by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners
Read Part 1 Here
Read Part 3 Here
There are spoilers!
Read Part 3 Here
There are spoilers!
What fantasy show would be complete without Dragons? A Dragon for those of you have spent your life underneath a rock, is a mythical monster like a giant reptile or huge serpent. In European tradition the dragon is typically fire-breathing and tends to symbolize chaos or evil, whereas in East Asia it is usually a beneficent symbol of fertility, associated with water and the heavens. In the books and the show, A three headed red Dragon on a black background makes up the sigil of House Targaryen, and the character, Daenerys Targaryen, has 3 dragons named: Drogon, after Khal Drogo, Daenerys’s deceased Husband; Rhaegal, named after her eldest brother, Rhaegar; and Viserion, named after her other brother, Viserys.
Although a serpent or snake plays no role in the teachings of regular Freemasonry, that didn’t stop Brother Rev. George Oliver from stating in “Historical Landmarks of Freemasonry and other evidences of Freemasonry”, that the Serpent is
“...a significant symbol in Freemasonry : Moses' rod changed into a serpent, "The serpentine emblem of Masonry... is a bright symbol of Hope; for the promised Deliverer will open the gates of Heaven to his faithful followers by bruising its head, and they shall enter triumphantly, trampling on its prostrate body."
Mackey states in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences (1914):
“In Freemasonry, the Templar and in the Philosophic Degrees — such as the Knight of the Brazen Serpent, where the serpent is combined with the cross — it is evidently a symbol of Christ and thus the symbolism of these Degrees is closely connected with that of the Rose Croix.”
A dragon has deep ties with American Freemasonry. Taken from http://greendragonfreemasons.org/history-of-the-green-dragon/: --
“The Green Dragon Tavern was a public house used as a tavern and meeting place located on Union Street in Boston’s North End. In 1764, under the organization of Dr. Joseph Warren, Paul Revere and others who were opposed to the more “establishment oriented.” St. John’s Lodge. The tavern was purchased by St. Andrew’s Lodge to be use as a meeting place for their lodge. Naturally, the Freemasons kept the Green Dragon Tavern running as a tavern and bar. The Freemasons used the first floor for their meeting rooms. The basement tavern was used by several secret groups and became known by historians as the "Headquarters of the Revolution". The Sons of Liberty, Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Boston Caucus each met there. The Boston Tea Party was said to have been planned there and Paul Revere was sent from the Tavern to Lexington on his famous ride. In January 1788, a meeting of the Mechanics and Artisans of Boston passed a series of resolutions urging the importance of adopting the Federal Constitution pending at the time before a convention of delegates from around Massachusetts.”Masonic tradition informs us that the lamb skin apron which we are presented with in our Entered Apprentice Degree is “...more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, and more honorable than the Star and Garter.” In Greek Mythology, the Golden Fleece was guarded by a Dragon with teeth which could become warriors when planted in the Ground. Albert Mackey, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences (1914), says of the Fleece that it is “…evidently not to the Argonautic expedition in search of the golden fleece, nor to the deluge…but to certain decorations of honor with which the apron is compared”, suggesting instead that the “…Order of the Golden Fleece was of high repute as an Order of Knighthood. It was established in Flanders, in 1429, by the Duke of Burgundy, who selected the fleece for its badge because wool was the staple production of the country. It has ever been considered…one of the most illustrious Orders in Europe”, making it the “the highest decoration that can be bestowed upon a subject by a sovereign of Great Britain. But the Masons may have been also influenced in their selection of a reference to the Golden Fleece, by the fact that in the Middle Ages it was one of the most important symbols of the Hermetic philosophers.”
The herald of House Lannister is a golden lion on a field of crimson. Brother Frank C. Higgins was the founder of the Magian Society in the September 1913 for the study of Masonic Symbolism. While the direct reference to the Lion should be understood by anyone who has gone through the Third Degree, Bro. Higgins has this to say about the Lion in his book, “The Beginning of Masonry” on page 114:
“The several allusions to the “king of beasts” that we encounter in our Masonic ritual are generally accepted as exclusively biblical. This is not, however, the fact. The great significance of the Lion in all manner of symbolic associations dates from the first inception of the zodiacal system of measuring the heavens and timing the great astronomical cycles, which appointed the sign of a Lion, the fiercest and most redoubtable of beasts, as that of the summer solstice, the moment of the year’s most ardent solar vigor. Speaking as astrologers are wont to express these things, the sign of the Lion is the “House of the Sun,” and the terms have thus come to be practically synonymous. It is interesting to Masons who carry the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” as one of the armorial quartering of their Royal Arch banner and on the seals of many Grand Lodges to know that the current Masonic date is arrived at by adding the number of years BCE (approximately, the true number being 399.5) at which the summer solstice entered the sign of the Lion to the year AD in which we happen to be.”On page 115 he continues:
“The Hebrew name of the Lion especially relates to this periodical change; for it is ARIH or 1+200+10+5, equaling 216, the digits of 2160, which added together, make 9 or 3 times 3. The God of Israel was the mathematical center of the universe, the point within the circle of the ecliptic, which was supposed to be its outer edge, and His symbolism resided in the “four beasts,” which still constitute the arms of the fraternity,-the Lion, Eagle, Bull, and Man, referred to in the first chapter of Ezekiel. These are the second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh signs, their numbers adding to 26, that of the “Great and Sacred Name” JHVH (Jehovah).”Further down on page 115 into 116, he writes:
“The name of King Solomon, whose throne was approached through an avenue of 12 lions, was composed of the letters S-L-M-N, which as 60-30-10-50 represented the lion cube 2160. All of these things are parts of a huge puzzle which tended to show that no matter in what direction man went or under what aspect man studied the universe, the Great Architect, Jehovah, was always at the center of every situation. Therefore the “Lion of Judah” is neither more nor less than the “Lion of JHVH;” for one has only to exchange one of the H’s, which is a 5, for DA or 4+1 to see that the word is the same. In the great cosmic year drama of which we have been talking the fruitful principle of nature, slain by the vicissitudes of winter, must be raised to restored vigor and vitality, which is not attained until the young spring sun has attained the sign of the summer solstice.
From BCE 1835 Aries the lamb was the sign of the vernal equinox; while Cancer the crab was that of the summer solstice. The Egyptians made much of this symbolism, because the rise of the Nile and the consequent fertility of their land occurred at the latter period. Now on the circle of the ecliptic the spring equinox and the summer solstice are just 90 degrees apart. The Egyptians reckoned the speed of the sun at a degree a day; although they lost five days and six hours thereby, which was overtaken at the end of the year. Just two weeks after the summer solstice the wonderful dog star Sirius, or Anubis as the Egyptians called it, first rose with the sun and at the same time the floodgates of the Nile were loosened. Adding 14 days to 90 gives 104. Anyone who will take the trouble to examine a map of the heavens will see that the sign of the Crab lies just under the outstretched paw of Leo the lion, while the number 104 is four times 26, one of the most sacred of the old cabalistic formulas. Expressed in Jod’s, Ha’s, and V’s, the name of the power that gives new life to nature is JHVH HIH HVVH VI= . “Jehovah, who Overt, who art, and who ever shall be.””
The sigil of House Stark is a gray direwolf on a white background, over a green escutcheon. I know many of you will be surprised to find out that the wolf has some Masonic symbolism. According to the MSANA’s Short Talk Bulletin of February 1935, “Old English tracing boards for the Entered Apprentice degree, show the Lewis, which was a peculiar tool of operative masons. The instrument is made of a pair of dovetail wedges, provided with a hook or ring. Inserted in a hole in a large stone, pulling on the hook or ring spreads and locks the wedges securely in the stone, so that it may be raised by derrick or other lifting force, without putting a rope or chain about it. The greater the pull, the heavier the stone, the more securely is the Lewis locked in the hole. From this the Lewis easily became a symbol of strength, and is so denominated in certain old English rituals.” It continues further stating:”The son of an English Mason is called a Lewis, for a reason which is set forth in Browne’s “Master Key,” which purports to be a verbatim account of a part of the original Prestonian lecture. It reads:
"What do we call the son of a Freemason?In France the son of a Freemason is called a Louveteau (daughter Louvetine) which may have been derived from “louffton” a word occasionally used in place of Lewis in the seventeenth century; the French word for the operative instrument is “Louve.” Here a curious verbal bypath invites the student; Louveteau also means a young wolf. In the Egyptian Mysteries, the candidate, wearing a mask or covering simulating a wolf’s head, was often called “wolf.” Apparently the reason for the masking of a candidate as a wolf is found in the tenuous connection between the sun, which scatters the flocks of stars from the sky, and the wolf, which scatters the flocks of sheep and cattle. The sun was the central symbol of many ancient mystery religions. Similarly, the Greek “Lukos” is both the sun and a wolf.”
What does it denote?
How is a Lewis depicted in Mason’s Lodge?
As cramp (clamp) of metal, by which, when fixed into a stone, great and ponderous weights are raised to a certain height, and fixed upon their p[roper basis, without which Operative Masons could not so conveniently do.
What is the duty of a Lewis, the Son of a Mason, to his aged parents? To bear the heavy burden in the heat of the day and help them in time of need, which, by reason of their great age, they ought to be exempted from, so as to render the close of their days happy and comfortable.
His privilege for so doing?
To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank or riches, unless he, through complaisance, waives this privilege."
In the next installment, we’ll discuss some of the Masonic Symbolism as related to some of the characters in Game of Thrones.
WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.
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