Monday, June 29, 2015

Water of Fire: On Rainbows and Hexagrams

Water of Fire: On Rainbows & Hexagrams

As readers are doubtless aware, California is presently beset with epic drought conditions. Meanwhile, as I write this, the Midwest was racked with another round of severe thunderstorms, several of which spawned tornados, and many of which exacerbated flood conditions in any areas already experiencing their wettest June on record.

What might a person of synchromystic turn of mind make of the conjunction of such pressing news items as drought-plagued Golden State[1] and rain-soaked “heartland”?[2] A rough starting place would be to explore the age-old juxtaposition of the primal elements fire and water. Amongst the many representations of the symbolical union of these two primal elements in the occult, two stand out.

The first notable fire-water combination is the rainbow.

(Still frame from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999.)

(“Rainbow Brite.”)

Aleister Crowley associates the Zodiacal fire “triplicity” water of fire with the: “Rainbow – fading spiritualized reflection of the Image.”[3]

In some forms of Buddhism: “The rainbow …is the pathway that separates the supernal and the sacred realms from the mundane and the profane. …[T]he rainbow is …the Pathway of the Gods…”.[4]

“[T]he seven colours of the rainbow-staircase are assimilated to the seven directions of space. The ascent of the rainbow stairway is symbolically equivalent to the seven steps taken by the Buddha at his nativity.. It is a progress through the six directions back to the seventh ‘direction’, the dimensionless and spaceless point of Unity; it is a return to the hub of the six-spoked Wheel of the World; it is a transcendence of the spatial condition. The Buddha’s descent of the rainbow-staircase, coming down from the celestial spheres to the world of men, is yet another expression of the genesis of the spatio-temporal world from its Principle; it is a descent from the point-summit of the universe into the world of spatial and temporal differentiation.”[5]

This Buddhist “pathway” has an analog in the so-called “rainbow bridge” of Norse mythology – and “blockbuster” Marvel movies.

Is there a multi-colored game afoot? Is Roy G. Biv a servant of God or of the Devil?[6]

On the one hand, the Biblical book of Genesis relates that God said: “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”[7]

“[T]he bow is the symbol of fate. As a rainbow, it displays the will of God himself in religious mysticism.”[8]

On the other hand, according to the Jewish website “[T]he rainbow is a sign that mankind is sinning… [A] generation that never sees a rainbow is on an especially high level of spirituality and righteous conduct.”[9]

As just outlined, the rainbow’s biblical history is bound up with a cataclysmic flood. “As a result of the moral decay of the generation, 1,656 years after the world was created, G‑d flooded the world and destroyed it. The only survivors of the Flood were Noah, his family and the animals that were on the ark with them.”[10]

The New Testament book of Second Peter tells us that, in the future, things will end differently. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”[11]

One subcurrent to the rainbow theme that is relevant to the question of sin is the sexual aspect of all of this.

For example, “[t]he powerful Voodoo god, Dan …is generally depicted in Benin in the shape of a serpent biting its tail [i.e., as an alchemical ouroboros]. It is …assimilated to the rainbow and is regarded as a doubly bisexual being since it is its own twin, the two in one, ‘coiled in a spiral round the world which they preserve from disintegration.’”[12]

(Rainbow serpent Dan.)

Maybe the Nordic “Bifröst” should be pronounced with an emphasis on the “bi.”

This sexual dimension comes to the forefront in the “gay rights movement.”[13] (See below for a discussion of how the phrase the “gay science” was previously used as a synonym for alchemy.)

One of the centerpiece symbols in alchemy is the "rebis." Literally, the word designates a "dual" or "double thing." Maybe we could say a "bi thing"? It is a representation of the androgyne ("man-woman"), called the "bisexual man" by James Shelby Downard. The presentation of alchemical rainbows follow, therefore, closely upon the elevation of the transsexual poster-androgyne, Bruce (alias "Caitlyn") Jenner.

According to the relevant Wikipedia article the so-called “Rainbow Flag”: “…commonly the gay pride flag and LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.”[14]

The second fire-water symbol is the hexagram.

“The hexagram consists of two equilateral triangles with the same centre but pointing in opposite directions, usually upwards and downwards. …The downward-pointing and upward-pointing triangles …symbolize the sexual union of the female and male principles, of Śakti and Śiva, of water and fire.”[15]

As indicated in the above paragraph, the hexagram occurs in Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The primary significance of the hexagram is arguably Jewish-Kabbalistic.[16] (More on Judaism, below.) However, there is a related (and possibly derivative) line in alchemy.[17]

“In alchemy, the two triangles of the hexagram …represent the union of fire and water.”[18]

However, the rainbow also has its place in the alchemical tradition.[19] “The rainbow is …symbolical of …[a particular] stage in the alchemical process. At a certain period, as a result of putrefaction, there is observed a phenomenon of many-coloured lights…”.[20] “A rainbow of colors appeared in the alchemist’s flask.”[21]

(From Kenneth Anger's [born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer] Lucifer Rising, 1972.

Crowley associates the Alchemical rainbow with “[t]he ‘coat of many colours’ said to have been worn by Joseph and Jesus, in the ancient legends…”.[22]

As with the rainbow, the hexagram has sexual undertones. The upwards-pointing triangle is said to symbolize the active, male generative organ, the phallus; the downwards-pointing triangle supposedly represents the passive, female receptive organ, the womb. Anyone familiar with Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code novel, or its big screen adaptation, will recall the importance of the “blade” and “chalice” to the “Holy Grail”-themed plot.

For that matter, alchemy itself is thoroughly shot-through with the psychosexual if not the explicitly sex-magical. In The Path of Alchemy, Mark Stavish writes that “The ‘gay science’ is an ancient name for alchemy.”[23]

Following the visionary thinker James Shelby Downard, revisionist historian and writer Michael Hoffman has pointed out that alchemy comes in two “types.” On the one hand, there is an ersatz, exoteric, lead-into-gold variety. On the other hand, there is a genuine, esoteric, man-into-“superman” variety.

“By way of illustrating [this latter form of] human alchemy let us recall that Friedrich Neitzsche popularized the nickname for alchemy, the ‘gay science.’[24] In 1996, according to Pew Research, 65% of the American public opposed homosexual ‘marriage.’ …Pew reports that [by] 2012 only 44% of the American people oppose[d] homosexual marriage. …[T]here is no question that in a mere 16 years homosexual marriage has gained acceptance among an increasing number of Americans. The ‘gay science’ marches on and manages to process Americans away from a bedrock of Christian civilization.”[25]

It is worth pointing out that, “[i]n alchemy, the ‘first matter,’ the substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone is created, or even the stone itself …[is] the Prima Materia[,] …the material beginning and end of all things.” Wouldn’t you know it? According to Martino Rulando, in his Lexicon Alchemie Sive Dictionarivm Alchemisticvm (“Lexicon of Alchemy or Dictionary of Alchemy,” 1612) one of the fifty “alternate names for the Prima Materia” was “The Rainbow – on account of its colors.”[26]

The rainbow theme also surfaces in Freemasonry.[27] Notables here would include an appendant body called the “Royal Ark Mariners.”

Additionally, there is the Masonic youth group known as the International Order of Rainbow Girls.

The rainbow shows up on several Masonic “tracing boards” and “aprons.” For example, one website selling the “George Washington Apron” notes that said smock represents the prominent arch as a stylized rainbow. “The rainbow is sometimes associated with the Royal Arch. It is also part of the architectural arch, being the 9th arch under Solomon’s Temple. It is supported by two Pillars.”[28]

A further question is what, if anything, do rainbows have to do with hexagrams? Can these symbolic threads be woven together? Is there a nexus at which the two strands meet?[29]

One possible answer is that the symbolism of rainbows and hexagrams intersect in the religion of Judaism or in the persons of various Jews. On the idea of religious intersection, consider two points.

Firstly, rainbows have a significance in Judaism beyond the minimal “sin symbol” noted above. Blogger Maurice Pinay informs us that “[t]he rainbow is the symbol of the Noachide movement – the movement to bring humanity under a rabbinic system of double standards called ‘Noachide Law’ enforced by subsidiary courts of a Sanhedrin based in Jerusalem.

“From Chabad Lubavitch website, ‘The Seven Noachide laws are general commandments with many details. Transgressing any one of them is considered such a breach in the natural order that the offender incurs the death penalty. Apart from a few exceptions, the death sentence for a Ben Noach is Sayif, death by the sword / decapitation, the least painful of the four modes of execution of criminals.[30] (The four methods of capital punishment in Torah are: S’kilah - Stoning; S’rifah - Burning; Hereg - Decapitation; Henek - Strangulation.) The many formalities of procedure essential when the accused is an Israelite need not be observed in the case of the Noachite. The latter may be convicted on the testimony of one witness, even on that of relatives, but not on that of a woman. He need have had no warning from the witnesses; and a single judge may pass sentence on him.’”[31]

Secondly, the rainbow and hexagram symbols actually dovetail. This is suggested pictographically. Consider that, under at least one representation, “[t]he rainbow relaes to …spatial symbolism by way of its seven colours, or, more precisely, its six colours and white.[32] …Placed on the circumference of a circle the three primaries will be found at the three points of an equilateral triangle; the three complementaries will be at the points of a second triangle which is the reverse of the first, in such a way that each primary colour is placed at a diametrically opposed position to its complementary… [T]he seven colours form a wheel with six spokes, which is the two-dimensional equivalent of a three-dimensional cross having six branches emanating from a centre. In this way the colours correspond to the seven directions of space.”[33]

As to the notion that the rainbow and hexagram merge in a more personal way, we remind readers that the rainbows springing up like weeds nowadays are related to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize “same sex marriage.” Interestingly, despite the fact that Jews, statistically, are supposed to comprise only 2.5 percent of the U.S. population,[34] Jewish justices make up 33% of the “Supremes.”[35] Leaving aside the very important discussion concerning the genetic differences between Ashkenazi (who are probably descended from a tribe of Asiatic Turks known as “Khazars”) and Sephardic Jews, the received view is that Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan are all ethnically Jewish.


[1] Readers should keep in mind the preoccupation of alchemy with gold. To your appetites, see John Matson, “Fact or Fiction?: Lead Can Be Turned into Gold, Particle Accelerators Make Possible the Ancient Alchemist’s Dream – But at a Steep Cost,” Scientific American, Jan. 31, 2014, <>. For more on alchemy see Jim Brandon, “Neil Armstrong: Astronaut …or Alchemist?” Bell Curve [weblog], Dec. 11, 2012, <> and “Speculation and Reflection on Chess,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jul. 24, 2013, <>.

[2] As an additional “sync,” I note that USA Today reported on a fire at a water park. Jane Onyanga-Omara, “More than 500 Injured in Fire at Taiwan Water Park,” USA Today, Jun. 28, 2015, <>.

[3] The Book of Thoth, reprint ed., Stamford, Conn.: U.S. Games Sys., 1996, p. 286. Cf. ibid., p. 35. Elsewhere, by inference, Crowley associates the rainbow with the drunken ecstasy (which word derives from the Greek for “standing outside of oneself”) of the Fool. See ibid., p. 68.

[4] Adrian Snodgrass, The Symbolism of the Stupa, Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program Publications; Cornell Univ., 1985, p. 289. “To the Khmer, the nāga was ‘the symbol of the rainbow, regarded as the magic bridge giving entry to the abode of the gods.’” Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols [PDS], John Buchanan-Brown, transl., reprint ed., New York: Penguin, 1997, p. 691.

[5] Ibid., pp. 275ff; citing René Guénon, Symboles fondamentaux de la science sacrée, Paris: 1962.

[6] Except for the extraneous “V” – a symbol that represents, variously Venus and vaginas (or wombs) – the letters R-O-Y-G-B-I are an anagram for “Bi Orgy.” Doubtless this is a coinkydink.

[7] The Holy Bible, Book of Genesis, chapt. 9, verses 12-17. “Guénon has drawn attention to the importance of the way in which the rainbow complements the Ark by appearing over it as a sign of the ‘covenant.’” PDS, p. 42.

[8] PDS, p. 115.

[9] Mendy Kaminker, “What is the Significance of a Rainbow in Judaism?” Chabad, <>; citing Likutei Sichot vol. 35, Noah III. Kaminker adds that “The Zohar [she refers to vol. 1, 72:2] says that before the Messiah comes, an especially bright and colorful rainbow will appear.” For more on several Jewish angles, see further on.

Of possible interest is the remark of the mysterious – although some would say the literally incredible – John Todd. Todd, who alleged that he had been raised in a family of occultists, once remarked that, amongst practitioners of various “black arts”: “…Lucifer is [known as] the god of the rainbow. …And if you’ll read Ezekiel 28, you’ll find out [that] he is. He does kind of radiate like a rainbow. He’s covered with different colored jewels and so on.” (Listen beginning between 5:19-28.) A quick review of the cited passage in the Old Testament book of the prophet Ezekiel reveals that the jewels at issue include carnelian [reddish-brown], chrysolite [yellow] and emerald [green], topaz [red, yellow, gray, reddish-orange, or blue-brown], onyx [black] and jasper [red, yellow, brown or green], lapis lazuli [dark blue], turquoise [greenish blue] and beryl [colorless]. (Bracketed information comes from the top hits of various Google searches on strings such as “what color is [stone type]?”)

Also accruing to the “shadow side” of rainbow lore must be the statements of “serial” (cereal) killers Herman Mudgett and Anders Breivik. For Mudget – alias H. H. Holmes – murder was like “the seeking of buried treasure at the rainbow’s end.” (<>. For Breivik’s part (and he is technically classified as a mass murderer rather than a “serial” one), one website relates that “The defendant [Breivik] is of the opinion that Norwegian culture has been destroyed by the Marxists through a Marxist cultural revolution. The curriculum of Norwegian schools supports this. Songs such as ‘Children of the Rainbow’.” (<>.)

Some esoteric "adepts" try, through several means - often having to do with sex-magic - to manifest an spirit or "rainbow body." "Tibetan systems run somewhere between the Chinese and Indian, in that they are concerned with liberation, but also with the creation of an etherial body made from their bodily essences. This Diamond Body, or Rainbow Body, is pure light and can materialize at the will of the adept. Like the Chinese and Indian systems, the Tibetan system uses rituals for the purification of the mind and emotions of the practitioners, as well as the visual images in both anthropomorphic deities and abstract geometric forms. The Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram fulfill this function when performing the Middle Pillar." Mark Stavish, "Secret Fire: The Relationship Between Kundalini, Kabbalah, and Alchemy," Hermetic [dot] com, Mar. 11, 1997, (<>.).

A final “satanic” aspect of the rainbow is its association with the chameleon. “Since the chameleon ‘has been given every color’,” certain tribes like the Dogon – important in the lore of the star Sirius – “associate it [i.e., the chameleon] with the rainbow, the path from Earth to Heaven.” PDS, p. 181. Interestingly, as Michael Hoffman has pointed out, the separation of heaven and earth was effected by means of Cronus-Saturn’s (i.e., Satan’s) “fateful sickle.” Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho: Independent History and Research, 2001, p. 31

According to Crowley, however, the rainbow can be “pierced.” “[T]he occult significance of Sagittarius is the arrow piercing the rainbow; the last three paths of the Tree of Life make the word Qeseth, a rainbow, and Sagittarius bears the arrow which pierces the rainbow…”. Op. cit., p. 101.

[10] Ibid.

[11] 2 Peter 3:10, New Intl. Vers. For related information touching on “fire and ice,” see “Hercules (and his Twin),” Bell Curve [weblog], Oct. 8, 2012, <>.

[12] PDS, p. 909. There is another interesting voodoo tie in. “In his books The Serpent and the Rainbow ([New York: Simon and Schuster,] 1985) and [Passage of Darkness:] The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie ([Chapel Hill, N.C.: Univ. of N.C. Press,] 1988), [Canadian anthropologist Wade] Davis not only gives his readers the components of zombification but also outlines his theories on why such a horrifying act exists: Making a zombie is a very effective method of capital punishment. …[T]he members of the secret Maroon societies used zombification – or the threat of it – to control first the slaves then the superstitious Haitian citizens. Davis’s conclusions have been clouded by allegations of farud and questions about his sensational, rather than scientific, approach. The Serpent and the Rainbow movie, starring Bill Pullman and directed by Wes Craven, opened in 1988.” Rosemary Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy, New York: Facts on File; Infobase Publ., 2006, p. 347.

Hence, the rainbow symbol arguably fits in with the so-called “Zombie culture.” “You probably know that zombies are popular right now. You might not know just how outrageously, staggeringly, mindblowingly popular they happen to be. Zombies are the undisputed king of all genres. Not only do they top bestseller lists and video games and the iPad, the undead dominate television, too. The Walking Dead attracts somewhere between three to four times the viewers of Mad Men on a typical night. And this week, World War Z arrives in theaters – the Brad Pitt adaptation of the bestselling novel. It will complete the zombie apocalypse. They are now, officially, everywhere.” (Stephen Marche, “Why Zombies Are Everywhere Now,” Esquire, Jun. 19, 2013, <>.)

[13] This is also mentioned in “The ‘Gospel of Judas’ and ‘Yezidism’ (‘Yazidism’),” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 20, 2012, <>.

[14] “Rainbow flag (LGBT movement),” Wikipedia, Jun. 29, 2015, <>. The flag, as designed by American artist Gilbert Baker, originally “had eight colors, each with a symbolic meaning: Hot Pink: sexuality[,] Red: life[,] Orange: healing[,] Yellow: sunlight[,] Green: nature[,] Turquoise: magic/art[,] Blue: serenity/harmony[,] Violet: spirit[.]” “Gilbert Baker (artist),” Wikipedia, May 21, 2015, <>. A caption on the same page (ibid.) reads: “The six-colour version of the pride flag is the most commonly used version. The original version from 1978 had two additional stripes – hot pink and turquoise which were removed due to manufacturing needs.” If this information is accurate, it is noteworthy that the two omitted colors, considered jointly, exemplify sex-magic – which is precisely the esoteric meaning of the alchemical magnum opus (“great work”).

As an aside, Gilbert Baker “designed the rainbow flag …in San Francisco in 1978.” So the rainbow flag first appeared in the now drought-affected Golden State. He was said to have been born in Kansas, however – in the water-drenched Midwest. See “82 Interesting Facts About …LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender),” <>.

For more analogs to the “rainbow flag,” see Bob Schlenker, “Part 11 – The Sodomite Gateway – FedEx – Our Most Important Package is Yours,” Open Scroll Blog [weblog], Feb. 15, 2012, <>.

[15] Gudrun Bühnemann, Maònòdalas and Yantras in the Hindu Traditions, Leiden: Brill, 2003, pp. 43-44.

[16] According to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Judaism itself is an “Eastern religion.” “I think people often forget that Judaism is an Eastern religion. The prophets were really mystics.” Aryeh Kaplan, interviewed by Russell Barber, “Jewish Mysticism,” First Estate, WNBC-TV [New York Ciy], channel 4, 1979; archived online at <>.

[17] As I disclosed three years ago in the “Knight of Aurora-Athena,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jul. 28, 2012, <>: “There are two traditional ways of preparing the Philosophers (sic.) Stone, the wet way and the dry way. The dry way takes only eight days using double philosophic mercury. ...Fragments from the writings of Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher who lived about 500BCE, suggest that the dry and wet methods have the same result: Pleasure of souls is to become wet | The dry soul is the best of all and the most wise | The way up and the way down are One and the same. The wet way, from Persia, is convenient because it only requires a simple flask, although it can take up to eighteen months to complete. …Preparing the Philosophers’ Stone by the wet method involves a number of stages. The first three of these stages are: 1. Prepare the Secret Fire, a nitrate catalyst. 2. Elicit and purify the white vapor of Mercury. 3. Dissolve the Sulphur and prepare the Philosophers’ Stone. …The ancient Egyptians reputedly used the dry method and called it the Saturn Regime. …The mineral of lead is certainly appropriate for the Saturn Regime or Dry Method. …Shakespeare concealed Portia, the Virgin of the Merchant of Venice, in lead.” Stuart Nettleton, The Alchemy Key: Unraveling the Single Tangible Secret in All Mysteries, Sydney, Australia: privately publ., [1997] 2002, pp. 201, 202-203 and 210; archived online at <>.

[18] Bühnemann, op. cit., p. 44, n. 75.

[19] It is apparent that the alchemical rainbow is itself a symbolic bridge. The rainbow symbol is a gateway to such other, now-prevalent symbols as the aurora, the peacock and winter.

“The rainbow of colors seen in the Peacock’s Tail gradually merged together into pure whiteness. …Symbolism of the Peacock’s Tail includes a rainbow appearing in the dark clouds of a thunderstorm, the bursting forth of the colors of spring after the darkness of winter, and the colors of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) gleaming against the night sky.” Dennis William Hauck, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy, New York: Alpha Books, 2008, p. 151.)

As I have sketched elsewhere, the peacock is also associated with Satan. See “The ‘Gospel of Judas’ and ‘Yezidism’ (‘Yazidism’),” Church Bell, Aug. 20, 2012, <>. NBC’s logo is a rainbow peacock.

Although I have touched upon the winter symbol complex in such places as “47 (Or How Romney Lords It over Inferior Fools with Euclidean I-Ching),” Bell Curve [weblog], Sept. 18, 2012, <> and, with Jim Brandon , “Re: ‘Alias St. Nick’,” Bell Curve [weblog], <>; it deserves a fuller treatment. For instance, in the popular “Game of Thrones” cable television series, adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the phrase “Winter is Coming” is the motto of the House of Stark. The “stark” name also occurs in the Marvel Avenger’s orbit, being the surname of “Iron Man” (Tony Stark). For a startling, side-by-side comparison of Tony’s father, Howard Stark, with the real life Jet Propulsion Lab-cofounder Jack Parsons, see “Shuttling Symbols,” Bell Curve [weblog], Oct. 14, 2012, <>. Of course, if one is cataloging recent items, one should not forget to list Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Apparently there is a new tv show titled “Winter.” For something a bit more historical, one might note the Russian Winter Palace.

On Auroras, see for example “Aurora Rising (Aurora Consurgens), Part 1,” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 30, 2012, <> and Loren Coleman, “Aurora: Synchromystic Wonderland,” Twilight Language [weblog], Jul. 25, 2012, <>.

[20] Crowley, op. cit., p. 103. He further wrote: “In this card [i.e., Trump 14, ‘Art’], therefore, is foreshadowed the final stage of the Great Work. Behind the figure, its edges tinged with the rainbow, which has now arisen from the twin rainbows forming the cape of the figure, is a glory bearing the inscription Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. ‘Visit the interior parts of the earth: by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone.’ Its initials make the word V.I.T.R.I.O.L., the Universal Solvent…”. Ibid., pp. 103-104.

[21] Nettleton, op. cit., p. 13.

[22] Ibid. Crowley refers the reader back to his discussion of “Au 0, the Motley of the Green Man, Dreamer-Redeemer.” Ibid.

[23] Mark Stavish, The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic, Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publ., 2006, appendix c, p. 204, n. 12.

[24] Nietzsche also popularized the idea of a “superman,” in the relevant sense.

[25] Michael Hoffman, “Of Human Alchemy and the Gay Science,” Revisionist Review [weblog], Aug. 4, 2012, <>.

[26] Guiley, op. cit., pp. 261 and 262.

[27]For information on a possible link between Freemasonry and the "homosexual movement," see "Freemasonry's Connection To The Homosexual Movement," <>.

There are numerous other associations. For example, in Ancient Greek mythology, “Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Olympian gods. …Her name contains a double meaning, being connected both with iris, ‘the rainbow,’ and eiris, ‘messenger.’” “Iris,” Theoi, <>. See also “Tony Scott, Etc.,” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 21, 2012, <>.

Or again, there is a rainbow in the back of Albrecht Dürer’s celebrated 16th-century engraving, Melancholia I. For more on this, see Frances Amelia Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, reprint ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

[28] “The George Washington Apron,” Lodge Aprons [dot] com, <>. Cache.

[29] For those who think that it is absurd to view symbols in this way, see Albert Mackey who, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, likens the rainbow to a masonic handshake. “The Hebrew word oth, is frequently used in Scripture to signify a sign or memorial of something past, some covenant made or promise given. Thus God says to Noah, of the rainbow, ‘it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth’; and to Abraham he says of circumcision, ‘it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.’ In Freemasonry, the grip of recognition is called a token, because it is an outward sign of the covenant of friendship and fellowship entered into between the members of the Fraternity, and is to be considered as a memorial of that covenant which was made, when it was first received by the candidate, between him and the Order into which he was then initiated.”

For more on how symbols are used to bamboozle non-initiates, see Michael A Hoffman, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Independent History and Research, 2001 and “Are the Pyramid and All-Seeing Eye Symbols 'Masonic'?” Bell Curve [weblog] Jun. 6, 2015, <>.

[30] Chabad’s website encourages the reader to “see the Rambam’s Hilchos Melachim 9:14.”

[31] Maurice Pinay, “The Real Dangers of the Rainbow,” MauricePinay [weblog], Jul. 30, 2007, <>; reproducing an excerpt from “The Seven Laws of the Descendents of Noah,” Noahide [dot] org, <>; citing Talmud tractate Sanhedrin, folios 57a and b and Maimonides, Hilchos Melakim, 9:14.

[32] “The six colours of the rainbow are the three primaries – red, yellow and blue – and the three complementaries – orange, purple and green.” Snodgrass, op. cit., p. 287.

[33] Snodgrass, op. cit., pp. 286-287.

[34] Alan M. Dershowitz calls this a “high estimate”: “…take a high estimate of Jews as 2.5 percent of the general U.S. population…”. (Alan M. Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2000, p. 346, n. 22.)

[35] Patrick J. Buchanan, “Are Liberals Anti-WASP? If Kagan is Confirmed, the Court Will consist of 3 Jews and 6 Catholics,” WorldNetDaily, May 13, 2010, <>.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Are the Pyramid and All-Seeing Eye Symbols 'Masonic'?

Numerous self-assured bloggers and writers make the claim that the pyramid and “all-seeing eye” symbolism on the dollar bill is benign or, at least, non-“Masonic.”[1]

One prominent website that takes this line concentrates heavily on showing that the people who “contributed elements to the final design …were not Freemasons.”

Even if this is granted, this information, while certainly interesting and possibly useful, cannot be considered a decisive “refutation” of the claim that the great seal is “Masonic” (in some sense) any more than we can show (say) that a mural on a building is not a susceptible to being labeled “Christian” because the architect who placed it there and the decorators who created it have no locatable baptismal records. For all we know, non-Christian artists could have been commissioned or otherwise expressly tasked with producing a Christian-themed arrangement. Similarly, for all we know, non-Masons may have been charged with inventing a (broadly) “Masonic” composition. These possibilities are not foreclosed upon by noticing that the contract workers are not Christians or Masons, respectively.

Investigators are advised to probe matters a bit more deeply. One obvious starting point would be to ask the question: what scholarly work, if any, has been done in this area?

According to Freemasonic apologist, Dr. S. Brent Morris, the "expert on the Great Seal" is Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus.[2]

Dr. Hieronimus summarizes placement of the eye-pyramid symbol on the dollar bill by Freemason Franklin Roosevelt, at the behest of Freemason Henry Wallace, possibly under the direction of the Theosophist Nicholas Roerich.

"In 1934, secretary of agriculture and former vice president Henry A. Wallace submitted a proposal to the president to mint a coin depicting the [great] seal's obverse and reverse. Wallace's interest in the seal's reverse had been aroused when he discovered Hunt's 1909 volume [cited above] on the seal's history. The Latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum (New Order of the Ages) struck him as meaning 'the New Deal of the ages.' President Franklin D. Roosevelt was so impressed with this connection that he decided to place both sides of the Great Seal on the dollar bill rather than a coin. Roosevelt's action brought 153 years of obscurity to an end, and the seal's reverse was officially recognized.

"Wallace was interested in esoteric topics and was a friend of the Russian mystic Nicholas Roerich. One theory holds that Wallace undertook the promotion of the seal's reverse for kabbalistic reasons,* with Roerich as his guru."[3]

Around 1927, Henry Wallace, an admirer of Russian mystic Helena Blavatsky and an adherent of her brand of occultism (called "theosophy"), "...joined the Masons, ...[a] secret society rich with ritual... George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, and numerous other prominent men, including Wallace's own father, were active Masons. Wallace participated in both the Blue Lodge [that is, the first three degrees of Craft Freemasonry] and the Scottish Rite [that is, an 'appendant' Masonic body offering degrees from four through thirty-three] branches of Masonry and received the Thirty-second Degree in November 1928. He stopped there - one step short of the Scottish Rite's highest rank [In fact, the thirty-third degree is honorary, as opposed to "earned." - Ed.] - but maintained his affiliation with the Masons until the late 1940s,* when he 'demitted' from the Masonic lodges in both Des Moines and Washington, D.C."[4]

Franklin Roosevelt's Masonic affiliation is easily verifiable.[5]

Nicholas Roerich was, among other things, a Theosophist. (Here, one can consult any number of publicly available resources, such as Wikipedia.)

Two features common to both Freemasonry and Theosophy are salient.

First, both systems are Luciferian.

Blavatsky's system of thought is overtly Luciferian. To put it a different way, Blavatsky plainly announced that, to her, Lucifer was the true god, while the Biblical God was, at best, a pretender (and at worst the genuine "adversary").

"...Demon est Deus inversus ['the devil is god, inverted']. The devil is now called Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the Bible he is called the 'Son of God' (see Job), the bright star of the early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft in the reason why the first Archangel, who sprang from the depths of Chaos, was called Lux (Lucifer), the 'Luminous Son of the Morning,' or manvantaric Dawn. He was transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma."[6]

On the other hand, Freemasonry is covertly Luciferian. Unknown to low-grade, so-called "porch Masons," at its highest levels, Freemasonry espouses the same teaching regarding Lucifer as does Theosophy.

Masonic authority Albert Pike wrote the following in his monumental (as well as tedious and largely unoriginal) Morals & Dogma:

"LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not!"[7]

Secondly, both Freemasonry and Theosophy revolve around symbols.

Every symbol has two categories of meaning: (1) outer, exoteric, false (misleading or incomplete) meaning; and (2) inner, esoteric, true meaning.

As Dr. Hieronimous has stated: "Symbols conceal and they reveal."[8]

To be exact, symbols "reveal" esoteric meaning to initiates who "have eyes to see" while obscuring the inner-meaning from non-initiates (disparagingly called by secret society adherents the "profane"). Non-initiates thus apprehend - and parrot - exoteric meaning only.

Blavatsky expressed this dynamic in The Secret Doctrine. Note well her phrase "truth concealed by the symbol":

"The ancients ...conceal[ed] ...[the] true nature [of occult powers] under various allegories, for the benefit (or to the detriment) of the uneducated rabble, they never departed from the multiple object in view, while inverting them. They contrived to throw a thick veil over the nucleus of truth concealed by the symbol, but they ever tried to preserve the latter as a record for future generations, sufficiently transparent to allow their wise men to discern that truth behind the fabulous form of the glyph or allegory."[9]

Here, Freemasonry proclaims its symbolic obsession quite directly:

"Of the various modes of communicating instruction to the uninformed, the masonic student is particularly interested in ...the instruction symbols. ...No science is more ancient than that of symbolism. ...To study the symbolism of Masonry is the only way to investigate its philosophy. This is the portal of its temple, through which alone we can gain access to the sacellum ['shrines'] where its aporrheta ['secret doctrines'] are concealed."[10]

As with Blavatsky, Masonic encyclopedist Albert Mackey in the above quotation stressed the relationship between symbols and "concealed" "truth." We may summarize Mackey by saying that, in Freemasonry, symbols are literally the keys to Temple.

We call special attention to the mocking attitude, apparent in these few quoted lines, that "initiates" of these occult systems have for outsiders (cowan). The origin of the word "hoodwink" comes from this arrogant disposition.

Mackey's Encyclopedia (cited above) defines "hoodwink" as follows:

"A symbol of the secrecy, silence, and darkness in which the mysteries of our art should be preserved from the unhallowed gaze of the profane."[11]

"Profane" here designates any person who has not been admitted into the Masonic "Temple" - pro-fanus means "before (that is, outside of) the temple."

However, the hoodwink must be understood as sort of hidden-in-plain-sight gambit, as opposed to outright concealment. That this is so is apparent from the upper echelon's mocking even of lower-level initiates - in a manner similar to what one finds in college fraternities.

The Scottish Rite's erstwhile Sovereign Grand Commander Albert Pike goes further: "The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally mislead by false interpretations."[12]

(Incidentally, as the former head of the Scottish Rite, Albert Pike was instrumental in establishing his Order's headquarters [the House of the Temple] in Washington, D.C., right in the seat of Federal power.)

Pike proceeds to expand upon the process of misleading people - even low-grade initiates - as to the true significance of various symbols.

"It is not intended that he shall understand them [the symbols]; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry. ...It is well for the mass of those called Masons, to imagine that all is contained in the Blue Degrees; and whoso attempts to undeceive them will labor in vain... Masonry is the veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands...".[13]

Following their Luciferian inversion-tactics, Masons "hoodwink" what they regard as the ignorant the "masses" by a cruel (mis-)application of John 1:5:

Lux lucet in tenebris, et tenebrae non comprehenderunt.

Translated, this says: "The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

In the Gospel of John, Jesus himself is the light, and the darkness is the sinful world. In the Freemasonic inversion, the "light" is that of Masonry's hidden (occult) teachings and the "darkness" is, well, the "unenlightened."

This is the not-at-all-concealed meaning of "Illuminism" and "Illuminati." They fancy themselves the "Enlightened" ones - Plato's philosopher kings.

Here, also, is another hoodwink. As Rabbi Marvin Antelman has written:

"The Hebrew word for one who is 'poor' is ani, which is a letter rearrangement of the Hebrew word ayin, 'eye.' The pyramid with the eye signifying enlightenment is the symbol of the king-priest Platonic caste and the Illuminati."[14]

In his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Freemasonic philosopher and "mystic" Manly Palmer Hall wrote:

"If any one doubts the presence of Masonic and occult influences at the time the Great Seal was designed, he should give due consideration to the comments of Professor Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard...".[15]

Remarking on the All-Seeing Eye poised conspicuously above the truncated pyramid, Professor Norton stated:

"[I]t can hardly (however artistically treated by the designer) look otherwise than as a dull emblem of a masonic fraternity."[16]

Norton was no slouch. Researcher Linda Dowling paints Professor Norton in the following terms:

"...Charles Eliot Norton ...[was] an eminent scholar and professor of art history at Harvard, and a figure widely regarded as the most cultured man in America."[17]

The back matter for the book The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, by James Turner, states of Norton that he was a:

"...towering figure in American journalism, letters, and education. Norton was editor of the North American Review and a founder of the Nation [periodical]. He was the leading American Dantist [Dante scholar] of his day, translating the Vita Nuova and the Divine Comedy in what became standard versions. He initiated art history in the college curriculum, organized the field of classical archaeology in the United States, and formulated what has come to be known in college courses as 'Western Civilization.'"[18]

To summarize:

According to the person (Dr. Hieronimous) acknowledged by Freemasonic spokesman S. Brent Morris to be the authority on the Great Seal, two high-level Freemasons were responsible for the placement on the dollar bill of the unfinished pyramid with the all-seeing eye.[19]

According to the same authority, one Theosophist may have orchestrated the entire thing.

Freemasons (and Theosohists) ostentatiously display symbols in order to mislead non-initiates and communicate sub rosa meaning to "Adepts."

The pyramid-eye symbol has been admitted to be Masonic by Freemasonic philosopher Manly Hall.

The pyramid-eye symbol was recognized as obviously "Masonic" (broadly construed) by eminent scholar and Harvard University art expert Charles Eliot Norton.

For these reasons alone - and more beside - it is reasonable to hold that both:

(1.) The standard, "non-Masonic" interpretations of the Great Seal – articulated by such websites as – are merely echoes of an exoteric cover story that has been calculated to mislead percipients; and,

(2.) The Masonic interpretation is viable.


[1] For just one example, see ”Is the Pyramid & Eye on the Great Seal (and Dollar Bill) a Masonic symbol?”

[2] Morris's opinion in this matter is expressed in an interview with Christian J. Pinto, Secret Mysteries of America's Beginnings Volume 3: Eye of the Phoenix, Secrets of the Dollar Bill, DVD, Antiquities Research Films, 2009. As of this writing, the entire 170 min. presentation is on YouTube at

[3] Robert Hieronimus, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the Decoding of the Great Seal, Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2006, p. 103. * Kabbalah refers to a tradition of Jewish mysticism and magic.

[4] John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace, New York: W.W. Norton, 2001, p. 81. * Note: Culver and Hyde seem unaware that the 33rd degree is strictly honorary. * The dollar was decorated by Roosevelt in 1934-1935, well before "the late 1940s."

[5] See FDR's online tribute at the website for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania,

[6] H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 70, Theosophical Univ. Press, online ed.,

[7] Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, reprint ed., Richmond, Va.: L.H. Jenkins, 1946, p. 321.

[8] In Christian Pinto, loc. cit.

[9] Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, vol. 1, p. 466,

[10] Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Chicago: The Masonic History Co., 1956, vol. 2, p. 1033. See also Albert Gallatin Macke, The Symbolism of Freemasonry: Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends, Myths, and Symbols, New York: Clay & Maynard, 1869.

[11] Vol. 1, p. 464.

[12] Pike, Morals and Dogma, op. cit., p. 819.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Marvin S. Antelman, To Eliminate the Opiate, vol. 2, Israel: Zionist Book Club, 2002, p. 99.

[15] Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, San Francisco: H.S. Crocker, 1928, p. 91; reproduced online at

[16] Gaillard Hunt, ed., The History of the Seal of the United States, Washington D.C.: United States Department of state, Government Printing Office, 1909, p. 55; archived online at

[17] Linda Dowling, Charles Eliot Norton: The Art of Reform in Nineteenth-Century America, Lebanon, N.H.: Univ. of New Hampshire Press, 2007, p. ix.

[18] James Turner, The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1999, back matter.

[19] Note well that S. Brent Morris is entirely hostile to the idea that there is any nefarious symbolical import to the symbol. Hence, his endorsement of Hieronimous is extremely valuable, evidentially speaking.

For more information, see Robert Keith Spenser's The Cult of the All-Seeing Eye (Hawthorne, Cal.: Christian Book Club of America, 1964) and Freemason David Ovason's The Secret Symbols of the Dollar Bill (New York: HarperCollins, 2003).