Sunday, May 14, 2006

Goddess symbolism in Freemasonry?

Happy Mother's Day, and Happy Mother Goddess Day!

Strange bedfellows, indeed. A reader of pointed out the other day an article that explores the Goddess symbolism in Freemasonry. Drawing from many sources, including anti-Masonic rants by Christian fundamentalists, writer William Bond tells us:
  • The true nature of French Freemason Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi's "Statue of Liberty" is that of a sun goddess. This idea is explored in great detail in Talisman, Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval's rambling book about medieval Catharism, Gnosticism, pagan occultism, pharaonic monuments and deities, the astrologically suggestive layouts of Paris and Washington, and the Statue of Liberty, which they call the "Isis of New York."

  • Bond's fascinating explanation of the "true nature" of the Masonic square and compasses deserves to be read in his own words:
    The Compass and Square image is probably the most popular symbol in Freemasonry. The fundamentalist Pastor Ron Carlson, who has spoken about Freemasonry in evangelical churches in many parts of America, claims that the square represents the earth, the compasses represent the sky, and the square and compasses when united, represent the sky impregnating the earth with its showers. He goes on to state that this is a symbol of sexual intercourse. The official Freemason line is they are just tools of the Masonry Trade....
    Bond continues and eventually gets to his point: The diamond shape made by the crossing of the square and compasses represents the vagina, the magickal and secret place from which Life life springs. Early goddess-worshipping people held the vagina to be sacred; it was later patriachal religions that called it — and sex generally — unclean and unholy.

  • In another interesting passage, Bond talks about how putting the Square and Compasses atop the Bible, making the Three Great Lights of Freemasonry, with the book's spine centered on the diamond-shape, creates the illusion of a "closed vagina." This idea leads to his discussion of goddesses mentioned in the Old Testament and goddess imagery from the New Testament, including the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.

Bond's article, though poorly documented, contains much food for thought and reflection.

I'll close by quoting another interesting section of Bond's article. I find it fascinating because it discusses my name, Mary:
The name Mary comes from the Egyptian goddess Maat and the Mesopotamian Goddess Mami or Mammitu which means Mother. So Mary was originally a name for the Great Mother. The name Virgin Mary also has a interesting meaning.

The ancient meaning of virgin is far different to what it means in Christianity. To the Christians a virgin is a woman who has never been penetrated by a man. Which then creates the problem in that Mary mother of Jesus was supposed to be a virgin when she conceived him. The Christian explanation is that God was the father of Jesus. This is not unusual in religions of this time, the Greeks had Zeus who would seduce or rape mortal women and from this union would come heroic demigods.

The Pagan meaning of virgin is a woman who is owned by no man. So therefore she was at liberty to have sex with any man she chooses. To the degree that when she gives birth she may not know or care whom the father is. The problem for the patriarchy in having women like this, was that property or inheritance could only be passed down the female line. Which meant that power and wealth was still being inherited by women. Because of this kingship was passed down the female line as we see in Ancient Egypt. So the patriarchal law of marriage was enforced where a women was expected to be faithful to one man. Which allows a husband to know who his children are. This then allowed property and titles to be passed down from father to son, keeping wealth and power in the hands of men.

This then suggests that the Virgin Mary was a women who wasn't restricted to the patriarchal custom of marriage and so probably belonged to a Goddess religion. Also the original meaning of the Virgin Mother was a name of the Ancient Great Mother who could give birth without the aid of a male God. Which raises a question, what is a the Ancient Great Mother doing in a Bible of a patriarchal religion? It suggests that people were probably still worshipping the ancient Great Mother in early Christian times and the Christians needed the Virgin Mary in their religion to attract these people.

Excerpts from William Bond's Goddess Symbolism within Freemasonry

— Mary

This article is cross-posted on

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  1. Thanks for the posting.

    The connection between the pagan worship of the "Mother of God" and the Catholic Mary worship is pretty well established in Church history. It wasn't until the Church persecuted the pagan priestesses that the idolatry of the Virgin Mother was introduced into official Church practice.

    The virgin birth was a problem for early Christians who tried to convince skeptical Jews of their authority. In the Hebrew text of Isaiah, the messiah was to be born of a "maiden." That word was translated into the Greek word for "virgin" in the Septuagint.

    There is also a connection to the Zoroastrian tradition which predicts that Zoroaster will be reborn to a virgin who will become impregnated from heaven while wading in water. This tradition has been retained somewhat in the Iranian expectation of a coming messiah.

    There is yet another virgin birth connection: that of Romulus and Remus. Their mother was a Vestal Virgin who had violated her vow of chastity.

    Vestal virginity derives from the goddess Hespera who abstained from marriage because she was courted by two gods. She remained a virgin in order to maintain peace on the divine council.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Sophia,

    You are well read! Great to hear the Zoroastrian connection!



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