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Cult of Isis and Ashtoreth Goddesses
Posted: 26 August 2016 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Dear Brothers,

glad to ask my first question and thus take part in this interesting forum on Freemasonry.

Could you please tell me of existing cult for Isis and Ashtoreth Goddesses in Freemasonry? Is it a direct connection to Ancient Egypt and Babel?

thanks in advance for your attention and answers.

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Posted: 26 August 2016 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hello and welcome,

There is, to the best of my knowledge, no ‘existing cult’ for Isis and/or Ashtoreth in Freemasonry. Nor is there a direct connection to either ancient Egypt and/or Babel.

I will qualify that just a touch by saying that as much of Masonic lore was originally based on the Old testament, some Biblical figures are referred to in some ceremonies. That does not prove a connection, of course, between Freemasonry and anything else. The Bible was a central work for the all Christians when modern Masonry was being developed and it is hardly surprising if names were used by one or more groups. In our case, such references are allegorical.

As well, certain universal symbols seem to have been independently adopted by societies around the world and it is Freemasonry shares some of these with other groups, peoples and societies. An example might be the serpent swallowing its tail, which was used by the Chinese, the Indians, the Greeks and the Celts - as well as by Masons - as a symbol of eternity. That does not however indicate any kind of link between any of these groups.

Beyond those two tenuous similarities, no relationship, no connection that I have ever heard of.

Hope that helps.

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Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
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Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 26 August 2016 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Is there a direct link, no.  Are there Masons who are interested in this topic yes.  Is it part of regular meetings no.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
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Posted: 26 August 2016 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I’ll add to Paul’s statement above in that although there are some (very very very very few, actually) who might be “interested” in the subject (as some Masons are incredibly academic, and will explore every possible avenue of connection to the craft, no matter how circumstantial) in now way implies any sort of worship practice as generally suggested in reference to a “cult”.

I’ve been to hundreds of Masonic meetings, and have never once heard any reference to Isis or Astoreth in any of them.

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Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
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Posted: 29 August 2016 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Thanks a lot for your answers, brothers.

I just realized one thing, I felt when asking such a question: if I were to “swear an oath” of not to reveal what I was about to see within the lounge activity, why would I announce that to anyone? )

and another thing is an idea of so called “sacred spaces”, when someone standing on one level of a symbolic “ziggurat” will not be able to tell you what is on the upper one. Is it not so?

Anyway, many thanks for your timely and interesting replies.


ps - I beg your pardon for my English, if it would not be suitable at any way, as natively I am Russian.

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Posted: 29 August 2016 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Gleb - 29 August 2016 05:24 AM

Thanks a lot for your answers, brothers.

I just realized one thing, I felt when asking such a question: if I were to “swear an oath” of not to reveal what I was about to see within the lounge activity, why would I announce that to anyone? )

and another thing is an idea of so called “sacred spaces”, when someone standing on one level of a symbolic “ziggurat” will not be able to tell you what is on the upper one. Is it not so?

Anyway, many thanks for your timely and interesting replies.


ps - I beg your pardon for my English, if it would not be suitable at any way, as natively I am Russian.

This is a very common misconception that we deal with all the time. We also understand that there is nothing we could do to change anyone’s mind who holds this misconception to be the truth. We do not have the kind of secrets you may believe we do. The only things we keep to ourselves are the details of our rituals and our means of recognition.

We don’t violate our oaths by telling you we do not all have some sort of cult of worship. The answers you got above were all accurate. 

If you look at our signatures you will find several of us, including me, are 32nd degree Masons. Although that makes little difference to us, what level would you consider high enough to answer your questions?  This, too shows a lack of understanding of our order. The highest degree in Freemasonry is the third degree, Master Mason.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
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God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 29 August 2016 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

If you look at our signatures you will find several of us, including me, are 32nd degree Masons.

Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

The highest degree in Freemasonry is the third degree, Master Mason.

this one sounds like doublethink from “1984” )

You should have mentioned that number of degrees differs from the type of Rite:

English Rite - (John’s masonry, so called) 3 degrees only, very practical
Scottish Rite - very theatrical, and lots of degrees
German Rite - rational and seeking for practical application
French Rite - very political,most “anti-religious”, if may called so
Swedish Rite - most strict descipline, strict observance

so in terms of what rite and tradition are we conducting our conversation here?

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Posted: 29 August 2016 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Gleb - 29 August 2016 07:59 AM
Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

If you look at our signatures you will find several of us, including me, are 32nd degree Masons.

Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

The highest degree in Freemasonry is the third degree, Master Mason.

this one sounds like doublethink from “1984” )

You should have mentioned that number of degrees differs from the type of Rite:

English Rite - (John’s masonry, so called) 3 degrees only, very practical
Scottish Rite - very theatrical, and lots of degrees
German Rite - rational and seeking for practical application
French Rite - very political,most “anti-religious”, if may called so
Swedish Rite - most strict descipline, strict observance

so in terms of what rite and tradition are we conducting our conversation here?

Freemasonry consists of 3 degrees of Craft Masonry.  That is the top.  A 32nd degree mason is simply someone who is a member of a concordant body called the Scottish Rite.  It is no higher than that of a Master Mason.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 AMD
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37
Oriental Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S.
Schenectady NY

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Posted: 29 August 2016 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

This, too shows a lack of understanding of our order.

This is very correct, but things are not that easy if you are looking for a light in the country, where access to information is being monitored and controlled..

Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

We don’t violate our oaths by telling you we do not all have some sort of cult of worship. The answers you got above were all accurate.

If I don’t tell anything unless I am asked - is it a lie or my observance of an oath?
If there is actually nothing to take an oath for and to hide, then what is the use of an oath?

And if you may let me, I had one very long-lasting doubt regarding the first iniciation in masonry. If I consider myself to be a Christian does not the fact of a “deathly” oath contradict the words of Matthew from New Testament:
“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne..” (5:34)

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Posted: 29 August 2016 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

Freemasonry consists of 3 degrees of Craft Masonry.  That is the top.  A 32nd degree mason is simply someone who is a member of a concordant body called the Scottish Rite.  It is no higher than that of a Master Mason.

Correct if I am wrong, how this arithmetics works: 1, 2, 3, 32, - correct sequense?

I have been to the Freemasons Hall in London and seen many attributes of other degrees like 10, 16, 12, 31, and so on. Are all of these degrees with their own symbolism and attributes are just “member of a concordant body called the Scottish Rite.  It is no higher than that of a Master Mason”? Correct?

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Posted: 29 August 2016 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Gleb - 29 August 2016 08:15 AM
Brother John - 29 August 2016 06:00 AM

Freemasonry consists of 3 degrees of Craft Masonry.  That is the top.  A 32nd degree mason is simply someone who is a member of a concordant body called the Scottish Rite.  It is no higher than that of a Master Mason.

Correct if I am wrong, how this arithmetics works: 1, 2, 3, 32, - correct sequense?

I have been to the Freemasons Hall in London and seen many attributes of other degrees like 10, 16, 12, 31, and so on. Are all of these degrees with their own symbolism and attributes are just “member of a concordant body called the Scottish Rite.  It is no higher than that of a Master Mason”? Correct?

Plain and simple, the highest degree in Freemasonry is that of the Third or Master Mason degree.  That is it.  Yes, in some of the concordant bodies, there is a 7th, an 8th, etc, however they are not part of regular Freemasonry.  They are part of separate entities.  Consider this, you attend a university and pursue a course of study in Mathematics.  Within that same university, you join a club that specializes in or centers around calculus but in order to be eligible to join, you must first have completed three basic course.  This is the same thing with the concordant bodies in Freemasonry.  As a Master mason, you can join these other “clubs” which we call concordant bodies, after you have been initiated, passed and raised.  I can say this, there is a story told in the first three degrees.  The third degree is the end of the story.  The other bodies are simply different parts of that story.

As for your sequence, no you are incorrect.  Here in the US, the Scottish Rite is divided into two jurisdictions, the Northern and the Southern.  In the Northern, where I am, you take degrees 1, 2 and 3 in order.  If you choose to join the Scottish Rite, you do not necessarily take degrees 4-32 sequentially.  Scottish Rite is divided into 4 separate bodies.  1)Lodge of perfection degrees 4-14, 2)Council of Princes of Jerusalem degrees 15 and 16, 3)Chapter of Rose Croix degrees 17 and 18 4)Consistory degrees 19-32.  To become a 32nd degree mason in the northern jurisdiction, you see some degrees of all 4 bodies.  The 32nd is always the last one you see.  The degrees in the Scottish rite do have names, however these names are long and it is simply easier to refer to them by number.  Finally, the 32nd degree simply signifies that you are a full member of the Scottish Rite.  It is not higher or more powerful.  It simply means you have joined the optional body to look at the three degrees from a different point of view.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 AMD
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37
Oriental Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S.
Schenectady NY

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Posted: 29 August 2016 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Gleb,

First off, Masonic custom requires strict adherence to some things, no matter where you are. An example of this is the ban on atheism within the Craft. On the other hand, custom permits changes in some other things, such as the actual wording of the ceremonies or the positioning of the furniture, so Masonry is quite different in different countries - different, but united in key areas. Hence differences between German, Swedish and French Rites.

(With respect to your calling the French Rite being anti-religious. In the late 1800s, the grand lodge of France decided to allow atheists to join. Because they had gone against this basic requirement, virtually every other grand lodge around the world decided to no longer recognize them as regular Masons. They no longer are acknowledged as real Freemasons, in other words, and all Masonic communication between them and the rest of the world;s Freemasons ended. That ban is still in place.)

As to the admittedly confusing question of degrees, start by accepting that Freemasonry is in one sense limited to three degrees - no more.  Everything else is a sideline. The best analogy I have seen is that of a high school. Students in their senior year are permitted to join certain extracurricular groups - the football team, the chess club, the drama club and so forth.  Some of these may offer a certain social cache but they give nobody any real authority.  The captain of the football team is in reality nothing more than a Grade 12 student like all those around him and he cannot order anyone else around.

So it is with the ‘higher’ degrees in Freemasonry. They are all parts of concordant bodies, extensions of Freemasonry might be a way to express it. These are groups of Masons who have chosen to explore various aspects of the Craft. Yet nobody in them is anything more than a Master Mason, for that really is the top rank in Freemasonry.

As to degree numbering, 1, 2 and 3 are the norm. The Scottish Rite, which is a concordant body, not the rite used in Scotland, has degrees running from 4 through 32 and virtually all members of that body wind up as a 32nd degree very quickly. There is in addition 33rd degree, an honourary degree given for exemplary service to the Rite; this is quite rare. So, yes, you could see a 10th degree or an 18th degree.  Remember however that this is a concordant body and such ranks give no authority outside of that concordant body.

The oaths are traditional and, in my own opinion, have been retained to impress upon the new members the solemnity of what they are witnessing. The ancient bloody penalties are only symbolic.

Hope that helps.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 29 August 2016 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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OK, I was being a bit short with my answer before. This thread was originally asking about Egyptian gods and how they relate to Freemasonry. The short answer is, they don’t.

Then we went off into this “higher ranking” sideline. I made the mistake of bringing confusion into the discussion by pointing out that I am a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. What would be far more important to this discussion would have been pointing out the number of past masters in this forum. These are the brethren who are probably the most knowledgeable.

In any case, the question has been answered. No Isis or Ashtoreth goddesses are part of Masonry. We use stories from the Old testament of the Bible along with symbols represented by the working tools of Operative Masons to teach moral lessons.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 29 August 2016 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Lark - 29 August 2016 09:13 AM

Gleb,

Hope that helps.

that helped a lot and is very precise, thanks a lot for your answer!

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Posted: 29 August 2016 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Brother John - 29 August 2016 12:22 PM

OK, I was being a bit short with my answer before. This thread was originally asking about Egyptian gods and how they relate to Freemasonry. The short answer is, they don’t.

why do then some of the masonic lodges carry the names from Egyptian mythology - like “dying Sphinx”

or from Greek mythology - “Astraea” lodge (there have been at least 9 lodges of that name)

or from ancient Babel mythology - “Isis” lodge - http://www.freemasonschilders.org/

there are names and allegories used from ancient mythologies but no connection?

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Posted: 30 August 2016 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Because someone liked the sound of that name and thought that it aslo promoted a sense of mystery.

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