posted on Jul, 19 2003 @ 12:11 AM
So THATS what they were!
Check this I found on it, no pics, though.. from a pdf file
.. sorry can't link to it...
The use of the Skull and Crossbones in Freemasonry beyond that already mentioned on some headstones, is nearly as prevalent as the aforementioned
ubiquitous square and compass; being a feature of the hilt of ceremonial swords, embroidered on the aprons or sashes worn by brethren or most
impressively, stirringly employed in the ritual of the 3rd degree, from whence on completion a Mason is thereafter a Master Mason.
The 3rd degree is a ritual raising from the dead following the candidate's re-enactment of the first Mason Hiram Abiff's death at the hands of the
traitors Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum(8), the three Juwees.
Already noted is the strange attire worn during the ceremony, which is exactly as a condemned heretic was brought to the gallows in the Middle
Ages(9). The Skull and Crossbones themselves are placed on the death shroud from which the brother is raised, the 'Worshipful Master'(a masonic
`master of ceremonies') then explains the bones are `emblems of mortality', from which this rite of initiation could be speculated to be a
revelation of the illusory nature of the material realm, as well as being a figurative death within the brother of those elements of his person rooted
in the physical world and our five most basic senses used to interact and interpret it eternity awaits...
A more completely modern usage of the Skull and Crossbones, in this instance referred to as the Death's Head, was among the SS of Nazi era Germany.
Apart from its most visible use on the officers caps, it is probably most famously, or infamously, prominent use was the very highly regarded
Totenkopfring/Deaths Head Ring awarded to SS officers in recognition of their "...personal achievement, devotion to duty, and loyalty to the Fuhrer
and his ideals."(10)
Though to say what reasons the SS had for adopting the Deaths Head/Skull and Crossbones beyond a connection with the past German military units who
too used the symbol in their insignia(11), an ongoing tradition, would be pure guesswork, the reverence with which the Totenkopfrings were held
intimates omething greater than mere military insignia.
Upon death or on leaving the SS, the officers rings were retuned to officialdom whereon they were sent to the SS castle of Wewelsburg in Wesphalia
where they were placed in a particular chest kept in the castle's main tower(12,13).
Though rarely more than a footnote in history books, Wewelsburg was ultimately of more import to the SS; it was to be reconstructed as the most sacred
temple of the SS, emulating Camelot of the Knights of the Round Table(14). At the centre of the Wewelsburg complex, the castle said to house the Holy
Grail and/or the Ark of the Covenant(15).
Essentially, the castle, moreso than the surrounding planned township, was conceived to be the mystical axis of the world(16) in an esoteric sense,
the centre from which all universal creative movement is imparted.
Focussing directly on the Skull and Crossbones or Death's Head, that is the constituent parts to the whole, a further wealth of value may be revealed
The Skull and the two human thigh bones crossed are in some instances ascribed the astrological rulership of the first zodiacal sign Aries and the 9th
sign Sagittarius(17), both positive, Fire signs, the former cardinal more dominant, while the latter is mutable passive. The ombination of Aries and
Sagittarius, ruled by Mars and Jupiter respectively, brings together leadership and courage with profound philosophical thought.
There is however another system that ascribes the rulership of the entire skeleton, and the skin as well, to Capricorn(18), which puts things into
quite a different perspective. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, whom in a shallow sense is more or less just that old scythe carrier, the Grim Reaper or
plain old `Death'. However, looking at the picture in its entirety, the death signified by Capricorn, which is the physical death, is at once the
beginning of the path to incarnation, the re-birth itself being the domain of Capricorn's opposite Cancer(19).
This death and re-birth is carved into the very fabric of the great medieval cathedrals; Capricorn death situated at the portal/doorway, running up
the nave through the zodiac to a Cancerian re-birth at the altar(20).
The skeleton of Capricorn finds further significance in the form of the `Mithraic Cap'; its form at once imitating the sigil of Capricorn the cap
itself being the fish tail while the very skull it is placed on is the head of the goat... this being the case, it serves to bring the head, ruled by
Aries in touch with the feet of Pisces(21), the first and last signs of the zodiac. The significance of uniting the first and last Alpha to Omega that
of completion, initiation, enlightenment is further enhanced by Capricorn's sexual connotations; the sigil being both soft and hard is the phallus
while Capricorn's opposite, Cancer, is entirely soft the vulva, kteis, yoni, #(22).
The combination of which while engendering life, a Horus to Isis and Osiris, is also the uniting of male and female, the melding of opposites that
tantrically(sex magic) is required to attain a state of enlightened initiation nirvana.
Alchemically, of the 3 great principles of Sulphur, Mercury and Salt, it is Salt by way of a well known sigil hints at further revelations in this
area; "...this widely used sigil [salt sigil] was derived from the capital letter, the theta, of the Greek Thanatos which meant 'death'"(23). Salt
in this direction is connected with the thought processes of man(24), the very seat of thought the grey matter of the brain housed by the skull is the
very veil to be pierced(25) to gaze upon the true nature of reality/Isis unveiled.
In this sense then, Salt is "...the dross left over when life has fled, it is the skull, the death's head; it is the white powder left behind when
the gold is extracted, It is the ash of thought."(26) Be that as it may, the skull is not so much a `sentence of death', but as Hedsel reveals its
position in the old mythologies "...tend to present the image of the head as a castle, from which the soul, or princess, peers out from one of the
windows. In the fairy lore, the castellated head is the guardian of our spiritual activity. A comely knight rides out of the castle in search of the
This quest for the ultimate truth being no less than coming to grips with, understanding the nature of the cosmos, and hence in turn oneself
essentially a godlike acquisition of profound knowledge, the root of all religious concepts and philosophies(28).
Further, a flower being "...the glorified reflection of last years sun...that flower is not a product of the present years Earthly and Spiritual
activity...[but is] a manifestation of forces engendered in the previous year..."(29), the implication of drawing an analogy with humans is the
"...the head-forces of man are the transformed forces carried over from a previous growth into the present lifetime."(30)
This transmission through incarnations occurs via the thigh-bones, wherein it is the Alchemical `fixed salt' thus situated where a person's being,
their very essence is recorded(31). The femur is thus an `inheritor' and an `organ of generation', the intimation though is obviously not sexual,
for the `indestructible nucleus' that is "...the fixed salt transports the conciousness acquired by an individual demanding a modification of form
in order to provide his conciousness the means of expressing itself."(32) Goes a long way in explaining a `ritual cannibalism' such as in the
inbibing of the host in Christian churches and perhaps was the reason behind the quasi-masonic group `Skull and Bones', numbering among them Prescott
Bush George Dubya's grandfather, raiding the Native American leader Geronimo's grave and taking his remains back to their lodge.
[Edited on 19-7-2003 by Netchicken]
[Edited on 19-7-2003 by Netchicken]