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The Masonic Grand Design

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posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 03:36 PM
Unfortunate is the one who fails to see in reality what he is being made to see, who is unable to imagine that: from plans to plans” (C.-N. Ledoux)

In considering the Masonic Architectural design of the Royal Salt Works constructed at Arc et Senans in 1804 it should be noted that the practise of salt refining was likened to the realization of the ideal man based upon Alchemical Philosophy, and that it's centre should thus reflect the utopian ideal in which he should find himself.

Architect Ledoux creates buildings, like Prometheus making people from clay and giving each creation a spark of the fire of life. An architect uses visual metaphors: he depicts a human eye in which an interior of a theater is reflected. It is a symbol of interaction of the social environment with the architectural surrounding. Besides, this is a symbol of the all-seeing eye, which Ledoux mentions in his treatise many times

Believe me, my bail is this piercing pupil which keeps watch over everything

The basic design of the salt works was that of the octagon, the grand design being understood as radiating outward across the land, and the design incorporating all the spiritual qualities involved in refining the new man.

Architect, in his wisdom, disposes; he rules the artistic world, and in his proud solitude he puts to motion the lightnings of the divine will.

Really, the idea of royal salt-works must have inspired Ledoux. Because salt, in alchemic tradition, is a symbol of wisdom and science, salt realizes unity, crystallization between mercury and sulfur, presenting the passive and the active respectively, and salt presents a synthesis of both. Continuing alchemic symbolism, sulfur and mercury modify metal, and this process of dissolution and fixation symbolizes a neophyte’s transition to the initiated. In this aspect, an allegory of marriage of a king and a queen, at which a priest gives orders, in a naïve and poetic manner, presents this union of mercury and sulfur executed by salt

Ledoux likens the design of the city of Salt to the creation of a new Universe.

The author of nature has composed the world of rivalry of the atoms, chaos developed, and giving space to the world, it gave the atoms an attracting impulse, organized an azure dome, dug out the depth of the seas; today, the fight of floating substances marks a new center and provokes birth of new inhabitants of the earth. Legend tells us that a drop of water falling from the breast of Juno makes the Milky Way; here, it is a drop of water hanging in the air, which, falling, acquires all the greater value and starts a city, whose general plan may be seen drawn on the general map of the country

Ledoux was a futuristic visionary, above we see the view toward the Maison du Futur, and he even considered the Supreme Being residing here, and below his design for a centre piece of an architectural garden;

The royal salt-works Arc-et-Senans, the only built element of a Utopian city, is one of essential components. The architect meant to make this works producing salt the heart of his city. In the center of the salt-works there is found the director’s house – a magnificent, impressive, decorated with multiple pillars building with a chapel. This is the seat of the Supreme Being, the priest supervising salt production. The director’s house with a chapel glorifies the might and the blessing of royal power, the emanation of the will of the Supreme Being. It shines and is seen from all quarters as a true heart of salt-works

Ledoux Architect

Ledoux Chaux

Maison des Gardes Architectes

"All that is material contains Salt, and all Salt can be converted into pure gold by the combined action of Sulphur and Mercury'

Sulphur is the symbol for the spirit, mercury for the soul, and salt for the physical body.

In considering thee underlying Alchemical principle in this refining then the three elements involved are those of salt, sulphur and Mercury, were Mercury is seen as the Masculine Principle, sulphur or Venus as the feminine, also seen as related to the Sun, and the salt is the extraction from Earth related to the Moon, though there is the potential for divergance and differences here.

Venus, the planet fair, the goddess of love,
Whose beauty the stout god of war allures,
her central salt; whoso has wit to prove,
shall find a key all secrets which assures
the owner for to find; I say no more,
for this disclosed by none, hath been before.

But of this mercury, if you desire, the secret for to learn, attend to me, for this is a water which yet is fire, which conquers bodies from their fixed degree, and makes them fly much like a spirit pure, this after fixing all flame to endure.

Then Lo-a star into this well shall fall, and with its lustrous rays the earth shall shine, Let venus and her influence withal, for she is nurse of this stone divine, The bond of all crystalline mercury This is the spring in which our sun must die

This third element of salt thus refines the Masculine and the Feminine and from the three one is the refined result and this is the essence of spiritual gold.

Opinions will always differ in these regards and i wouldn't consider any of this an exact science, but still the concerns with such are clearly evident at Chaux and the function of the Priest of the Supreme Being is that of salt refinement.

In considering this grand octagonal design one could through which the refinement is determined then perhaps one should also spare a thought for Arachne, who given her skill in weaving saw the grand design of the Olympians, and as reward was transformed into a spider.

Thus while the fate of one was to be transformed into a creepy thing that lurketh in the shadows to be squashed on sight, to the other is seemingly given the running of the World.

All the contestants (well, there were only two) were assembled and ready to begin. The judges sat by as they plyed their looms, eagerly observing as their designs unfolded. Here the stories differ. One version says that Arachne actually WAS a better weaver than Athene. But her design was one of dreadful sacrilege-- while Athene's depicted the Olympian Gods in all their glory, Arachne showed them at the depths of their foolishness with Zeus in the shape of a bull, chasing mortal women. The judges were shocked, and so was Athene. In a rage, she tore down Arachne's tapestry and struck the girl, transforming her into the first spider. "Keep weaving," she said to the quickly shrinking girl. "No one will want your webs now. Weave and weave, and your webs will be swept away, along with you, as nothing but a nuisance."

Tale of Arachne

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 03:52 PM
I tried reading through this all, but I didn't see anything truly Masonic or get what you are trying to say.

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 03:59 PM
reply to post by KSigMason

If you could see this then you would understand the world...

The city of Chaux is an alchemic symbol of a salty drop , and a symbol of creation of a new man living in a new world. According to Daniel Rabreau, a researcher of the art of Ledoux, the latter’s way of thinking and surrounding leaves no doubt as to his being initiated. The fact is testified to by Anthony Widler, as well as Michael Galle making reference to Englishman Beckford who had visited the “secret garden” of freemason Ledoux…

Masonic architecture of Ledoux

edit on Kpm22832vAmerica/ChicagoSunday0228 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:02 PM

I tried reading through this all, but I didn't see anything truly Masonic or get what you are trying to say.

I agree. While it is a very interesting topic I feel this is more alchemical in nature and not really related to Masonry.

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by Kantzveldt

Do you think it's possible, that modern Masons have gotten very
boring, and have for the most part abandoned all the things
which made them interesting a 100+ years ago?

I mean no disrespect whatsoever..

But fellows like Albert Pike, no matter how you classify him as
good/evil or indifferent, was highly educated in occult matters
and apparently introduced some of that (I'm guessing) into

But all the Mason's I've contacted have claimed that little or
nothing of that nature exists in Masonry.

Now I could either imagine that they are some sort of evil
cult, or I could take them at their word.

As so much of human culture has degraded with time, and become
less than it once was (no, this is not the myth of the golden age),
it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were being perfectly honest,
at least as far as they know.

Just an opinion.. I could be tragically wrong.


posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:22 PM
I personally find the alchemical transformation of humanity and mankind a fascinating subject of inquiry.

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:24 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

I doubt it, it's a question of what is applicable to teaching at the Lodge level i presume. Ledoux was an early and important Masonic Architect that designed overtly to a revolutionary Masonic ideal which he saw as about to transform the world, that modern Masons are seemingly unable to see his vision or understand the Alchemical associations suggests they are more discrete these days at the Higher levels in what should be taught, but these plans certainly haven't changed.

Though they did adjust to an arc design after the initial square one was rejected, but maintained the important octagonal aspects.

His design was expected to extend across the globe.

The intersecting line of the highest diameter crosses the Loue River, some very large prairies, the city, the forest, the Doubs river, the Geneva channel, and the Helvetian fields; to the left, the Mosa, the Mosela, the Rhin, the Antwerp harbor, and the North Seas carry until the Siberian deserts the early fruits, so desired by our trading and our crafts. O, inexhaustible source of richness! You are the product of all the others, thanks to you the natural recognition of the nations becomes more vivid, thanks to you fortunes become regular, empires grow and reach their highest splendors.

Extension from centre
edit on Kpm22832vAmerica/ChicagoSunday0228 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:26 PM

reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

Do you think it's possible, that modern Masons have gotten very
boring, and have for the most part abandoned all the things
which made them interesting a 100+ years ago?

I used to think that. Shortly after I joined Masonry, I was indeed very disappointed at my perceived lack of occult knowledge within the Order.

However, as time passed, I began to realize that Freemasonry has a completely different purpose than teaching such knowledge. It's not what Freemasonry is about. Freemasonry has a very, very different purpose.

I now get most of my occult teachings elsewhere, and I am now perfectly happy as a Mason, and no, I most certainly do not find it at all boring!!!

edit on 2/2/2014 by Saurus because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:32 PM
reply to post by Saurus

I imagine you'll tell me that you have made all these great contacts
among the Masonic brotherhood/Sisterhood (Eastern Star) and
that these individuals of great character and devotion work together
on worthy projects.. which may include personally held
non-masonic teachings.. but do not conflict with them.

Or I could be wrong.

But that's basically what the last Mason I spoke with explained
to me.


posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 04:52 PM
Path to higher consciousness begins with childlike innocence.
Promote action to gain various types of understanding.
Condense units of such understanding to council.
Integrate this council into a single director.
Utilize director to reach out to others.
Reach out to others via sacrifice.
Become sacrifice to expand.
Expand to unite as "One."

In the calm of desolation
Wanting to break
From this circle of confusion

In the depths of isolation
Trying to wake
From this daydream of illusion

It challenges the essence of my soul
Leaves me in a state of disconnection
As I navigate the maze of self control

Playing a lion being led to a cage
I turn from a thief to a beggar
From a god to God save me.

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

Wow, it's not often I have experienced such a subtle and well hidden attack such as this on these forums - normally it's blatant outright accusations that I am a low-level Mason who knows nothing.

I am Male (so not Eastern Star).

In my previous post I implied that Freemasonry is not a repository for reams occult knowledge. On the contrary, Freemasonry has extracted the wisdom found in much of the occult knowledge across the board and used it's own delivery method to deliver that wisdom. So you won't find the fine details of this or that Magickal ritual in Freemasonry, but the teaching and the result is certainly the same. But you would have to be a Mason to understand that.

I am a long-time student of the occult and esoteric knowledge. I understand what Freemasonry is about, and happen to be my current active district's regional mentor, so don't try and patronize me or the other Masons on this thread with a well-concealed attack implying a superficial understanding of the Craft.

Just because Freemasonry has found an effective way to deliver occult wisdom without the volumes of nitty gritty knowledge that goes with many other occult orders by no means implies that the message is less profound (not that I'm knocking the other Orders, its simply a different method of delivery).

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by Saurus

You misread me 100%.

I have nothing against Masonry.
I don't think Masonry is evil.

I was postulating why there has been such a dramatic change since Albert Pike,
and seeking corroboration.

That's it.

Just like I don't think that Masons have any 'hidden nonsense', I too have no
'hidden nonsense'. I'll answer any question about me or my motives
whatsoever.. other than the rest of my name and where I live. I only retain
those 'secrets' so as to keep my family out of ATS or other craziness.



posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 06:08 PM
What a stupendous thread.

Just the power of the individual's mixture of Art & Primal Magic is nothing less than grand alchemical sigilism. More even. Never thought of it at that depth before. Bravo.

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 08:16 PM
reply to post by The GUT

Thank you, what is involved here in the greater scheme of things is almost beyond the imagination, the Free Masons were merely dabbling with the principles involved at Chaux, a Masonic version of the principle of New Jerusalem, in reality such interconnected spiritual centres extend around the globe and require no human construction, though this generally occurs at such, the Matrix.

Unfortunate is the one who fails to see in reality what he is being made to see, who is unable to imagine that

posted on Feb, 2 2014 @ 10:30 PM
reply to post by Kantzveldt

It's all interesting, but you could just learn to write clearly and state your intent.

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:00 AM
reply to post by KSigMason

Well coming from a Free Mason i find that hilarious...

But for the record, the intent is to destroy the inter-planetary system of the Olympians.

edit on Kam22833vAmerica/ChicagoMonday0328 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by Kantzveldt

What an incredible mind the architect had. All too often, I suspect, great beauty is squashed by those who cannot appreciate it.
That was an absorbing read, Kantzveldt, I had never heard of the salt works before, so thank you.

The original plans put me in mind of the chapel in Roslin, by Edinburgh.

edit on 3-2-2014 by beansidhe because: Spelled your name wrong - sorry.

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:25 AM
Sometimes when I run across threads on or related to alchemy I add this lecture/seminar by Terrence McKenna for those interested in the subject but who may have missed this. It's long, four and a half hours, but even dipping into it at random you will probably find interesting data and hear the semantic brilliance of McKenna.

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:34 AM
reply to post by beansidhe

I rather like the Masonic theme park on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh...

But Roslin chapel as you say very nice.

edit on Kam22833vAmerica/ChicagoMonday0328 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

A lot of Masons run for the presidency (and other political jobs), if they were in a group that admitted to currently practicing the occult, that option would be off of the table.

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