A secret Masonic hand clasp, handshake or handgrip is used between two Freemasons in order to recognize that they are Brothers of the same Order. Even the type of grip they hold can identify which Masons are of the lower degrees and higher degrees by testing his handshake. It is a universal sign of unity and an important Bro' mode of recognition.
Albert Mackey, 33°, former Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, had said; "The right hand has in all ages been deemed an emblem of fidelity, and our ancient brethren worshipped Deity under the name of Fides or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by two right hands joined. The Freemasons use approximately 12 secret handshakes that can be used anywhere in the world to identify their Brethren; however, there are alleged to be many more handshakes. However, the Masons did not exactly invent this ancient sacred method of greeting the initiated members of their craft.
4th Century Church Father, Saint Epiphanius describes the ritual hand clasps of the Gnostic Ophites; "On the arrival of any stranger belonging to the same belief, they have a sign given by the man to the woman, and vice versa. In the Apocalyptic Book of Enoch, a hand clasp is also spoken of: "And the angel Michael, . In the 5th Century Gospel of Nicodemus, the hand clasp is depicted as the beginning of salvation and ascent where it is said, "And the Lord . The handshake will forever be a divine sign amongst humans of unity, recognition, equality, friendship, agreement, entrance, secrecy, marriage, sexuality, salvation, starting the path of initiation, ending the path of initiation, resurrection, forgiveness, reconciliation, communion of man with man, of human with god, of god with god, and apotheosis. Thus the ritual Masonic handshake is but a continuation of the ancient Gnostic Ophite rituals that then found its way into early Christianity. A distributor of quality Masonic Regalia and Supplies at competitive prices proudly serving the Canadian Masonic Fraternity.
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If you have any questions about ordering from the Canadian Masonic Supply Shop please contact Blake at or call us at (toll free) 1 855 666 2766 . Swarming near the entrance of the George Ignatieff Theatre, they were poised to intercept the Freemasons who hoped to join a meeting that would address their relevance to the modern world.
When I arrived at the doors, the protesters were browbeating an attendee who had stuck his head out to see what the protest was about. Written by Southern mason and confederate-army general Albert Pike, the book is a putative tell-all about the Scottish Rite of Masonry, a classic of the conspiratorial canon. Some members of the group -- otherwise known as the Craft -- will just tell you it's grossly misquoted, utterly antiquated or totally ignored. For three centuries, Freemasons have held their secret meetings, worn their aprons, exchanged their grips --or knuckle-to-knuckle hand greetings -- and built a mystical life philosophy on the constructs of architecture. And with the drop in numbers, there is the other existential question: Do you let the ladies in? David Sheen, a traditionalist kind of Mason who sits on a governing body called the board of general purposes, said the Masons shouldn't worry about relevance. But all these problems might seem quaint next year, when one of the world's most commercially successful authors, Dan Brown, publishes the Solomon Key. His previous novel, The Da Vinci Code, whose 60 million-plus copies sold made it one of the best-selling books of all time, is notorious for demonizing the powerful Catholic lay order Opus Dei.
The novel's title is a reference to the Key of Solomon, a medieval book of occult practices erroneously attributed to King Solomon, and though its publishing date hasn't been confirmed, a cottage industry of conjecture has already sprung into action. Two years ago, Greg Taylor published The Guide to Dan Brown's the Solomon Key and has been trailing clues left by Mr. Still, weathering the Dan Brown effect was not an easy challenge for Opus Dei, a conservative movement in the church that was largely unknown to the general public until the Da Vinci Code.
Monsignor Frederick Dolan, Opus Dei's Vicar in Canada, said that at first, it wasn't easy being under the magnifying glass, and defending one's beliefs.
Before I was allowed to enter the theatre and find out about the plight of the Freemasons, the protestors asked me if I knew that George H.W. As I passed, I was handed a pamphlet that asked if Freemasons worshipped Satan, which had this caveat: "Most Masons do not worship Satan. The 280 year old book is handwritten with lines full of neatly plotted Latin characters, of various sizes. Professor Kevin Knight of the Science Institute at the University of Southern California who is an expert in computer language and machine translations, but have no experience of cryptic writings was contacted by two Swedish linguists, Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University.
The strange text appeared to describe the rituals and political ideals developed by a secret society, "The occultist order" a branch of the free masons in Germany sometime in the 1730s.
This opens new doors to study the history and ideas of this kind of secret societies, let´s just hope the complete results gets publicly released without any censoring. Alternative Realities" is strictly an informative website we do not claim anything is actual fact or fiction,and are not responsible of how information obtained here are used.
WHEN confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question.
There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious doctrines of the pagans were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect--one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life.
Every pagan nation had (and has) not only its state religion, but another into which the philosophic elect alone have gained entrance. Few realize the extent to which the ancient secret schools influenced contemporary intellects and, through those minds, posterity. With the decline of virtue, which has preceded the destruction of every nation of history, the Mysteries became perverted. Thomas Taylor has written, "Man is naturally a religious animal." From the earliest dawning of his consciousness, man has worshiped and revered things as symbolic of the invisible, omnipresent, indescribable Thing, concerning which he could discover practically nothing. It was not the true faith of the early Christian mystics that Celsus attacked, but the false forms that were creeping in even during his day. The ancient philosophers believed that no man could live intelligently who did not have a fundamental knowledge of Nature and her laws. This illustration shows Cybele, here called the Syrian Goddess, in the robes of a hierophant. At the time of the Roman conquest, the Druids were thoroughly ensconced in Britain and Gaul.
Not only was the mistletoe sacred as symbolic of the universal medicine, or panacea, but also because of the fact that it grew upon the oak tree. The proximity of the British Isles to the lost Atlantis may account for the sun worship which plays an important part in the rituals of Druidism.
The school of the Druids was divided into three distinct parts, and the secret teachings embodied therein are practically the same as the mysteries concealed under the allegories of Blue Lodge Masonry. In order to reach the exalted position of Arch-Druid, or spiritual head of the organization, it was necessary for a priest to pass through the six successive degrees of the Druidic Order. The most striking adornment of the Arch-Druid was the iodhan moran, or breastplate of judgment, which possessed the mysterious Power of strangling any who made an untrue statement while wearing it.
According to James Gardner, there were usually two Arch-Druids in Britain, one residing on the Isle of Anglesea and the other on the Isle of Man.
Eliphas Levi states that the Druids lived in strict abstinence, studied the natural sciences, preserved the deepest secrecy, and admitted new members only after long probationary periods. Like nearly all schools of the Mysteries, the teachings of the Druids were divided into two distinct sections.
Before a candidate was intrusted with the secret doctrines of the Druids, he was bound with a vow of secrecy. The secret teachings of the Druids are said by some to be tinctured with Pythagorean philosophy. Both the cross and the serpent were sacred to the Druids, who made the former by cutting off all the branches of an oak tree and fastening one of them to the main trunk in the form of the letter T. Godfrey Higgins states that Hu, the Mighty, regarded as the first settler of Britain, came from a place which the Welsh Triads call the Summer Country, the present site of Constantinople.
When the Persian Mysteries immigrated into Southern Europe, they were quickly assimilated by the Latin mind. Alexander Wilder, in his Philosophy and Ethics of the Zoroasters, states that Mithras is the Zend title for the sun, and he is supposed to dwell within that shining orb.
The Druid temples of places of religious worship were not patterned after those of other nations. Initiation into the rites of Mithras, like initiation into many other ancient schools of philosophy, apparently consisted of three important degrees. While the cult of Mithras did not reach the philosophic heights attained by Zarathustra, its effect upon the civilization of the Western world was far-reaching, for at one time nearly all Europe was converted to its doctrines. The most famous sculpturings and reliefs of this prototokos show Mithras kneeling upon the recumbent form of a great bull, into whose throat he is driving a sword. The Masons use their set of unique handshakes to not only identify members of the society, but also to identity the different various classes, or castes of people within the societies. In holding out the hand under pretense of saluting each other, they feel and tickle it in a peculiar manner underneath the palm, and so discover that the new-comer belongs to the same sect. Compton had written in a research paper titled, The Handclasp and Embrace as Tokens of Recognition that according to German philologist, Semitist and translator of Mandaean texts, Mark Lidzbarski, the main concept of Mandaean religion is "truth," kusta; this word is also used to refer to the bond which unites the faithful, and the handshake of brotherhood. Please do not hesitate to contact us for either a quotation or assistance regarding your order.
Edgar Hoover, repentant segregationist George Wallace and the controversial Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard. What with all the responsibilities men have at home these days, they can't be out planning their conspiracies every night. Sheen, the Toronto Mason, doesn't rue the inevitable bonanza of scrutiny that is bound to accompany the upcoming novel.
Bush was a Freemason and his son was a member of Yale University's secret society Skull & Bones. Hosted by the Toronto Society for Masonic Research, it permitted public participation; Master masons, the highest-ranking brothers, sat on the stage with uninitiated panelists, which is typically a no-no. All in one long sequence without the slightest space between the words, in addition to the Latin letters it also consists of 64 unknown geometric characters. After several failed attempts the group soon realized that the Latin letters were in fact spaces between words, and suddenly the text became more easy to understand.

Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed.
To the discerning few were revealed the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many received only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. Many of these ancient cults vanished from the earth without revealing their secrets, but a few have survived the test of ages and their mysterious symbols are still preserved. Robert Macoy, 33°, in his General History of Freemasonry, pays a magnificent tribute to the part played by the ancient Mysteries in the rearing of the edifice of human culture.
The pagan Mysteries opposed the Christians during the early centuries of their church, declaring that the new faith (Christianity) did not demand virtue and integrity as requisites for salvation. The ideals of early Christianity were based upon the high moral standards of the pagan Mysteries, and the first Christians who met under the city of Rome used as their places of worship the subterranean temples of Mithras, from whose cult has been borrowed much of the sacerdotalism of the modem church. Before man can obey, he must understand, and the Mysteries were devoted to instructing man concerning the operation of divine law in the terrestrial sphere.
This indicates the probability of their Atlantean origin, for the people of Atlantis were sun worshipers. During the mediæval centuries, they were chiefly religious and political, although a few philosophic schools remained. There were literally scores of these ancient cults, with branches in all parts of the Eastern and Western worlds.
Their power over the people was unquestioned, and there were instances in which armies, about to attack each other, sheathed their swords when ordered to do so by the white-robed Druids. Through the symbol of the oak, the Druids worshiped the Supreme Deity; therefore, anything growing upon that tree was sacred to Him. This school, which closely resembled the Bacchic and Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece or the Egyptian rites of Isis and Osiris, is justly designated the Druidic Mysteries. According to Artemidorus, Ceres and Persephone were worshiped on an island close to Britain with rites and ceremonies similar to those of Samothrace. Its members were robed in sky-blue, to represent harmony and truth, and to them was assigned the labor of memorizing, at least in part, the twenty thousand verses of Druidic sacred poetry.
Godfrey Higgins states that this breastplate was put on the necks of witnesses to test the veracity of their evidence.
Many of the priests of the order lived in buildings not unlike the monasteries of the modern world. The simpler, a moral code, was taught to all the people, while the deeper, esoteric doctrine was given only to initiated priests.
The Druids had a Madonna, or Virgin Mother, with a Child in her arms, who was sacred to their Mysteries; and their Sun God was resurrected at the time of the year corresponding to that at which modern Christians celebrate Easter.
Albert Pike says that the Lost Word of Masonry is concealed in the name of the Druid god Hu.
The cult grew rapidly, especially among the Roman soldiery, and during the Roman wars of conquest the teachings were carried by the legionaries to nearly all parts of Europe. Most of their ceremonies were performed at night, either in thick groves of oak trees or around open-air altars built of great uncut stones. One of the reasons for this probably is that the Persian mystics invaded Italy during the first century after Christ and the early history of both cults was closely interwoven.
Porphyry, in his Cave of the Nymphs, states that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was the first to consecrate a cave to the worship of God, because a cavern was symbolic of the earth, or the lower world of darkness. Peter, in Rome, was believed to have been used in one of the pagan Mysteries, possibly that of Mithras, in whose subterranean grottoes the votaries of the Christian Mysteries met in the early days of their faith.
Preparation for these degrees consisted of self-purification, the building up of the intellectual powers, and the control of the animal nature. Rome, in her intercourse with other nations, inoculated them with her religious principles; and many later institutions have exhibited Mithraic culture. The slaying of the bull signifies that the rays of the sun, symbolized by the sword, release at the vernal equinox the vital essences of the earth--the blood of the bull--which, pouring from the wound made by the Sun God, fertilize the seeds of living things. The Freemasons actually inherited this handshake ritual along with many mysteries and symbols from the ancient Gnostic mysteries. Thereupon, however poor they may be, they serve up to him a sumptuous feast, with abundance of meats and wine.
In Mandaean baptism, the priest gives the kusta to the initiate standing in water, then crowns him with a wreath of myrtle.
Our world-wide order is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, truth and real Gnosticism using both ancient and modern gnosis techniques such as science to not only KNOW THYSELF, but also to MASTER THYSELF. The so-called Copiale-cipher has been giving historians and scientists headaches trying to decipher it since it was found in East Berlin after the Cold War. The next discovery was that a colon meant that a consonant that stood there was in fact to be read as double character. While the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock of sheep and taught in simple language. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified, becoming the gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. These individuals were usually banded together, forming seclusive philosophic and religious schools. Much of the ritualism of Freemasonry is based on the trials to which candidates were subjected by the ancient hierophants before the keys of wisdom were entrusted to them. Indescribable practices (such as the Bacchanalia) were introduced, and perversion ruled supreme; for no institution can be any better than the members of which it is composed. Few of the early cults actually worshiped anthropomorphic deities, although their symbolism might lead one to believe they did. The Solar Deity was usually personified as a beautiful youth, with long golden hair to symbolize the rays of the sun. In modern times, secret societies, in the Occidental countries, are largely political or fraternal, although in a few of them, as in Masonry, the ancient religious and philosophic principles still survive. Some, such as those of Pythagoras and the Hermetists, show a decided Oriental influence, while the Rosicrucians, according to their own proclamations, gained much of their wisdom from Arabian mystics. No undertaking of great importance was scatted without the assistance of these patriarchs, who stood as mediators between the gods and men. At certain seasons, according to the positions of the sun, moon, and stars, the Arch-Druid climbed the oak tree and cut the mistletoe with a golden sickle consecrated for that service. There has been much speculation concerning the secret wisdom that the Druids claimed to possess. There is no doubt that the Druidic Pantheon includes a large number of Greek and Roman deities. They were often pictured with the primitive British or Irish harp--an instrument strung with human hair, and having as many strings as there were ribs on one side of the human body. The Druidic tiara, or anguinum, its front embossed with a number of points to represent the sun's rays, indicated that the priest was a personification of the rising sun.
These dignitaries generally carried golden scepters and were crowned with wreaths of oak leaves, symbolic of their authority. In the present world, said they, Good and Evil are so exactly balanced that man has the utmost freedom and is able to choose or reject either.
To be admitted to the order, a candidate was required to be of good family and of high moral character. In these places, far from the haunts of men, the neophyte was instructed concerning the creation of the universe, the personalities of the gods, the laws of Nature, the secrets of occult medicine, the mysteries of the celestial bodies, and the rudiments of magic and sorcery. The meager information extant concerning the secret initiations of the Druids indicates a decided similarity between their Mystery school and the schools of Greece and Egypt. So powerful did the cult of Mithras become that at least one Roman Emperor was initiated into the order, which met in caverns under the city of Rome. As Mithras, he is the ford of the sun, powerful and radiant, and most magnificent of the Yazatas (Izads, or Genii, of the sun). From Ormuzd came forth a number of hierarchies of good and beautiful spirits (angels and archangels). At last when Ormuzd created the human race, Ahriman became incarnate in the lower nature of man so that in each personality the Spirit of Good and the Spirit of Evil struggle for control. In Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins writes that in 1662, while cleaning this sacred chair of Bar-Jonas, the Twelve Labors of Hercules were discovered upon it, and that later the French discovered upon the same chair the Mohammedan confession of faith, written in Arabic.
In the first degree the candidate was given a crown upon the point of a sword and instructed in the mysteries of Mithras' hidden power. The reference to the "Lion" and the "Grip of the Lion's Paw" in the Master Mason's degree have a strong Mithraic tinge and may easily have originated from this cult. It will be evident that here we have origins in abundance for the Freemason's Eye and 'its nunquam dormio.'" The reader must nor confuse the Persian Mithra with the Vedic Mitra. Dogs were held sacred to the cult of Mithras, being symbolic of sincerity and trustworthiness.
The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem confirms the theory that Jesus was born in a grotto, or cave. These handshakes (hand clasps) first originated with the ancient Gnostic Ophites with their Sabazian and Mithraic mysteries. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.
While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies), the wise recognized in these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths. This golden Sun God was slain by wicked ruffians, who personified the evil principle of the universe. The figure hath a lion on each side, and holds in its left hand a Tympanum, a Sistrum, a Distaff, a Caduceus, and another instrument. Although the Mystery schools are usually associated with civilization, there is evidence that the most uncivilized peoples of prehistoric times had a knowledge of them. The Druidic Order is deservedly credited with having had a deep understanding of Nature and her laws. The parasitic growth was caught in white cloths provided for the purpose, lest it touch the earth and be polluted by terrestrial vibrations.

Their secret teachings were never written, but were communicated orally to specially prepared candidates.
This greatly amazed Cæsar during his conquest of Britain and Gaul, and caused him to affirm that these tribes adored Mercury, Apollo, Mars, and Jupiter, in a manner similar to that of the Latin countries. The Ovates dressed in green, the Druidic color of learning, and were expected to know something about medicine, astronomy, poetry if possible, and sometimes music.
These Bards were often chosen as teachers of candidates seeking entrance into the Druidic Mysteries.
The Druids always dressed in white--symbolic of their purity, and the color used by them to symbolize the sun. On the front of his belt the Arch-Druid wore the liath meisicith--a magic brooch, or buckle in the center of which was a large white stone.
The younger members of the Druidic Order were clean-shaven and modestly dressed, but the more aged had long gray beards and wore magnificent golden ornaments.
The Welsh Triads tell us there are three objects of metempsychosis: to collect into the soul the properties of all being, to acquire a knowledge of all things, and to get power to conquer evil. No important secrets were intrusted to him until he had been tempted in many ways and his strength of character severely tried. Hu, the Sun God, was murdered and, after a number of strange ordeals and mystic rituals, was restored to life.
As Mithra, this deity represents the feminine principle; the mundane universe is recognized as her symbol. The most famous of their altars, a great stone ring of rocks, is Stonehenge, in Southwestern England. Probably he was taught that the golden crown represented his own spiritual nature, which must be objectified and unfolded before he could truly glorify Mithras; for Mithras was his own soul, standing as mediator between Ormuzd, his spirit, and Ahriman, his animal nature.
The Mithraics used the serpent a an emblem of Ahriman, the Spirit of Evil, and water rats were held sacred to him.
According to Dupuis, Mithras was put to death by crucifixion and rose again on the third day. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food of strong men.
Many of the great minds of antiquity were initiated into these secret fraternities by strange and mysterious rites, some of which were extremely cruel.
In some cases they succeeded, but more often the arcanum was lost and only the empty shell of the Mysteries remained. They taught man to use his faculties more intelligently, to be patient in the face of adversity, to be courageous when confronted by danger, to be true in the midst of temptation, and, most of all, to view a worthy life as the most acceptable sacrifice to God, and his body as an altar sacred to the Deity. By means of certain rituals and ceremonies, symbolic of purification and regeneration, this wonderful God of Good was brought back to life and became the Savior of His people.
In her right hand she holds with her middle finger a thunderbolt, and upon the same am animals, insects, and, as far as we may guess, flowers, fruit, a bow, a quiver, a torch, and a scythe." The whereabouts of the statue is unknown, the copy reproduced by Montfaucon being from drawings by Pirro Ligorio. Natives of distant islands, many in the lowest forms of savagery, have mystic rituals and secret practices which, although primitive, are of a decided Masonic tinge. The Encyclopædia Britannica states that geography, physical science, natural theology, and astrology were their favorite studies. It is almost certain that the Druidic Mysteries were not indigenous to Britain or Gaul, but migrated from one of the more ancient civilizations.
An Ovate was an individual admitted to the Druidic Order because of his general excellence and superior knowledge concerning the problems of life.
Neophytes wore striped robes of blue, green, and white, these being the three sacred colors of the Druidic Order. To this was attributed the power of drawing the fire of the gods down from heaven at the priest's command This specially cut stone was a burning glass, by which the sun's rays were concentrated to light the altar fires.
The educational system of the Druids in Britain was superior to that of their colleagues on the Continent, and consequently many of the Gallic youths were sent to the Druidic colleges in Britain for their philosophical instruction and training. Many of the Druids retired from the world and lived as recluses in caves, in rough-stone houses, or in little shacks built in the depths of a forest. There are also, they say, three kinds of knowledge: knowledge of the nature of each thing, of its cause, and its influence.
Taliesin, an ancient scholar, who passed through the Mysteries, describes the initiation of the open boat in Faber's Pagan Idolatry.
She represents Nature as receptive and terrestrial, and as fruitful only when bathed in the glory of the solar orb.
He was also a pure and beautiful spirit, but he later rebelled against Ormuzd, being jealous of his power. In the second degree he was given the armor of intelligence and purity and sent into the darkness of subterranean pits to fight the beasts of lust, passion, and degeneracy. Thoughtlessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtfulness is symbolic of maturity. The secret processes whereby He was resurrected symbolized those cultures by means of which man is able to overcome his lower nature, master his appetites, and give expression to the higher side of himself. The Druids had a fundamental knowledge of medicine, especially the use of herbs and simples.
Thomas Maurice, in his Indian Antiquities, discourses at length on Phœnician, Carthaginian, and Greek expeditions to the British Isles for the purpose of procuring tin.
The Druids also had other symbolic implements, such as the peculiarly shaped golden sickle with which they cut the mistletoe from the oak, and the cornan, or scepter, in the form of a crescent, symbolic of the sixth day of the increasing moon and also of the Ark of Noah. It is believed that initiations took place only at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. The few who passed this third degree were said to have been "born again," and were instructed in the secret and hidden truths which the Druid priests had preserved from antiquity. The Mithraic cult is a simplification of the more elaborate teachings of Zarathustra (Zoroaster), the Persian fire magician. This did not occur, however, until after Ormuzd had created light, for previously Ahriman had not been conscious of the existence of Ormuzd. In the third degree he was given a cape, upon which were drawn or woven the signs of the zodiac and other astronomical symbols.
It is possible that the Masonic ladder with seven rungs had its origin in this Mithraic symbol. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.if you are the copyright owner of some material and want it removed let us know and we will process this as soon as possible . The most celebrated were those of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, and Eleusis." After being admitted, the initiates were instructed in the secret wisdom which had been preserved for ages. Others are of the opinion that the Mysteries as celebrated by the Druids were of Oriental origin, possibly Buddhistic.
An early initiate of the Druidic Mysteries related that admission to their midnight ceremony was gained by means of a glass boat, called Cwrwg Gwydrin. They also had great veneration for the Nature spirits (fairies, gnomes, and undines), little creatures of the forests and rivers to whom many offerings were made. From these initiates were chosen many of the dignitaries of the British religious and political world. Then the power of Ahriman began, and the struggle for the soul of man continues through the next period of 3,000 years.
After his initiations were over, he was hailed as one who had risen from the dead, was instructed in the secret teachings of the Persian mystics, and became a full-fledged member of the order. Women were never permitted to enter the Mithraic Order, but children of the male sex were initiates long before they reached maturity. Plato, an initiate of one of these sacred orders, was severely criticized because in his writings he revealed to the public many of the secret philosophic principles of the Mysteries.
An odd treatise on early British medicine states that every practitioner was expected to have a garden or back yard for the growing of certain herbs necessary to his profession. This boat symbolized the moon, which, floating upon the waters of eternity, preserved the seeds of living creatures within its boatlike crescent. They believed in a purgatorial type of hell where they would be purged of their sins, afterward passing on to the happiness of unity with the gods. Candidates who successfully passed the Mithraic initiations were called Lions and were marked upon their foreheads with the Egyptian cross. The refusal to permit women to join the Masonic Order may be based on the esoteric reason given in the secret instructions of the Mithraics.
The Druids taught that all men would be saved, but that some must return to earth many times to learn the lessons of human life and to overcome the inherent evil of their own natures. Good will return to the world again, evil and death will be vanquished, and at last the Spirit of Evil will bow humbly before the throne of Ormuzd.
This cult is another excellent example of those secret societies whose legends are largely symbolic representations of the sun and his journey through the houses of the heavens. While Ormuzd and Ahriman are struggling for control of the human soul and for supremacy in Nature, Mithras, God of Intelligence, stands as mediator between the two.
Throughout the entire ritual were repeated references to the birth of Mithras as the Sun God, his sacrifice for man, his death that men might have eternal life, and lastly, his resurrection and the saving of all humanity by his intercession before the throne of Ormuzd. Mithras, rising from a stone, is merely the sun rising over the horizon, or, as the ancients supposed, out of the horizon, at the vernal equinox. As the chemical mercury acts as a solvent (according to alchemists), so Mithras seeks to harmonize the two celestial opposites.

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