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The Masonic Initiation Well

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posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:11 AM
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The Quinta da Regaleira is a beautiful estate, near Sintra, Portugal. The area has a rich and colourful history and the estate has had many owners. In 1892 the estate was sold to Carvalho Monteiro, where he began to dream of creating a palace to reflect his interests in the arcane. Alongside the architect Luigi Manini, they created a breathtaking Gothic palace, adorned with symbolism from alchemy, Masonry, the Rosicrucians and the Knights Templar.




The Quinta de Regaleira estate, which is sometimes referred to as "The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire” after its latest owner, consists of a palace and chapel with exquisite décor including frescoes, stained glass windows, and lavish stuccoes. The estate grounds feature lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and an extensive and enigmatic system of tunnels that connect to two spiraling wells.







The pair of wells, known as the ‘Initiation Wells’ or ‘Inverted Towers’, consist of ‘winding stair’ architecture, which carries symbolic meaning including the death/rebirth allegory common to many hermetic traditions. One of the wells contains nine platforms, which are said to be “reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise.” A smaller well, called the “Unfinished Well,” contains a set of straight staircases, connecting the ring-shaped floors to one another. It is believed that the spacing of the landings, as well as the number of steps in between were dictated by Masonic principles.

At the bottom of the well there is a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been Monteiro’s herald and a sign of his Rosicrucianism. Very little is known about how the wells were used and what exactly went on there, though it is clear to see that great effort went into their planning and construction.






Looking up from the bottom of the well, it is not difficult to imagine the thoughts an initiate may entertain, feeling so isolated from the ground above with a view of only the heavens.



A truly beautiful building, protected now as a World Heritage site, it would be perfect for a Hallowe'en visit. As a final intrigue, Monteiro commissioned Manini to design his own tomb.


The door of the tomb, also encrusted with symbolism, was opened with the same key that opened the Palácio da Regaleira and his palace in Lisbon, on the Rua do Alecrim. As visitors enter the cemetery grove, they encounter the tomb on the left, with the orientation, size, and shape of a Masonic temple, oriented towards the east. It is covered in various symbols. The door knocker is engraved with a bee carrying a skull. The bee, which is diligent and hard-working, represents the Mason in his organized work. The gradeamento which can be seen in the back of the tomb, is festooned with the symbolic wine and bread, the spirit and the body. There are also decorative owls, symbolizing wisdom, as well as poppies, the symbol of eternal sleep.


Hope you enjoyed the trip round the enigmatic and mysterious estate of Quintas da Regaleira, where we can only wonder now at the parties, rites and lives that went before us at this bewitching palace.

For more, see:

Ancient Origins

Quinta da Regaleira

Portugal Quintas

edit on 29-10-2014 by beansidhe because: sp




posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:18 AM
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this post is a reminder of just how much amazing stuff there is to see in this pale blue dot of ours.
I still haven't finished exploring Sicily, and i lived there 17 years.
amazing site, and Portugal is not too far from Sicilia Bedda, so fingers crossed, one day i will walk among those walls.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:27 AM
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a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse

It's on my list of places to go to now, too. It's got just the right mixture of creepiness and beauty that is enchanting.
Take squillions of photos for us, if you get there first!

B x



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

Neat place, thanks for posting.

I would like to see the Unfinished Stair and if it is indeed based on Masonic symbolism. It should have 3, 5 and 7 steps.

There is one like this in the Philadelphia Grand Lodge building if you wanted to have a frame of reference.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 07:16 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

You are, of course, welcome.
It's quite hard to find anything definitive, and very interesting what you say about the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia.


Of the two wells, the larger one contains a 27-meter spiral staircase with several small landings. The spacing of these landings, combined with the number of steps in the stairs, are linked to Tarot mysticism.
The smaller well contains straight stairs that connect a series of ring-shaped floors to one another. This well is also called the 'Unfinished Well'. A structure similar to these wells can be found in the Pozzo di S. Patrizio in Italy.








Unusual Houses Of The World

Here's the one at the Pozzo di S. Patrizio:





Is this anything like you had in mind? They remind me a bit of the unfinished well of Gilmerton Cove, although it was nowhere near as grand. I can't find a picture of the staircases/landings, so that makes even more reason to visit.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 07:41 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe

Is this anything like you had in mind?


While beautifully executed those are not really Masonic. I tried to locate a photo but their website is not the easiest to navigate. If you search 'Masonic winding stairway' you will see some images that depict what we use in the lecture.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:09 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Aah, like this:



3 steps, 5 steps and 7 steps? It is difficult to see on the unfinished well, by the nature of it's unfinishedness perhaps.
I'll keep searching...



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:12 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe



That would be it. Thanks for posting.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Not at all, thanks for coming by!



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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SnF. Thanks for sharing bean.


Hey! Do those columns and stairs remind you of anything?






posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: Wifibrains



Woah!
Always a pleasure to see you Wifi! Guess where I'll be later, that is an excellent point. See you later in Pictland!



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: beansidhe

Thanks bean, I Look forward to it.

I saw that straight away. I'm surprised you missed it. There is more! Lol.

Are there other double wells like this elsewhere? I found something interesting that possibly ties the pictish symbol, these wells, and quantum mechanics, namely transferred/coherent states....

Here.


The object of this paper is to review the electronic conductance in double quantum well systems. These are quantum well structures in which electrons are confined in the z direction


m.iopscience.iop.org...


where we can only wonder now at the parties, rites and lives that went before us at this bewitching palace.


I'm wondering even more now. Another can of worms? Lol


edit on 29-10-2014 by Wifibrains because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 04:50 PM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Aah, like this:



3 steps, 5 steps and 7 steps? It is difficult to see on the unfinished well, by the nature of it's unfinishedness perhaps.
I'll keep searching...


Like most newbs you forget the first step it 1,3,5 then seven. If you are going to portray a post like you know what you are talking about, know what you are talking about. The first step is often the most difficult to surmount and those who realize the advantage they attain by taking it are rarely encouraged to enlighten those distracted by the mystical beliefs and their accompanying pretty pictures.



posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 07:48 AM
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a reply to: Wifibrains

I don't know how many there are, I'm going to have a look for more double wells.


The object of this paper is to review the electronic conductance in double quantum well systems. These are quantum well structures in which electrons are confined in the z direction


Of course they are, which other direction would they go.
That is ...strange. Hmm. Right, I'm definitely on it now, I got sidetracked last night.



posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: subtopia

Hi Subtopia, thanks for your comments.




Like most newbs you forget the first step it 1,3,5 then seven. If you are going to portray a post like you know what you are talking about, know what you are talking about.


I don't, that should be obvious.





The first step is often the most difficult to surmount and those who realize the advantage they attain by taking it are rarely encouraged to enlighten those distracted by the mystical beliefs and their accompanying pretty pictures.


What is the first step? You've intrigued me.



posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: beansidhe

It's a secret. Lol.

It couldn't be any more black n white if it tried though.



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