Knights Templarism and Symbolic Masonry

Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake and by all practical purposes, that should have been the end of Knight Templarism in the world.  This was not the case, however, and today we see the emergence of Knights Templarism encrouched in the bowels of Freemasonry, either by design or pure happenstance.

Looking at some of the emblems and instruments of the Knights Templar when studied from a philosophical view, we see deep Masonry in the everyday things of the knight as he sought his way through a maze of ignorance.  de Molay himself was said to be illiterate; yet, if he did indeed bury the secrets of Templarism in Freemasonry, there must have been divine intervention, for we see something of the philosopher and soldier in the makeup of the knights.

Illiteracy - Another name for Rough Ashler, who came to the Knights Templarism with determination and dedication, the sons of the csions of Europe.

Poverty - Parallel to "being divested of all outward apparel."  They brought nothing but heart and soul.

Chastity - "....promise not to violate the chastity...." is the by-word of a Mason toward his brother, and the Knights Templars were taught that all of his fellow Europeans were his brothers.  However, this obligation did not extend to his Eastern brethren, and certainly not the Eastern sisters.

Simplicity - The secrets of the Knights Templar were embedded in the Holy Writings just like they are today.  They sought bigger things than what met the eye, and so do we today.  Masonry is a complex system only because we do not understand the simplicities of the lessons; we forget that we should be doers of the Word and not just preachers of the Word, for the Word lives through action.

Armor - Means "to protect."  This also means "fortitude" that we learned in the first degree, the third Cardinal Virtue.  As Apostle Paul said:  "Put on the whole armor of God..."

Tunic - Owing to the Old English and Germanic language, we find the word "tunic" comes from "hauberk," meaning "to inhabit."  As the knight inhabited or lived in his suit of armor and tunic, so do we as Master Masons live in the shadow of the protection of Almighty God.  The tunic was worn most of the time with or without the suit of armor.  So do we, as Master Masons, wear the protection of God at all times, except that as we may leave our tunic and armor, so then can we leave by our own violation - the safety of His arms.

Helmet - From the Old Englis, we find "hel" meaning "to cover" from Hel, the mythical goddess of the Underworld.  We also derive "hele," meaning "to conceal."  ("Where do you hail from?"; "Where do you conceal?")  We also get "heall" or hall Anglicized, meaning hall, or covered place.  From the Old rench, we get occulere extending to Occult.  From the far north we get Valhalla, place of protection, which is the Norse Heaven.  Extending from the O Grad, we go to the Old Greek and get Kal-up-yo, same as calypso, to cover or conceal.  Taking it further, we get Apocalypse, that of the Isle of Patmos and John.  Calypso was another mythical goddess that delayed Odysses on his journey by keeping him on the island of Ogygia for seven years.  The calypso lyrics that we hear today are much like the cays of Odessa, sounding good but having no substance.

False Pride of Knights - Coming from the aristocracy of Europe, but without funds, the knight sought recognition by their valor.  Winning "your spurs and shield" with its subsequent coat of arms meant a whole lot to these otherwise unknowns.  Today we find some brothers that have a lot of trappings, but very little worthwhile substance that will lift them.  They were called knights in England, Chevalier in France, Cavelier in Spain, Saracen in Islamic countries, and Samurai (warrior) in Japan.  The Germans had the Teutonic Knights of which Frederick the Great was a patron.  They all had one thing in common:  their title meant "horseman," and it was here that the knight found his transportation as well as his status.  Some Master Masons seek status in high sounding titles instead of lofty ideals and accomplishments.

Modern Knights - Today we have Knights Templar, Knights of Columbus, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Malta, Knights of the Realm, Knights of the Star and Garter, and many so-called knights that are merely take-offs from the original Knights Templar.  We see today many fraternities that are spin-offs of the Masonic fraternity, but there is only one Masonic order; all else is shadow.

The Sword - Used as a weapon, the work comes from the Old German "sver" meaning "to cut or pierce."  It has a long blade for thrusting or for cutting, having one or two sides.  The sword of the West is straight with the shape of the cross.  In the Blue Lodge, there is only one sword - that of the Tyler - and it is flaming or curved.

The Scimitar - Unlike the sword, the scimitar is curved, much like the rainbow, or the rising of the sun from its sleep.  It is sharpened on its convex side and is able to carry the sharpest of edges.  Where the broad sword of the west was built from strength, the scimitar was built for beauty and sharpness.  Putting the two together in a particular way, we find the stations of the three immovable jewels of the Lodge.

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