Apparently, this strange piece of artwork became the centre of a controversy in Beirut as it was likened to the Star of David, a symbol understandably not too welcome in Lebanon. However, someone suggested that it was actually Masonic. As many of our readers will already known, Freemasonry’s philosophies are acted out using ritual plays and symbolism. A six pointed star has been a symbol of many mystical as well as religious orders over the centuries, but it doesn’t hold much of a place in pure Freemasonry (the first three degrees plus the Royal Arch, considered to be the completion of the third degree). These rituals do not use a six pointed star within their workings, but the six pointed star does form the breast jewel of a Companion of the Royal Arch. Described as a double triangle within a circle of gold, it contains many inscriptions, one being “si talia jungere possis sit tibi scire satis,” which Royal Arch Freemasons translate thus: “if thou canst comprehend these things, then thou knowest enough.” Another inscription simply reads: Wisdom, Strength, Beauty, Peace, Concord, Truth.
The allegorical explanation of the jewel is that of being “a double triangle (not a star), but by its intersections, it actually forms a given number of angles, to be taken in five several combinations, which, being reduced to their amounts in right angles, will be found equal to the five Platonic bodies representing the four elements and the Universal Sphere.These combinations will be found respectively to correspond in geometrical value with the five regular solids contained under equal and equilateral pentagons, that is to say the Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Cube, Icosahedron, and Dodecahedron which were used by the Platonists to express the four elements and the sphere of the Universe.”
The above words in inverted commas are taken from the Explanation of the Jewel which forms part of the ritual of Royal Arch Masonry and I use it here to explain part of the reason for Freemasonry to adopt a six pointed star and to prove the reason has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism. The explanation continues over many pages far to much to repeat here and, like all things in Freemasonry, it is best understood within the ritual itself, which is why we encourage all Master Masons to complete their degree by joining Royal Arch Masonry.
The reason that this three dimensional iron artwork has been removed because, as stated above, it resembles, in the eyes of some, the Star of David, but I am sure only when viewed from a distance. I point out here that it could indeed, in the eyes of others such as me, be seen to represent Royal Arch Masonry, or even Freemasonry in general as this artwork is formed by a series of intersecting squares. Apart form the obvious Square and Compasses, a square is very much a symbol of Freemasonry, as we often say “we meet on the level and part on the square,” implying that we meet as equals and part with integrity.
Two points of view could guide the placing of controversial artworks, one to always be wary that what appears in your mind when you view it, something completely different may appear in the minds eye of another, so before placing such an artwork think deeply and imagine how it may appear to others. The second is for those that view such artwork to open their minds and acknowledge that what you may see in the artwork may never have been what was originally intended by the artist.
The Royal Arch Companion Jewel
These articles are written by W Bro Steve Froggatt PPJGD, current Chaplain of Neptune Lodge No 5150 EC. Steve was initiated into Freemasonry in 1986.They do not represent the view of any Grand/Provincial Grand Lodge.
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