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"Blood Meridian" Masonic Reference Discussion

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posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 04:45 AM
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"Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy, a masterpiece of modern literature. An unrelenting novel that never lets up on its grim visage of the mythic "Old West" and paints a grim and bloody portrait that may in fact be closer to the truth than any novel before it or since.

I love this tome and for this reason I have started this thread. I have found several references to Masonry within its pages (as well as references to Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism, and God knows what else! McCarthy really gave this one everything he had!). I would love to discuss these references with the patrons of the SS Forum to help enlighten me and help me understand a little more of this McCarthy's cryptic magnum opus.

Masonic reference #1 (Tarot reference as well) :


"The woman sat like that blind interlocutrix between Boaz and Jachin inscribed upon the one card in the juggler's deck that they would not see come to light, true pillars and true card, false prophetess for all."


Now I know that interlocutrix or female interlocutor is one who takes part in a conversation. More relevant to this scene however is that an interlocutor is also a performer in a minstrel show who sits in the middle of the line and banters with the men on the ends acting as a leader. As the tarot reading being given in this scene is delivered by "bufones." The card mentioned in this segment is of course the High Priestess. Jachin (to establish) and Boaz (Strength) are known to all who have researched Masonry at one time or another.

Masonic Reference #2 :

Taken from the Judge's alchemical creation of gunpowder (if you've never read this book, this story arc is simply amazing :


I didnt know but what we'd be required to bleed into it like freemasons but it was not so.


The only thing I can come up with for this reference is that the story is being told by an ex-priest (Tobin) and the time is somewhere in the early 1850's. I assume that this was a time when God-fearing folk believed Freemasons indulged in dark and arcane rites.

Masonic Reference #3


Toadvine didn't answer. He was sitting in the sand and he made a tripod of three fingers and stuck them in the sand before him and then he lifted and turned them and poked them in again so that there were six holes in the form of a star or a hexagon and then he rubbed them out again. He looked up.
You wouldnt think that a man would run plumb out of country out here, would ye?


Churchward writes that the hexagram, in Masonic symbolism, represents the extent of the sky and also as a sign of the reaches of the world. In the tarot it is the sign of the macrocosm. Toadvine's actions seem to reflect his thoughts...

I've pondered as to whether McCarthy may be a Freemason himself, but he doesn't strike me as a very gregarious fellow.

Some have wriiten that "Blood Meridian" is a Gnostic tragedy (Gravers False and True: Blood Meridian as Gnostic Tragedy). Certainly the monstrous Judge Holden seems the perfect archon.

Thoughts anyone?

[All external links: Blood Meridian]

P.S. Howdy to all here on the SS forum. It's been a good while but I see that some familiar faces are still around. Fatherhood has become an all encompassing thing and ATS had to fall by the wayside. But I've been meaning to do this thread for a long time and I have some time on my hands.

Would love to hear your thoughts.




edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: (no reason given)

edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: grammatical errors




posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:00 AM
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reply to post by Beelzebubba
 

I haven't read it and I'm never heard of it but it sounds interesting.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by pcrobotwolf
 


I would recommend this novel to anyone. Truly, it towers above its contemporaries (it was published in 1985). Most know McCarthy through the film versions of his novels; "All the Pretty Horses", "No Country For Old Men", & "The Road". " BM is without a doubt his finest work.It's is also been enveloped into the Hollywood machine, but I have grave doubts as to how faithful to the source a film version can get. It is very gruesome.

edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: more errors...



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:41 AM
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Watch the aussie movie 'The Proposition'. Film critic Roger Ebert likened it to 'Blood Meridian'.
edit on 19/1/11 by galactictuan because: roger ebert



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by Beelzebubba
 


I hate Hollywood movies and have worked on some of the sets. So i will read the book before i watch the movie trust me i learned that lesson a long time ago. Hollywood seems to get over the top movies right but can never really pull off true life for me. But i would much rather watch avatar or the matrix then read the book on it as they are examples of what i just stated.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by galactictuan
 

"The Proposition" was filmed in Winton in my home state of Queensland. It's no secret that Nick Cave was very much influenced by BM when he wrote the screenplay for John Hilcoat's film. In fact it was for this very reason that Hilcoat was vetted to direct "The Road".



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by pcrobotwolf
 


True, but "No Country ..." was an exceptional adaptation. "The Road" less so, but still enjoyable (or as enjoyable as a film like that can be...).

Actually, I don't think BM can be translated to film. Ridley Scott was first slated to direct (a man who loves to throw buckets of blood around), but he signed off on it because he found it's violence "too problematic." And it is. It isn't violence for violence sake. The horror and the bloodshed (which is unremitting) are there because that is how it was. A reader in this day and age may be shocked to have their romantic John Waynesque view of the Old West crushed by this novel. But a person reading it in the 1850's probably would have found it reasonably realistic.

Todd Field was the next director to step up, but has been rumored to have abandoned it. Now the actor James Falco (Spidey's buddy) is rumored to have taken the helm...


edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: To add paragragh from "Actually..."



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by Beelzebubba
Masonic reference #1 (Tarot reference as well) :


"The woman sat like that blind interlocutrix between Boaz and Jachin inscribed upon the one card in the juggler's deck that they would not see come to light, true pillars and true card, false prophetess for all."


Now I know that interlocutrix or female interlocutor is one who takes part in a conversation. More relevant to this scene however is that an interlocutor is also a performer in a minstrel show who sits in the middle of the line and banters with the men on the ends acting as a leader. As the tarot reading being given in this scene is delivered by "bufones." The card mentioned in this segment is of course the High Priestess. Jachin (to establish) and Boaz (Strength) are known to all who have researched Masonry at one time or another.
A.E. Waite was a Mason. He's also behind the Rider Waite tarot deck, perhaps the most recognized art system for the tarot in the modern world. I know about the twin pillars on the Hight Priestess card, but don't honestly know their history in the deck prior to Waite. Was he responsible for putting the J&B on the columns? Did they regularly exist in the iconography before his involvement? I'm not a tarot historian...


Masonic Reference #2 :

I didnt know but what we'd be required to bleed into it like freemasons but it was not so.
Did you quote that accurately? I'm having trouble parsing that sentence, and wanted to make sure it's how he wrote it, and not just how you typed it...



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Yep, that's how he wrote it, in a 19th century crotchety, scalp-hunting ex-priest kinda way.

Translated into our vernacular, I think it would be: "I didn't know if we'd be required to bleed into it like Freemasons but it was not so."

To give a better perspective on this snippet, I'll give a brief overview.

The ex-priest is telling the newest member of the gang how the scalp-hunters met Judge Holden. The gang are on the run from the Comanche and have no powder. They come across the Judge sitting on a large boulder in the middle of the desert, like he'd been waiting for them. The Judge appraises their situation and leads them on a journey into a mountain to find guano, which he then extracts with a small wood burning kiln. He then takes the nitre and the charcoal and leads the gang to a vast malpaise. They climb to the summit and find brimstone around the craters edge. The judge mixes these and then calls the men over. This is where the priest makes his Freemason statement. But rather than bleed, the Judge has the men urinate into the mixture while he mixes up

"this great mass in a foul black dough'
. The men spread it around thinly with their knives and wait for it to dry as the Comanche approach. Once dry... gunpowder. Funnily enough some have tested this method and found it does actually work!


edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: fix external quote

edit on 19/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: grammatical errors



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton

]A.E. Waite was a Mason. He's also behind the Rider Waite tarot deck, perhaps the most recognized art system for the tarot in the modern world. I know about the twin pillars on the Hight Priestess card, but don't honestly know their history in the deck prior to Waite. Was he responsible for putting the J&B on the columns? Did they regularly exist in the iconography before his involvement? I'm not a tarot historian...



I believe Waite was the first to use the English letters J and B. However, the significance here isn't actually "Masonic", as Waite had been a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn previously to Freemasonry. The pillars of King Solomon's Temple are alluded to in the Neophyte Grade of the Golden Dawn, where they considered equivalent to the Pillars of Justice and Severity in the Qabalistic Tree of Life. This was idea that Waite was trying to get across in the High Priestess image, with Isis herself representing the Middle Pillar.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Beelzebubba
 


Very interesting reference but I don't remember anything specific about 'bleeding' in Freemasonry. The gunpowder story is pretty cool though.

I seem to remember there was an episode of Star Trek where Kirk was fighting an alien on some planet and he crushed up some ingredients together and made gunpowder for a crude cannon that shot rocks.

In a weird sort of synchronicity Bob Lazar used to have instructions on how to make black powder for fireworks on his company's (United Nuclear) site, but I think it's been taken down. From what I remember you need charcoal, sulfur (brimstone) and potassium nitrate. I can see the urine/nitrogen connection but it would be interesting to see if it actually worked!

The hexagram thing crudely resembles the Square and Compass logo. In many LOOONNGGG hours of business meetings I've stared at that symbol and found quite a few different shapes can be found or made with it, including a five pointed star, six pointed star, hexagram, etc.

Is the author a Freemason?



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by emsed1
 


The bleeding scene may not be derived from any real Masonic ritual or rite. I kinda get the feeling that it's something Tobin may assume about Freemasons or something that he had been told about them, maybe in seminary.

The hexagram scene does seem to point specifically to the Churchward explanation.

I do wonder if McCarthy is or was a member of a Lodge. He is a very private man who prefers the company of very few. I've heard he really doesn't like literary types and prefers people who can teach him something i.e. scientists etc... He spent years researching this novel which is for the most part based on the memoir of Samuel Chamberlain (My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue).

If anyone can check into McCarthy's possible Freemasonic membership, as far as I know he still resides in Santa Fe NM.



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by Beelzebubba
 


Samuel Chamberlain

Interesting..

If he was in Texas during the Mexican War he would have been around a lot of Freemasons, including Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, even Santa Anna.

Here's an interesting quote from the Blood Meridian article at Wikipedia:




Many critics agree that there are Gnostic elements present in Blood Meridian, but they disagree on the precise meaning and implication of those elements. One of the most detailed of these arguments is made by Leo Daugherty in his 1992 article, "Blood Meridian as Gnostic Tragedy." Daugherty argues "gnostic thought is central to Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian" (Daugherty, 122); specifically, the Persian/Zoroastrian/Manichean branch of Gnosticism.

He describes the novel as a "rare coupling of Gnostic 'ideology' with the 'affect' of Hellenistic tragedy by means of depicting how power works in the making and erasing of culture, and of what the human condition amounts to when a person opposes that power and thence gets introduced to fate."[9] Daugherty sees Holden as an archon, and the kid as a "failed pneuma." The novel's narrator explicitly states that the kid feels a "spark of the alien divine". Furthermore, the kid rarely initiates violence, usually doing so only when urged by others or in self-defense. Holden, however, speaks of his desire to dominate the earth and all who dwell on it, by any means: from outright violence to deception and trickery. He expresses his wish to become a "suzerain", one who "rules even when there are other rulers" and whose power overrides all others'.


I never really had much interest in western fiction even though I was born and grew up in West Texas. This book, however, may just get me hooked!



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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I think being blinded tween the pillairs is the masonic initiation, when thay have covered eyes...

I think he was a mason I found this on wiki...

"Also in 1966, McCarthy received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, which he used to travel around Southern Europe before landing in Ibiza, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark."

Off topic, I had contact with light beings made out of pure blueish/white light that looked like little meditating men in a six pointed david-star a.k.a. the Merkabah, wheels in wheels, chariot of the gods, chariot of ascension etc..
thay are found in every culture around the world in one way or another, even the bible.. (even explains Israel flag to me).. So I think the masonic logo is related (alltho after seeing this I think everything is connected to them
)
thay were 2.5 inches tall and wide, and my eyes would burn iff I stared at them so I kinda doubt it was a halucination I truly hope you decide to bealive in my words.

May love and light guide your life



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by emsed1
 


Chamberlain's memoir was the grist for the bulk of the story. The infamous Glanton gang as well as the leader John Joel Glanton were factual as well as the antagonist Judge Holden. It would seem that the protagonist, "The Kid" is loosely based on the youthful Chamberlain.

But then there is so much more than the tale of a rogue gang of scalp-hunters operating on the Texas/Mexico border. As far as Western fiction goes, BM is the Alpha and the Omega of the genre.

I don't know of too much Western fiction being studied at Yale:





Literary critic Harold Bloom refers to BM as "...the authentic American apocalyptic novel."

Bloom is no stranger to Gnosticism and it surprises me that he has not ventured forth with his take on the Gnostic elements of BM.

As further enticement for you to seek out this novel, I'll leave you with Bloom's description of Judge Holden:


We first meet the Judge on page 6: an enormous man, bald as a stone, no trace of a beard, and eyes without brows or lashes. A seven-foot-tall albino almost seems to have come from some other world, and we learn to wonder about the Judge, who never sleeps, dances and fiddles with extraordinary art and energy, rapes and murders little children of both sexes, and who says that he will never die. By the book's close, I have come to believe that the Judge is immortal. And yet the Judge, while both more and less than human, is as individuated as Iago or Macbeth, and is quite at home in the Texan-Mexican borderlands where we watch him operate in 1849-50, and then find him again in 1878, not a day older after twenty-eight years...
Link

The Judge also has a rifle, inscribed upon the check-plate: Et In Arcadia Ego

edit on 20/1/2011 by Beelzebubba because: 'coz



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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Does this have anything to do the fact that Cormac McCarthy doesnt use any semi-colons in his writing? I think maybe the semi-colon is a secret symbol.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by molenews
 


Well, not really. McCarthy, as you're probably aware, uses very little punctuation of any kind. Maybe it's his way of thumbing his nose at the literati.




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