looking straight ahead, towards the
Light of the East, to the Knowledge.
He lives in a cruel and difficult world (the other side of the river, on the bank
"profane" is taking place "the hunt of the unicorn-human-christ).
He will have to cross a bridge defended by
an armed man. This bridge will lead to the "heavenly Jerusalem" (circular
and vegetal, in germination) to the "earthly Jerusalem" (square and
mineral, completed), from a disunited self to an assembled self. It
may also be a peregrination from the fallen "Babylon", dirty and perverse,
to the the luminous "Jerusalem". The
bridge is the inner struggle that will lead.
He is waited at the gates of New City, the "heavenly Jerusalem" let
down to Earth.
Jerusalem is also "interior" : the Knight-Pilgrim has reached the end
of his quest.
He left the circle (the one designed by the 12 "hunters" of the tapestry
2 which the circle drawn by the horse and the queen is a recall) and the square
(the one designed by the arch of the gate of the city ) : he has resolved the
"quadrature of the circle" (also the transition from volume "sphere"
to the volume "cube").
He may "bring to front" "the
sign of election," the "white cross" of the Masters, the "tau"
of the consecration of the Just (the cross drawn by two spears behind him). White
is a symbol of purity of the soul and marks the supreme command.
He has also reached "fundamental ternary" : "Wisdom, Strength and
Beauty" or three theological virtues : "Faith, Hope and Charity"
(represented by the group of three women in front of him).
He found his "Graal", the "Philosophical
Stone" : elements represented by the "carbuncle" which was under
the horn of the unicorn and now designed with two pommels of swords.
He found Unity : that was scattered on the
opposite bank and in himself has been collected by a long "walk", his
His motto could be "Ordo ab chao"
: he has reached the knowledge of hilself and that of the Universe.
he can orient his walk to the Human east to west, to transmit his Knowledge, to
spread the Light harvested. He is the Unicorn of the tapestryis 7, peaceful and
determined to rise.
7 Seals have been broken, as can specify the number of tapestries which constitute The Hunt. Then there are seven alchemical stages that lead to the "materia
prima" to the "Philosophical Stone." (Apocalypse can be
read as the representation of a world in distress, to the "Last Judgement"
in Justice and Truth. It may also be representing the "inner world"
of every human being).