The Secret History of Freemasonry: A Complete Illustrated Reference to the Brotherhood of Masons, Covering 1000 Years of Ritual and Rites, Signs and Symbols, from Ancient Foundation to the Modern Day
This book begins with an account of the history and legends of the Freemasons, from its medieval origins and the Knights Templar, its explorations into alchemy and the hermetic tradition, through the age of Enlightenment and the Founding Fathers of the USA, to the Victorians and up to the present day. The architecture associated with the Freemasons is also discussed. The importance of three-dimensional symbolism, Solomon's Temple, Egyptian influences, Classical architecture and the Lodge are all explored and illustrated with fabulous fine art images. The main body of the book is then taken up with the analysis and illustration of the signs and symbols of the Freemasons. Symbols such as the all-seeing eye, the five-pointed star, the sun and the moon, the mason's square, compass and rule are inextricably linked with the freemasons through time and because some of the precepts of freemasonry are kept secret, there has been huge speculation over the centuries about what these signs and symbols may mean. Christian leaders, in particular, threatened perhaps by the ecumenical nature of the Masonic creed, have presented all kinds of occult and sinister interpretations of the symbols.
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