Present-Day Masonic Symbols in Ancient Times
and the Lost Continent of MU
By Very Worshipful Brother J. Brown, PM
A short address given in Lodge Caledonian, #21 E. of Caledon
Puublished in the 1983 GLSA Southern Division Spring Ball magazine
Millions of years ago there existed a vast continent, approximately 5000 miles East to West and 3000 miles North to South in the Pacific Ocean. It extended from the North of Hawaii down towards the South. The Southern boundary was a line between Easter Island and the Fijis.
That it still existed approximately 50 000 years ago, has been proved by ancient tablets found in an Indian Temple, with great difficulty and care, and with the help of a very learned aged Indian priest, deciphered by Col. James Churchward. In Mexico, at Uxmal, proofs have also been found, and on the South Sea Islands there stand today vestiges of old stone temples and other lithic remains connected with that lost continent. About 500 centuries ago this continent, inhabited by probably 64 million people, was broken up and disappeared under the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Several earthquakes, fires, etc, destroyed it entirely with the exception of a few islands still existing, viz.: the South Sea Islands and others.
Col. Churchward gives us the fruit of his research and labours in his here freely quoted book “The Lost Continent of MU”. It would take me too long to give you a concise, yet adequate description of the contents of this work, but it will interest you to hear that, according to the available records, the population of this continent must have reach a very high standard of civilisation, in many respects even higher than that of which we can boast.
It will interest you even more to learn that the inhabitants of MU used several, to us, well known Masonic Symbols with their religious rites, and I will now proceed to tell you something about these symbols.
The most primitive form of symbols were lines and simple geometric figures. At first these symbols were few in number, but as time went on, the number increased, and also their intricacy. When primitive man used a symbol it did not mean to him the object in sight, but what it represented in his mind. This primitive and ancient custom remains dear to us; we still use it, as, for instance, the Cross symbolizing Christ.
The symbols on the walls of the Temple of Sacred Mysteries at Uxmal, Yucatan, are most valuable, as an inscription on the Temple walls tells us that they came from the motherland of MU. Egyptian records show that these symbols originated in the lands of the West; and Hindu and other Oriental countries that they came from the motherland MU in the East.
Many of these ancient sacred symbols are of particular interest to us as Freemasons as they reveal the great antiquity and origin of the forerunners of Freemasonry. As these symbols were used in man’s first conception of religion, they show that our present day Freemasonry is, to a great extent, the fragments of Man’s first religious teachings. The basis of this religion was the love and adoration of the Creator as the Heavenly Father, and love for all mankind as brothers.
I am not going to mention all these different symbols, but will take only those more intimately connected with Freemasonry as we know it today.
The CIRCLE was looked upon as the most sacred symbol. It was the picture of the Sun, called Ra, and was the monotheistic or collective symbol of all the attributes of a deity. The circle with no beginning and no end. What more perfect symbol could have been devised or selected to teach the meaning of infinity and everlastingness?
The TAU (a capital T), as we find it upside down on the W.M. and P.M. aprons, where it is called a “plumb”, is one of the most ancient symbols. It is found in the earliest writings and symbolises resurrection. Resurrection, a springing into life, resurrection from lifelessness. The Tau represents the picture of the Southern Cross. The reason for its adoption as the symbol of resurrection wasl when the Southern Cross appeared at a certain angle over MU, it brought the long-looked-for rain. The seeds sprang into life; life had been resurrected.
The two-sided SQUARE (generally known as the Square), one of our most prominent symbols, dates back to the time when early man was first receiving religious instructions, ages and ages ago. The Square forms the spelling of an ancient word, meaning “Builder”. It appears often on the ancient Mexican stone tablets; also it has been prominent in Egyptian cosmogony. The earliest time at which the two-sided Square is mentioned in Egyptian writings is of the time of Menes (about 5000 BC). Yet, on the MU tablets found in Mexico, we find it already 12 000 years earlier, and the Egyptians took over this symbol from the people of MU. In Egypt it was one of the symbols of the god Ptah, one of the oldest Egyptian gods. Ptah has many titles, one of which was “The Builder”. It became prominent in Egypt as the “Seal of Osiris”. In the Great Hall of Truth, in Amenti, when judging the souls of the dead, Osiris is shown sitting on the two-sided Square. In the British Museum is also a picture of Maat, the goddess of Truth and Justice, seated on a Square.
The SKULL and complete skeleton, “Ka”, is the emblem of mortality and was used in the ancient religious MU and Egyptian ceremonies to impress upon the adept what his end would be, and to fix in his mind the necessity of living a life that would bring no terrors when the soul released itself from the mortal, to pass into the world beyond. In the Temple of the Great Pyramid of Egypt there was a sarcophagus with the emblems of mortality arranged alongside it. The adept was placed in the sarcophagus that he might contemplate these tokens of his earthly existence, and after he emerged from it, a reminder was given him that after his soul left the mortal body another life awaited him.
TRIANGLES symbolised the all-seeing eye looking out from heaven.
The FOUR-SIDED SQUARE is the third of the first three symbols that were used in man’s religious teachings. It symbolised the Earth. The four corners represented the four cardinal points; North, East, South and West. The Earth having four corners is an old conception brought down to us from early man. All of these three sacred symbols are found carved on the stones of the South Sea Island ruins, and, also, among all ancient peoples.
The oldest record of the use of PILLARS as sacred emblems comes from Niven’s “Mexican Buried Cities”. The ancient MU pillar was built in four divisions, each division being a cube. These were capped with symbols. On the left-hand pillar a Square is placed, the ancient symbol of Strength, while the right-hand pillar was capped with the glyph representing completion, established. The Egyptians called these pillars “Tat” pillars, to us more commonly known as Totem pillars. By the Egyptians one pillar is called Tat, which means “in strength”. The other is called Tattu, which means “to establish”. When combined the two words mean: “In strength this place is established forever.” The Tat in Egypt is considered a figure of stability. It also represents four corners and is equal to a square. Two Tats form the entrance to Tattu, the gateway to the region where the soul is blended with the immortal spirit and “established in the mysteries of Amenti forever”.