miércoles, 14 de octubre de 2009

EL SANTO ARCO REAL, Walter Wilmshurst

El Arco Real es la conclusión natural, y plenitud, del Tercer Grado. Podría decirse que el grado de Maestro Masón es representado, en términos de teología cristiana, por la fórmula «Sufrió, fue enterrado y se levantó de nuevo», mientras que el equivalente de la ceremonia de exaltación es «y ascendió a los Cielos». El Arco Real persigue mostrar esa vida nueva e intensificada que el candidato puede alcanzar así como el exaltado grado de conciencia que conlleva. No se concibe alcanzar mayor nivel posible que aquel donde lo humano se une a la conciencia divina y conoce a la manera que Dios conoce. Y al ser ese el nivel que la Orden del Arco Real trata en sus ceremonias, se concluye que la Masonería, como sistema sacramental, alcanza su clímax y culminación en esa Orden.

Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

Autor: Walter Leslie Wilmshurst
Traductor: Alberto Moreno Moreno
Título: El Santo Arco Real de Jerusalén
Colección: Serie Azul
1ª edición, 2009 (PDF)
ISBN: 978-84-937392-2-5
Páginas: 112

Masónica.es ofrece la única traducción al español del interesantísimo capítulo IV del libro The Meaning of Masonry, del profundo místico inglés Walter Leslie Wilmshurst, titulado «The Holy Royal Arch», y publicado en Londres en 1922.

masonica.es es una entidad privada, no sujeta a ninguna Obediencia en particular, que trabaja al servicio de todas aquellas personas interesadas en la francmasonería, bien como miembros de la misma, por inquietud intelectual o por razones de estudio e investigación.

La edición digital de la versión original inglesa está disponible en: http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/wilmshurstfr.html

También, la página The Web of Hiram de la Universidad de Bradford, ofrece en línea las obras completas de este importante autor.

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2009

Craft and Royal Arch Legends

Conferencia impartida en el CMRC (Canonbury Masonic Research Centre) por el Rev. Neville Barker Cryer, el 16 de febrero de 2000.

The main thesis of this paper is easily stated. The contention is that in seeking to solve some of the long-standing questions relating to our Craft and Royal Arch legends we have been too limited in looking for answers by considering only material relating to the stone building trade. When we accept the fact that Carpenters and joiners, as well as other trades, were also considered ‘Masons true’ we begin to uncover possible new solutions. The main secret is solved when we realise why we were originally thought of as ‘Noachidae’ or ‘children of Noah’.

Yet if the thesis is simple to state, its unravelling and proof may not be so easy to present. This is because we need to overcome four hurdles:

1. We need a redefinition of terms, e.g. ‘Master ‘or ‘Mason’, that have acquired an identity that seems to be almost ‘set in stone’;
2. We have to reconsider some existing views that might be regarded as already beyond debate; e.g. pre-1717 traditions are irrelevant;
3. We shall have to admit some new facts, such as Tudor wall-paintings, that may seem, at first, interesting but inappropriate or unnecessary;
4. We have therefore to unpick a skein of ravelled threads that would seem to defy the efforts of even the most patient student.

In the face of such a series of obstacles it would seem that the best course to adopt is to surrender at once and concede defeat. Whilst the obvious choice for any unwelcome intruder is to let sleeping dogs lie there are times when the prize sought by the intruder is so worthwhile that all caution has to be thrown to the winds and the danger from the dogs — or is it in this case the critics? — has to be endured. This, I believe, is one of those occasions. It is time, once more to engage with six questions that have battered at the doors of any self-respecting English Masonic historian. What we seek is the solution to these issues:

* What does the Graham Ms. contribute to our English Freemasonry?
* What is the likely basis of the 3º Hiram legend?
* What did Dr Anderson intend by calling Masons Noachidae?
* What is the real place and point of the Ark Mariner degree?
* Where does the emphasis on Babylon come from?
* Where did the Josiah legend originate and where does it fit?

In what follows I adopt a line of argument; based on evidence, that seeks not only to answer these questions satisfactorily but even shows that they are all interrelated. To start this argument I begin with a vivid personal experience of an aspect of architectural history.

In the summer of 1997 I took part in what have been a regular series of lectures and activities organised by the Chancellor of York Minster. Their purpose was to reveal to the public some of the history and features that belong to that: church’s long-standing fabric. The item which specially caught my imagination: was a conducted visit to the Minster’s Chapter House, including what is known as the Masons’s Chamber and above it the timber scaffolding that supports the roof of this ancient meeting place. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1 The Chapter House itself deserves a special study. It was first completed about 1260. This is one of the most remarkable pieces of early medieval carpentry in Britain and is still standing intact. There is a model of the roof structure, the work of R. Littlewood, inside the Chapter House, Fig. 3.

As you visit these locations you acquire one abiding impression — the intimate connection of the carpenters’ skills with those of the stonemasons. The Masons’s Chamber was the room in which the designs for the constituent items of stonework were drawn on the floor by the Master Architect and the outlines of some of them are still extant. Hanging from the roof beams are the rows upon rows of wooden templates which guided the stone carvers in the task of thus fashioning the stones for vaulting ribs and window embrasures, for stall canopies and the pedestals or heading of pillars, for ridges and gables — and it is relevant here to point out that a term then used for a gable-end was a ‘chevron’. All these items of the stonemason craft thus depended for their correct completion; on the no less skilful designs for those wooden outlines executed by the carpenters on the Master Architect’s instructions. You can imagine the room being a hive of activity.

You then again mount the winding stairs and, on reaching the summit of the stairway, step into an octagonal area. Soaring up above your head is an array of massive beams, each great timber shaped and gently tapered to meet its companions in the pointed space that marks the pinnacle of the Chapter House roof whilst on the equally well chamfered and pegged cross beams there are laid the waterproofing lead sheets above which the tiles create the outer shell. (Fig. 2 & 3) Here, in one of the most complex and impressive displays of carpentry and joinery in the whole of Europe, you see the very skeleton and foundation that enables the stonework beneath to remain dry, stable and secure. Nor is that all. From the very apex of the roof there descends a central wooden pillar, like the main mast of an old-time sailing ship, and as thick, but composed of three lengths of timber since one alone could not take the strain. This great bastion of wood plunges to the very base and foundations of the whole building, giving it immense poise and anchorage. You realise, as you may never have realized before, that here is the inner reality of this medieval erection — an inseparable union of at least two great trades so as to produce this marvel of the York Chapter House. The masons and carpenters are seen to have been working hand in hand.

Chapter House interior
Fig. 2 The Chapter House inside.

Chapter House roof structure
Fig. 3 The model shows the timber structure above the ceiling.

It is because we have so often overlooked or forgotten this partnership in the operative period of our Crafts that it may come as something of a shock to be reminded that our forebears did not make that mistake. A Dublin Memorandum of 1597 records "That we, the company of carpinders, maysons, joiners and millers hath consulted and agreed amongst ourselves" OR to certify a wall’s height at the Tower of London it was done in the presence of William de Ramsey, chief mason and William de Hurley, chief carpenter. In the History of the Carpenters Company of London by Jasper Ridley (1995) one notes how many times in the 15th and 16th centuries the masons and the carpenters were summoned or charged by the Mayor and Corporation to act together. (see e.g. pp.23, 32, 35 and Fig. no. 4).

Fig. 4. Craftsmen: carpenter, gardener, forester, and various trades.
French mid-15th century.

That this was the case despite the fact that the Masons and the Carpenters had their separate Charters, Guild halls and forms of livery is singular and significant. What is no less striking is the clear similarity in the forms of their heraldic arms: the Carpenters having three dividers or compasses around an engrailed ‘chevron’ (fig. no. 5), whilst the Masons had three castles or towers around a similarly engrailed chevron on which a pair of compasses is displayed (Fig. no. 6). What is even more singular is that on an earlier form of the Carpenter’s arms we see the central chevron bearing a working square and what looks remarkably like a primitive skirret with its string (fig. no. 7). That suggests that symbolically these two trades seem very inter-connected indeed.

Fig. 5 Carpenters’ Company seal

Fig. 6 Masons’ Company seal

Fig. 7 A version of the Carpenters’ Arms (Coll. Arms Vincent, “Two Ears of Wheat”, c.1530)

Ridley gives another most telling example of the closeness of the trades when he describes the preparations that had to be made for the encounter in France of Henry VIII and Francis I. They met at what has ever since been known as ‘The Cloth of Gold’, not least because of the ornate golden pavilion erected by Humphrey Coke, the English King’s Master Carpenter. This structure had a stone base, l2ft high brick walls with wooden superstructure and canvas awnings. The great chamber was 124 feet long, 42 feet wide and 30 feet high and was flanked by a dining room, drawing room and chapel plus a cellar for 3,000 bottles of expensive wine. It can thus be seen that Coke commandeered the skills of not only those who worked in stone and wood but of bricklayers and tent makers.

It is precisely that kind of interrelation that is reflected in the first sets of Constitutions of the premier Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted or Speculative Masons of London and Westminster in 1722/23, compiled by the celebrated Dr James Anderson. He first states there:

Jabal found out Geometry and he divided Flocks of Sheep and Lands; be first built a House of Stone and Timber… and there was a King called Hiram who loved well King Solomon, and he gave him timber for the work.

Then, in case anyone might miss the inference that not only ‘stone’ workers could be considered ‘Masons’ Anderson added this passage in the following year:

for then always, Masons, above all other Artists, were the Favourites of the Eminent, and became necessary for their grand Undertakings in any sort of Materials, not only in Stone, Brick, Timber, Plaister; but even in Cloth or Skins, or whatever was used for Tents, and for the various sorts of Architecture.

Nor should it be forgot, that Painters also, and Statuaries, were always recon’d good Masons, much as Builders, Stonecutters, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Joiners, Upholders or Tent-Makers, and a vast many other Craftsman that could be nam’d, who perform according to Geometry, and the Rules of Building; though none since HIRAM ABIF has been renown’d for cunning in all parts of Masonry.

If then we can be assured that to the new kind of Speculative Masons at least, the Carpenters were regarded as within the sphere of Geometric Masonry it is hardly surprising that in the Masons’ legendary history there should appear the stories that were associated with the allied trades. In the Constitutions of 1723 we read the following:

at length NOAH, the ninth from Seth, was commanded and directed of God to build the great Ark, which though of wood, was certainly fabricated by Geometry, and according to the Rules of Masonry.

NOAH, and his three Sons, JAPHET, SHEM AND HAM, all masons true, brought with them over the Flood the Traditions and Arts of the Ante-deluvians (sic)…

The story of how those ‘traditions and arts’ were so transmitted had already been told in the 1722 edition of the Constitutions so this was merely an amplification of that account.

That the story of Noah and his family’s involvement with the Ark was especially connected with the craft of the medieval Carpenters is underlined by two facts. The first one has now been revealed afresh by Jasper Ridsley’s book — where he reproduces the four wall paintings of the 16th century (c. 1545) which were later plastered over and only discovered in Carpenters Hall: during its mid 19th-century restoration. As can be seen (Fig. no. 8) the first of these paintings shows the Patriarch Noah in prayer before the Almighty with his hat removed whilst his three sons are busily at work on the vessel. (And note also the ‘ladder’ or flight of steps leading up to the Lord in glory, which is surely reminiscent of a 1st Degree Tracing Board feature.) This, on the walls of the Carpenters’ official meeting place in London, confirms the craft association and we shall see other connections shortly.

Fig. 8. Noah and the Building of the Ark (now disintegrated). Tudor wall paintings: in 1845, workmen in the Hall uncovered a wall painting. Artist Frederick William Fairholt (1818-1866) made sketches and a full size fascimile of these murals.

The second fact concerns the choice of plays in the Mystery cycles held in many towns of England from the 14th to the late 16th century. What we know here is that in Chester, Newcastle and York the Noah play, or some part of it was claimed by the naval Carpenters or Shipwrights because it involved the construction of an actual wooden hull, thus advertising their trade skill. The Carpenters themselves in York and Chester undertook the play of the Resurrection. In this play Christ rises up from a wooden coffin in which he is supposed to have been laid in the tomb. The link between this incident and the story well known to us as 3º Freemasons hardly needs any comment especially when you consider some of our oldest extant 3º Tracing cloths (Fig. nos. 9 & 10).

Figs. 9 & 10. Third-Degree Tracing Boards

Yet even this evidence is not all that we have to work on. There are at least three more matters that merit our attention.

The next common factor between the two trades was the choice of a common patron. This was the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. For the Masons the choice seemed self-evident. Jesus was the chief cornerstone of the Temple and the keystone of its arch. Mary was symbolically known as the ‘temple’ from which the glory of the Lord emerged and therefore, as the mother of Jesus it was natural that she should be chosen by those who brought forth shapes from stone. The fact that she was also referred to by medieval writers as ‘a tower’, and that that symbol appeared on the Masons’ coat of arms, further cemented the link.

For the Carpenters no less the fact that Mary was both the wife of a carpenter, Joseph, and the mother of Jesus who was thought to have served an apprenticeship and been trained in this craft, made her choice as the Patron of these woodworkers abundantly obvious. Indeed, another of the Tudor, wall-paintings in Carpenters’ Hall (Fig. no. 11) shows Mary (without a halo), Jesus as a child apprentice (but with a halo) learning which timber pieces to select, and Joseph as a Master Carpenter with hat, wand, robe and gloves just like a Master of the Stonemasons of the time. That the Master and Wardens of the Carpenters Company had such hats is revealed by another of Jasper Ridley’s photographs showing the actual head gear worn from the Tudor period. (Fig. no. 12).

Fig. 11 Christ in Carpenter’s Shop

Fig. 12 Tudor hats, resemblance with Knight Templar hat

When it is further recognised that because of this common patronal dedication the two crafts would share the same holy-days (or holidays, when apprentices were freed from labour), and the same religious and legendary traditions, the connection between the Masons and the Carpenters appears even stronger.

There is also something else. The guilds had secondary patrons who were saints and their particular plays were presented in even earlier days than the Corpus Christi performances. For the Masons these patrons were the two Saints John whilst the Carpenters honoured St. Lawrence. Jasper Ridley informs us that the election date of a Master of the Carpenters was originally St. Lawrence’s day and that was also the occasion for performing a play associated with the Saint. It is not possible to enter here into a full description of the story of this distinctive character but one of the intriguing symbolic facts in his play was that before being put to death by being broiled alive on a squared gridiron (the very shape of Philip. II’s Escorial Palace near Madrid which was also dedicated to this Saint) the gestures adopted in the play are all based on squares. Thus when the Saint stood before his accusers he had his arms akimbo, that is, the hands on the hips and the arms at right angles from the body, and when he gave assent to any question he turned his right hand over to the front and extended it at right angles to his body. That is why Freemasons to this day give their assent in this fashion. This ancient practice of a Carpenter saint has been ‘retained’ even in our current speculative Masonic system.

It would seem therefore that at the very outset of the development of our ritual and legend, following the establishment of the premier Grand Lodge in London in 1717, there was a double source of material from which to draw. The Brethren who devised the ceremonies: that were to become the pattern of 18th-century practice in England could avail themselves not simply of those traditional echoes that connected the new ‘Craft’ with stonemasons but with those of the timber- working carpenters as well. What more natural then that in the formation of our l8th-century Masonic practice there should be two legend sources relating to the very fundamentals of the Bible story.

The first of these was the story recounted by Anderson in his 1722 Constitutions, of the preservation and transmission of the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences of mankind by the creation and protection of two great pillars that linked Adam, via Lamech, to Hermes and the period after the Flood. It will, I think, be helpful if we remind ourselves of some of the story as it was first recorded:

Lamech… had two wives, the one called Ada the other Zilla; by Ada he begat two sons, Jabal, and Jubal; by Zilia he had one Son called Tubalcain, and a Daughter called Naamah. These four children found the beginning of all Crafts in the world… Tubalcain found out the Smith’s Trade or Craft, also of Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron and Steel. And these Children did write these sciences, that they had found, on two Pillars of Stone, that they might be found after that GOD had taken vengeance; the one was Marble, that would not burn, the other was Latress, that would not drown in Water…

It is noteworthy that there is an immediate difference about the substances which formed the pillars though the introduction of the term, ‘stone’ obviously attempted to claim them as of relevance to Stonemasons.

This legend was to pass through many variations but was eventually enshrined in the Lecture attached to our usual Second Degree where we read:

These pillars were formed hollow, the better to serve as archives for Masonry, and therein were, deposited the Constitutional rolls. They were made of brass. (NB: — not now for Arts and Sciences, nor of stone.)

It is also noteworthy that we retain as the password from the 2nd Degree the name ‘Tubalcain’ that creates a link with the older tradition and emphasizes the place of the other crafts within Masonry.

The second legend was related to the former since it was based on the place of Noah and his descendants in the preservation of the ‘true secrets’ of the Craft. Following on the passage quoted earlier about Noah in the 1723 Constitutions we read that Noah and his sons

amply communicated them (the Arts and Sciences) to their growing Offspring; for about 101 Years after the Flood we find a vast number of ’em, if not the whole Race of Noah, in the Vale of Shinar… afterwards known by the names of CHALDEES and MAGI, who preserved the good Science, Geometry, as the KINGS and great Men encouraged the Royal Art. But it is not expedient to speak more plain of the Premises, except in a formed Lodge…

This italicised sentence indicates that what we have here is not simply a form of historical record but part of what was already called ‘ritual’ or the form of words employed in Lodge ceremonies.

It is precisely because we now find ourselves caught up in this core of Masonic activity, the ritual that identifies and distinguishes Freemasonry from other forms of social association and intercourse, that we need to re-examine an acknowledged early ritual document that not only highlights the story of Noah and his sons but attaches to them practices having very strong similarities to what has been, from the 18th century, a principal facet of what we call ‘Free and Accepted Masonry’.

The document is called the Graham Manuscript and its date is ambiguously recorded as 1 7 2 6, which might be 1726 or 1672. Whilst it is likely that no firm conclusion can be reached as to which is the most correct date it can at least be asserted that qualified and expert examination of the writing in the original document has put on it a late 17th-century provenance and we certainly know that 1726 is the latest date by which it could have been transcribed. Moreover Bro. Herbert Poole, who first drew the attention of the Masonic world to the Graham Ms., gave it a his considered opinion that the Noah story was known to the Craft "in its amplest form at least 21 years before the formation of the (premier) Grand Lodge." That would make it contemporary with the very period in which something like our forms of Speculative Masonic practice were being assembled. What is of especial interest is that this form of ‘ritual story’ was either discontinued, forgotten or suppressed and only re-emerged, apparently by chance, some 50 years ago. Why that should have happened in 1937 is an intriguing matter in itself but not immediately relevant to our present study.

What is certainly relevant is the fact that we have here the story of Noah, the keeper of the secrets of the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences, declaring that the disclosure of those secrets can only take place when three are present (a treble voice) but dying before he has made those secrets known.. An attempt is made by the three sons to raise their father, and with F.P.O.F., so that the secrets in his grave might be discovered, but without success, and the search for the desired goal is indicated as being by yet other means. The closeness of this story to the subsequent ‘ritual’ of the 3º cannot be ignored and since we have no other extant material to explain where the ‘Hiram legend’ of post-1726 came from it is worth investigating further the possible link between the Graham Ms. text and its later counterpart.

If what I have said in the first part of this paper has any viability at all then there would have been a perfectly natural place for a story based on the Scriptures and regarding Noah, his sons, their ‘secret inheritance’, and a manner revealing and transmitting that inheritance to be part of early Masonic practice. It would not only be fitting — it would be more than likely. When, moreover, we find that even as late as 1738 another form of the Grand Lodge Constitutions has a direct reference to Masons as Noachidac or ,’Sons of Noah’ the recognition that a Noachic approach to the new form of Speculative Craft was normal and acceptable has to be acknowledged. Though I shall refer later to what more may be said about this term ‘Noachidac’ its persistence at this date means that at least up to this time some association between ‘Masons’, using this term in its widest sense, and the Noah story or legend, was perceived. The Graham Ms. gives shape and reality to that association.

Whilst it would be excessive to quote at length from this Masonic source, and the full text is available to all those needing it in Vol. 80 of the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (1967), it will be useful if we consider briefly the style of the document and then make three comments on the main content which has a relevance for the theme of this paper. I fully appreciate that this may at first seem to be using the document to support a thesis already decided on, but I hope that by looking at the actual text the comments that follow may help to dispel any suggestion of this kind of post hoc reasoning.

What strikes one at once when confronted by the Graham MS is that this looks like a document for use in a lodge rather than a literary production for private perusal. It has obvious links with what are called the Old Charges and following a commentary made in 1967 (AQC 80, p.100) Harry Carr wrote this:

It seems highly probable that the Graham collection of legends were indeed an inherited tradition and not the invention of the man who transcribed them… Collectively (i.e. with the Old Charges) they seem to represent a separate store of Craftlore originally unconnected with its ritual practices, but available for adoption into the ritual when necessity arose or opportunity offered.

It is noteworthy that neither Harry Carr nor anyone else in 1967 can suggest where that store of Craft lore came from. Yet that these legends now seem to have begun to be used for ritual is confirmed by the Introduction to the MS, which seeks to ascertain that the person who is to benefit by its contents is a bona fide Free & Accepted Mason. I quote:

The Sailutation is as follows

from whence came you — I came from a right worshipfull Lodge of Masters and fellows… who doth greet all true and perfect brothers of our holy secrets so do I you if I finde you to be one…

How shall I know you are a free Mason…

How were you made a free mason... etc.

These and the subsequent questions and answers, all in the form of an early catechism, underline the antiquity of the shape and the content of this manuscript but suggest that we are still very much at the outset of our English 18th-century ritual journey. Let us, however, reflect on the main feature of the rest of the manuscript.

The first observation has to be that what is most striking is that there are shown to be three stages to full Masonic knowledge. These are connected with Noah, Moses and Solomon. It is hardly a coincidence that all these stages involve a close connection between workers in stone and timber. Noah, we see, inherits the stone pillars of ‘secret’ knowledge that will, like his wooden Ark, survive the Flood, whilst his offspring, the Babillonians (sic), construct their mighty tower.

Bazalliell, the craftsman chosen by Moses, appears as the creator of another wooden Ark that is to be the salvation symbol of the later desert-wandering descendants of Noah and which is lodged within a ‘tent’ of wood and canvas with the two great ‘stone’ pillars at the entrance.

Solomon then appears and erects his more permanent House for the Lord with its stone walls and pillars but cedar panelled chambers and especially a gilded sanctum for the same wooden Ark of the Covenant. The union of the two great Crafts of carpentry and stone-building could not be more dramatically displayed.

The second observation has to be that these very stages are retained in the traditional ‘histories’ recorded by Anderson and we are thus confirmed in the view that Anderson was not fantasising when he said in 1738, "Masons were first known as Noachidac". He might just have been recording the death-knell of old Carpenter legends as part of the mainstream progress of English Speculative Masonry but he was at least signaling an era of legend evolution that forms part of our heritage. That the Noachic aspect of our Masonic culture did so diminish is remarkably parallel led by other artistic trends. I have just read this passage in a novel of 1989 (Julian Barnes: History of the World in 10½ Chapters, p.137f.):

For the first dozen or more Christian centuries the Ark (usually represented as a mere box or sarcophagus to indicate that Noah’s salvation was a pre-(de)monstration of Christ’s escape from his sepulchre) appears widely in illuminated manuscripts; stained glass windows, cathedral sculpture. Noah was a very popular fellow… But where are the great paintings, the famous images that these are leading up to? The Ark eventually reaches the horizon, and disappears over it. In Poussin’s “The Deluge” (early 18th century) the ship is nowhere to be seen. Old Noah has sailed out of art history.

The third observation therefore has to be a question. Why did Noah, his sons and their offspring begin to do the same in Masonic legend and ritual? Let us here consider what Bro. Harvey, the author of the AQC article of 1967, has to say:

… in the early years of Grand Lodge, roughly 1722 to 1725, Desaguliers and his friends thought it convenient to reshape what they considered arresting in the ritual — apparently Graham’s legends or something like them. For practical reasons they kept the Pillars then fashioned the remaining salient features into a dramatic fidelity legend. To gain coherence, all the action was brought to Jerusalem, home of the Pillars degree. Hiram the widow’s son and Bezaleel merged easily into a single character. The main problem lay with the quest for substituted secrets and in the transformation of dead Noah into living Hiram. But this invention should not have given well-read men much trouble.

With all that I can agree but one question still persists Why did they do it that way round and not make the central theme one based on Noah? Because they were theologically and culturally well-read I think it was because they knew the Noah tradition was not a stonemasons’ tradition, because the Noah tradition had a long-standing connection with a resurrection of Christ motif, and because it also had strong links with Nimrod and the Tower of Babel, and the ‘occult’ associations of Ham. To shift the story to a less well-known, half-son of Israel must have solved a lot of difficulties at one stroke. But it shows how very valuable and helpful the Graham form of legend was.

Bro. Bathurst, however, has another telling comment:

What is very strange is that Noah, Bezaleel, and the Warden’s Wicket, (all features of the Graham story) having been consigned to oblivion did not stay there. Men who can hardly have ever heard of Thomas Graham dug them up again, years later, as the basis of additional ceremonies." (p.91, AQC 80) That is where the degree of Royal Ark Mariner comes in and why its first protagonists in the latter 18th century claimed for it an ancestry of a century earlier that has hitherto been regarded as both excessive and even ludicrous — a judgement that may now have to be reassessed. What is also interesting is that in the earliest forms of the Ark degree it was not just the story of Noah’s Ark that was told but the erection and then dismantling of the Tower of Babel. Anderson’s reference to Masons as ‘Noachidae’ was not simply harking back to an early tradition. As a ‘basis of that natural religion’ on which all Masons can agree he is here suggesting that we are those who accept the Noachite Laws as our standard. (See my Arch and The Rainbow — p.353) Whilst to clinch the persisting influence of the Noah tradition in our English Craft it was his dove that replaced the Sun and Moon or figures of Hermes — Rosicrucian emblems — on the Deacons’ wands after the union of’ 1813. The legend of the Carpenters is thus still woven into the Stonemasons’ working.

Only one more aspect of this thesis remains to be tackled. As the secrets promised in the Graham Ms. still remained hidden despite being once disclosed by Bezaleel to the two Princes of Alban — and about this name I believe much more is soon going to be revealed — so there had to be a new way of recovering and revealing them to the complete Master. That required new forms of older legends. Dr. Oliver showed that the Rainbow symbol formed part of an early Royal Arch ceremony and as the Tower of Babel fell, and communication faltered between the builders, so it was from Babel, or Babylon, that the restoration of the edifice that contained the secrets had to come. Bezaleel with the Mosaic ‘Ark’ also had to figure as did the rediscovery of the true "Word" of the Almighty from under the Temple. It will surely not surprise you if I tell you that another picture from Tudor times that adorned the Carpenters Hall shows King Josiah instructing his people to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (Fig. no. 13). Why, we wonder, was the Josiah story part of the Royal Arch story in early York Masonry as it is still the core of the Irish Royal Arch ceremony to this day? May I suggest that just as the Carpenters’, other legends and paintings influenced the stories in our Craft degrees so too they had their effect on the development of another ritual stage.

Fig. 13. King Josiah gives instructions for rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem

There is much more that could and should be said. What are we to deduce, e.g. from the fact that all the figures in these biblical wall-paintings all wear contemporary dress? But I must stop and rest my case. I submit that another whole strand in the great tapestry of our origins has at last revealed itself.

© Neville Barker Cryer, 2000


Templo del Arco Real en la sede de la Gran Logia de Irlanda en Dublín.

viernes, 9 de octubre de 2009



La tradición cristiana, de la que la francmasonería es una de las formas (esotéricas) más esenciales, adjudica mucha importancia a la piedra angular y a su simbolismo. Lo esencial de esta tradición reposa en la frase siguiente: "La piedra rechazada por aquellos que construían se ha convertido en la piedra principal del ángulo". San Bernardo, hablando de la construcción del templo cristiano y de la sacralización (construcción y sacralización realmente efectuadas por los francmasones constructores de iglesias, detentores del secreto técnico y el secreto iniciático) exclamaba:

"Es necesario que se cumplan en nosotros en forma espiritual los ritos de que
materialmente han sido objeto esas murallas. Lo que los obispos han hecho en este
edificio visible, es lo que Jesucristo, el pontífice de los bienes futuros,
realiza cada día en nosotros de manera invisible... Nosotros entraremos en la
morada que la mano del hombre no ha elevado, en la eterna morada de los cielos.
Ella se construye con piedras vivas, que son los ángeles y los hombres... Las
piedras de este edificio están adheridas y unidas por cemento doble, el
conocimiento perfecto y el amor perfecto".

El simbolismo de la piedra angular es uno de los más difíciles para estudiar porque, voluntariamente o no, los autores lo confunden con el de la piedra fundamental, a causa del célebre Evangelio según San Mateo:

"Tú eres Pedro, y sobre esta piedra yo edificaré mi iglesia, y las puertas del infierno no prevalecerán contra ella".

Se sigue de esto, sobre el plano cristiano, una confusión bastante molesta entre Pedro y Cristo, que es la piedra angular y no la piedra de la fundación del edificio. Jean Hani, en su interesante pero apresurado libro sobre "Le Symbolisme du Temple Chrétien", ha caído en esta confusión como muchos otros autores. Escribe en efecto:

"Todo el ciclo cristiano se desarrolla en tres actos.

Primer acto: Cristo viene a la tierra a colocar la "primera piedra" o piedra de fundación que, en resumen, es Él mismo.

Segundo acto: el edificio será terminado por la colocación de la verdadera piedra angular o clave de bóveda. Entonces todo el edificio sufrirá la transmutación gloriosa: las piedras se tornarán preciosas y resplandecientes, penetradas por la irradiación del oro divino que es su sustancia interior, y la ciudad celeste aparecerá en todo su esplendor...". Jean Hani, en su lirismo un tanto "sentimental", simplemente ha olvidado el texto tan importante de San Pablo:

"Sois un edificio construido sobre el fundamento de los apóstoles y los profetas, siendo Jesucristo mismo la principal piedra del ángulo (sumo angulari lapide) en que todo edificio construido y ligado en todas sus partes se eleva como un templo consagrado al Señor, por quien vosotros habéis entrado en su estructura para ser la morada de Dios en el Espíritu".

Se tendrá una excelente representación figurativa de lo que es realmente la "piedra angular" refiriéndose al manuscrito de Munich titulado "Speculum humanae Salvationis", donde se puede advertir a "dos masones que sostienen una cuchara en una mano y en la otra levantan la piedra que ellos se aprestan a colocar en la cima de un edificio (aparentemente la torre de una iglesia que esta piedra debe completar).

Hay que observar, a propósito de esta figura, que la piedra de que se trata, en tanto que clave de bóveda, o en toda otra función similar según la estructura del edificio que ella está destinada a "coronar", no puede, por su forma misma, ser colocada sino en lo alto (sin lo cual, por lo demás, es evidente que ella podría caer en el interior del edificio); así pues, ella representa de alguna manera la "piedra descendida del cielo", expresión que se aplica exactamente al escrito, y que recuerda también la piedra del Grial (Lapsit exillis de Wolfram d'Ejschenbach, que puede interpretarse como Lapis ex caelis)... esta misma ilustración muestra la piedra bajo el aspecto de un objeto en forma de diamante, lo que la aproxima aún a la piedra del Grial, puesto que ésta es igualmente descrita como tallada en facetas".

René Guénon ha observado con justicia que la "piedra angular", "tomada en su verdadero sentido de piedra "de la cima", es designada, a la vez, en inglés como keystone, como capstone (que se halla también escrita capestone) y como copestone (o copingstone)". Capstone deriva, en efecto, del latín caput (cabeza), "lo que nos lleva a la designación de esta piedra como la "cabeza del ángulo"; es la piedra que "remata" o "corona" un edificio; es también un capitel, que es asimismo el "coronamiento" de una columna".

Terminamos de hablar de "acabamiento", y las dos palabras cap y chef son, en verdad, etimológicamente idénticas; capstone es, pues, la cabeza (chef) de un edificio o de la "obra", y en razón de su forma especial que requiere para tallarla conocimientos o aptitudes particulares, ella es también, al mismo tiempo, un chef d'oeuvre (obra maestra) en el sentido que la expresión tenía para los compañeros; "es la pieza por la cual el edificio queda completamente terminado, o, en otros términos, es llevado por fin a su perfección".

A la luz de lo que acabamos de informar, nos parece oportuno colocar ante los ojos de nuestros lectores lo que escribió en 1723 Anderson: "Finalmente, vosotros deberéis observar todas estas obligaciones, y también aquellas que os serán comunicadas de otra manera; cultivar el amor fraternal, el fundamento y la clave de arco, la base y la gloria de esta antigua confraternidad...", lo que denota en él un conocimiento más profundo del esoterismo masónico que el que a menudo se pretende atribuirle.

La clave de bóveda, la piedra angular, se adorna, en Notre-Dame del Fuerte en Etampes (Seine-et- Oise), con la imagen de los Cuatro Coronados, lo que subraya aún los vínculos existentes entre los francmasones iniciados y la tradición cristiana. A veces, la piedra angular no existe. Entonces, por encima del crucero se halla el occulum (el ojo de Dios), el orificio por donde la iglesia recibe la luz y cuya equivalencia se encuentra en la atalaya de los barcos, en la construcción de la cual se exigían ritos de consagración semejantes a los utilizados para la consagración de las iglesias.
En las logias masónicas, el occulum, clave de bóveda del templo a construir, está simbolizado por la plomada, instrumento de los hombres de oficio, que pende del techo y en medio del taller. Es decir, que la piedra angular es uno de los símbolos más interesantes tanto de la masonería operativa como de la masonería especulativa; aun sería necesario establecer la distinción primordial existente entre el "carré long" (cuadrado largo), representación de la logia, y la clave de bóveda o el occulum, circular, que simboliza la tierra y el cielo, lo que corresponde a dos estados iniciáticos diferentes: los de la Square Masonry (masonería del cuadrado) y la Arch Masonry (masonería de la bóveda) "que por sus relaciones respectivas con la tierra y el cielo o con las partes del edificio que las representan (la forma cuadrada, parte inferior del templo, y la bóveda o semiesfera) aparecen aquí en relación con los "pequeños misterios" y los "grandes misterios".

Ella prueba con evidencia que la masonería azul (o de los tres primeros grados) equivale a la iniciación basada sobre el oficio de constructor, mientras que la masonería llamada de los altos grados, prolongación obligatoria de aquella, desemboca en una iniciación de orden diferente y más profundo, pero que no podría realizarse sin la pertenencia a los tres primeros grados masónicos.

Jean Palou

"EL simbolismo Masónico"

La influencia de san Juan en la Francmasonería

Hervé Dannagh

Editor Dervy
Colección Bibliothèque de la franc-maçonnerie
ISBN-10: 2850769797
ISBN-13: 978-2850769795
Fecha de publicación 03 marzo 1999
Número de páginas 120

Precio del editor: 13,55 €

FNAC Francia

Amazon Francia

¿Porqué la invocación a san Juan se encuentra en numerosos rituales y ritos masónicos? ¿Por qué algunos ritos abren el Volumen de la Ley Sagrada por el prólogo del Evangelio de san Juan?

¿Hablamos de san Juan el bautista, es decir, el testigo de luz, o quizás nos referimos a Juan el evangelista? ¿Cómo esta referencia directa al Nuevo Testamento nos habla de la influencia cristiana en el pensamiento masónico?

Estas son algunas de las materias, entre otras, a las que el autor intenta responder a fin de hacer comprender la importancia de san Juan en Masonería.

Las Logias de San Juan

por Jean Palou

En la francmasonería, los talleres de los tres primeros grados se llaman logias azules o logias de San Juan. Veremos, en efecto, más en detalle la significación histórica y simbólica de esta última expresión. Además, los dos términos están perfectamente ligados entre sí, puesto que el simbolismo conoce tres colores azules, "uno que emana del rojo, otro del blanco y un tercero que se une al negro...", lo que corresponde a las masonerías azul, roja, negra y blanca. Por otra parte, esas tres modalidades del mismo color están a la vez unidas tanto a los tres grados de la iniciación antigua como al triple bautismo cristiano, porque... "San Juan Bautista bautiza en el agua (azul) para inspirar la penitencia: es una preparación a un segundo bautismo que él anuncia y que Jesucristo dará por el Espíritu Santo y por el fuego". Se ve entonces por qué las logias azules constituyen las primeras marchas, en la humildad y el abandono del mundo profano, hacia la regeneración producida más tarde por el fuego (Fuego-Cordero). Naturalmente a este simbolismo de los colores se agrega el de San Juan.

En la obra bien conocida de Samuel Prichard aparecida en Londres en 1730, "Masonry dissected", se pueden leer las preguntas y respuestas siguientes:
P.: ¿De dónde vienes?
R.: De la santa logia de San Juan.
P.: ¿Qué recomendaciones traes?
R.: Las recomendaciones que traigo de los verdaderos y venerables hermanos y compañeros de la verdadera y santa logia de San Juan, de donde vengo, y yo os saludo tres veces de todo corazón.

Doce años más tarde se expresa en "L'Ordre des Francs- Maçons trahi et leur secret révélé" una versión más sucinta que la precedente:
"Preguntas que se agregan a algunas de las precedentes cuando un francmasón extraño pide ser admitido en la logia":
P.: ¿De dónde vienes?
R.: De la logia de San Juan.

Paul Naudon, en una obra reciente sobre "Les loges de Saint-Jean", se empeña en demostrar las relaciones existentes entre la francmasonería y los dos San Juan. Este interesante estudio es, por otra parte, más histórico y filosófico que propiamente simbólico, y es este último plano el único que nos interesa aquí.

¿A qué San Juan ha querido honrar la masonería al dar su nombre a sus logias azules, tanto en el pasado para las logias de los compañeros constructores, como en la masonería moderna para los talleres de los tres primeros grados? El hermano E. F. Bazot escribe a este respecto: "...en cuanto al San Juan que los masones han tomado como patrón no puede ser ni Juan Bautista ni Juan Evangelista, que no tienen, ni uno ni el otro, ninguna relación con la institución filantrópica de la francmasonería.

Se debe pensar, con los hermanos más filósofos y más esclarecidos, que el verdadero patrono de las logias es San Juan el Limosnero, hijo del rey de Chipre, que en tiempos de las Cruzadas dejó su patria y la esperanza del trono para ir a Jerusalén a prodigar los socorros más generosos a los peregrinos y a los caballeros. Juan fundó un hospital e instituyó hermanos para cuidar a los enfermos, a los cristianos heridos, y distribuir ayudas pecuniarias a los viajeros que iban a visitar el Santo Sepulcro.

Juan, digno por sus virtudes de convertirse en el patrono de una sociedad cuyo único fin era la beneficencia, expuso miles de veces su vida para hacer el bien. La peste, la guerra, el furor de los infieles, nada pudo detenerlo. La muerte lo abatió en medio de sus trabajos; pero el ejemplo de sus virtudes quedó para sus hermanos que se comprometieron a imitarlo. Roma lo canonizó con el nombre de San Juan el Limosnero, o San Juan de Jerusalén; y los masones cuyos templos destruidos por la barbarie él había erigido de nuevo, lo eligieron de común acuerdo como su protector".

Paul Naudon rechaza con una frase un poco desdeñosa esta opinión de Bazot que, evidentemente, al dar a la orden el único fin de la beneficencia olvida demasiado que la masonería es ante todo una técnica de realización espiritual.

Es posible que el origen de la afirmación de Bazot sea -como dice P. Naudon en el discurso de Ramsay-, que: "...nuestra orden (la masonería) se unió íntimamente con los caballeros de Jerusalén. Desde entonces nuestras logias llevan el nombre de logias de San Juan". Se trata, pues, de otra masonería distinta de la de los tres primeros grados, y si Bazot ha cometido un error es el de dar el patronazgo de San Juan de Jerusalén a las logias azules, en tanto que Ramsay quería hablar de otra masonería, es decir, de grados irlandeses o escoceses.

La única relación entre San Juan el Hospitalario o el Limosnero y los masones operativos se basa en un hecho referido por Rohrbacher. Se lee, en efecto, en este autor que San Juan el Limosnero, patriarca de Alejandría, envió inmensos recursos a Modesto, abate de San Teodoro, en Palestina, para reconstruir las iglesias destruidas en 615 por los árabes. En realidad, los santos patronos de la orden masónica son San Juan llamado el Precursor y San Juan el Evangelista, uno y otro en estrecho contacto con Janus, dios de los romanos, "dios de las corporaciones de artesanos o Collegia fabrorum que celebraban en su honor las dos fiestas solsticiales de invierno y verano".
En el primer capítulo del Evangelio según San Lucas, Zacarías insiste mucho para explicar el nombre de su hijo, el futuro Precursor. Él dice que se llamará Juan, lo que anuncia la piedad y la misericordia que serán los caracteres mismos del bautista. Es necesario observar que en hebreo el nombre Juan se dice hanan, que significa a la vez beneficencia y misericordia, mérito, gracia, merced (esta última palabra tiene el sentido de "piedad" y no carece de interés señalar el papel de la orden de los Trinitarios u orden de la Piedad, orden de caballería destinada a rescatar a los cristianos caídos en las manos de los infieles y que constituye el grado 26º de los altos grados del rito escocés). Johanan significa simultáneamente "misericordia de Dios" y "loa de Dios", y esos dos sentidos se aplican, el primero al Bautista, el segundo al Evangelista. R. Guénon ha observado justamente sobre el caso "que la misericordia es por cierto descendente y la loa ascendente, lo que nos conduce aún a su relación con las dos mitades del ciclo anual", es decir, con las fiestas solsticiales de San Juan de Invierno y de San Juan de Verano (27 de diciembre y 24 de junio).
San Juan Bautista es representado siempre vestido con un manto de color rojo, que es el símbolo del martirio, y en el baptisterio de Constantino, en la iglesia de San Juan de Letrán en Roma, se pueden ver alrededor de su estatua de plata siete siervos del mismo metal, "imagen de los siete dones del Espíritu Santo recibidos con el bautismo". Se recordará a este respecto que nadie puede ser admitido en una logia de San Juan sin la presencia de siete masones. Un nexo aun más estrecho entre el escocismo y San Juan Bautista se observa en la iglesia de Santa María de las Fuentes de Lieja. Se ve en esta iglesia un fuerte bajo relieve de cobre el cual representa al Precursor bautizando al filósofo Cratón.

La fuente bautismal descansa sobre doce bueyes, símbolo de los doce profetas de la antigua ley y de los doce apóstoles de la nueva ley (hay allí también una doble alegoría a la circuncisión y al bautismo). La fuente bautismal se convierte entonces en la imagen del mar de bronce que Salomón había consagrado a la entrada del Templo para purificarse, que es uno de los símbolos de un alto grado escocés.

San Juan Evangelista, "la loa de Dios", es representado en los vitrales de la Edad Media y en los Libros de las Horas con un hábito verde. En Bourges, él tiene una túnica verde y un manto rojo nimbado de oro. Se le ve bautizando por aspersión (es decir, vertiendo agua sobre la cabeza de los bautizados) almas representadas por personajes desnudos y asexuados. Por encima del Santo aparece Cristo rodeado de siete candelabros de oro, y el Salvador mantiene en una mano un libro cerrado por siete sellos, y en la otra el globo del mundo; la túnica verde es el símbolo de la caridad, y este color es igualmente el de ciertos números de grados escoceses, en especial el del Príncipe de la Misericordia, del que hablamos más arriba. La esmeralda, piedra preciosa también verde, es la joya atribuida al Evangelista.

El número siete es el número propio de ambos santos (por ejemplo, en ciertas pinturas se puede ver al Evangelista rodeado de siete formas de iglesias, pues ese número simboliza el misterio de que se rodean las verdades encerradas en el Libro Divino). El águila "que se eleva, desde el primer impulso de su vuelo, hasta el seno de Dios, para expresar en términos consagrados el origen de su Verbo y el principio de la luz divina", como el águila del Tetramorfo que al "planear igual que ésta por encima de todas las generaciones humanas cuando relata el nacimiento eterno del Verbo", son las aves de San Juan, cuyo Evangelio se lee en cierto número de logias al iniciarse los trabajos. Existe una relación todavía más estrecha entre el Evangelio y la francmasonería cuando se observa, en el Apocalipsis, a Juan que recibe de un ángel una vara de una toesa con orden de medir el templo, excepto el espacio alrededor del tabernáculo, que era abandonado a los gentiles por Dios, los que deberían recorrer, en las tinieblas exteriores, ese espacio durante tres años y medio.

Es necesario aproximar aquí a Juan, maestro de la iniciación y que preside la dirección del templo esotérico, con la logia que lleva su nombre, en la cual los profanos no pueden ser admitidos sino después de tres años de aprendizaje, cuando son recibidos como compañeros, único grado de la antigua masonería operativa. Más curiosa aún es esa cita de Dante -que quizá perteneció a los Fieles del Amor o a la Fraternidad de los Rosacruces- que muestra a Juan mártir, quien prueba así su amor a Dios, después de haberlo extraído del pecho del Celeste Pelícano. Nos resultaría fácil desarrollar las numerosas relaciones existentes entre la simbólica cristiana de Juan y las logias de San Juan, pero queremos llegar a los vínculos -y éste es el término iniciático exacto- que existen entre los dos San Juan y Janus.

Janus es Cluvius (el que lleva las llaves), al mismo tiempo que Patuleius (el obrero) y Clusius o Cluvisius, es decir, el que cierra. Se le denominaba también el Padre, y los sacerdotes salios lo invocaban como dios de los dioses.

Janus era sobre todo el maestro de la iniciación, y Ovidio nos dice que nadie entraba en el cielo si él no abría la puerta, y Marcial expresa que él también iniciaba la marcha de las estaciones del año y de las revoluciones celestes, y de ahí su nombre Janitor, el portero del cielo.
Más tarde, Janus se convirtió entre los romanos en el guía de las almas y el jefe de los Manes (Janus Bifrons) que él hacía remontar tres veces por año desde los infiernos al mundo superior, el 24 de agosto, el 5 de octubre y el 8 de noviembre.

Las fiestas solsticiales de Janus se convirtieron en las fiestas de San Juan de Invierno y San Juan de Verano. Dios de los artesanos constructores, es decir, de los hombres del oficio cuya iniciación desemboca en los pequeños misterios, Janus se cristianizó y devino el patrono bajo el nombre de dos santos (Juan) -que en suma no son más que dos modalidades de un solo y mismo ser- de las logias de los constructores de la Edad Media, que celebraban sus fiestas el 27 de diciembre y el 24 de junio.

Esto es tan cierto que se puede ver en la iglesia de Saint-Remy en Reims un vitral donde figura "un San Juan que se podría llamar "sintético", que incluye en una sola figura al Precursor y al Evangelista, fusión subrayada por la presencia encima de la cabeza de dos tornasoles dirigidos en sentido opuesto (los dos solsticios), una especie de Janus cristiano en suma".

Nos parece del mismo modo útil mencionar que en el simbolismo masónico operativo que se ha trasmitido a la masonería anglosajona se halla una figuración de dos San Juan representada por un círculo que lleva en su centro un punto, círculo que ostenta dos tangentes paralelas. "Este círculo es considerado como una figura del ciclo anual, mientras que los puntos de contacto de esas dos tangentes, diametralmente opuestas una a la otra, corresponden entonces a los dos puntos solsticiales". Ya hemos dicho que Janus poseía a menudo dos rostros (bifrons), muy raramente cuatro, y mencionaremos ese curioso ejemplo que muestra muy bien la relación de los dos rostros de Janus con los masones operativos. En la catedral de Nantes se puede admirar la tumba del duque de Bretaña, Francisco II, por Michel Colombe.

En uno de los ángulos de la tumba se halla una estatua que representa la Prudencia. Se trata de una mujer de doble rostro: el de una joven y el de un anciano (alegoría de Janus). Ese personaje sostiene en una mano un espejo convexo que simboliza el microcosmos (el espejo fue introducido bastante tarde en el rito rectificado en el grado de compañero después de haber sido conocido en la Estricta Observancia, en 1782) y, en la otra, un compás. El escultor del siglo XVI ha sabido, pues, reunir perfectamente todos los símbolos iniciáticos: el de Janus, patrono de los constructores, y el compás, instrumento de los maestros masones. Más asombrosa aún esa madera grabada con el tratado de L'Azoth del alquimista Basile Valentín, donde se observa "a los píes de Atlas, que soporta la esfera cósmica, un busto de Janus -Prudencia- y un niño que deletrea el alfabeto -Simplicitas-", que nos presenta a Janus como maestro de la iniciación ante el cosmos, es decir, la logia, y el niño que deletrea, el aprendiz que deberá -por el esfuerzo iniciático- reunir lo que está disperso, esto es, las letras que formarán las palabras sagradas, las palabras claves. Porque no se podría olvidar tampoco que Janus, dios de las puertas celestes y al que es consagrado el mes de enero, tiene entre sus atributos una llave, que simboliza el instrumento que permite abrir las puertas, las barreras, para llegar a un conocimiento más perfecto, más profundo del esoterismo.

Esta llave se ha tornado un cetro en ciertas representaciones de Janus, siendo esos dos atributos también los de Cristo: "¡O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel!... Tú eres, ¡OH Cristo esperado! la llave de David y el cetro de la casa de Israel. Tú abres, nadie puede cerrar; y cuando tú cierras nadie podría ya abrir...".

Este santo del oficio romano del 20 de diciembre, al mismo tiempo que el anuncio de la fiesta del Evangelista -el solsticio de invierno cuya puerta se abre con la llave de Janus-, canta la llegada del salvador que será bautizado por el Precursor y que dará a Pedro el poder de las llaves: la de oro y la de plata. Una y otra son las claves de los pequeños misterios y de los grandes misterios; ellas dan la entrada sobre los mundos temporal y espiritual. Pedro posee la llave de la salvación. Juan, después de Janus, lleva la llave de la liberación. Con este título él no puede ser más que el santo patrono de las logias masónicas, donde -al mismo tiempo que se trabaja para la fraternidad, el tiempo ideal- el iniciado tiende por un segundo nacimiento (la condición de maestro) a la realización integral, al retorno al Adán Kadmon primordial...

Artículo previamente publicado en el blog Masonería Regular
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