In this article we will finish our three-part discussion on interesting symbols that relate to the Dyad:
3a: The Taoist Yin/Yang symbol
3b: The Mayan Hunab Ku
3c: The Freemasonic checkerboard, two pillars, square and compass
The Dyad: The Illusion of Opposites:
The Dyad and Freemasonry
We will now look at three aspects of Freemasonic symbolism that relate to the Dyad: the two pillars, the checkerboard pattern and lastly, the square and compass. Keep in mind that these symbols, like the Cabbalistic Tree of Life, can be described in various ways depending upon who is translating. Modern Freemasons might describe these differently than what you see here.
In Cosmic Core we attempt to get to the root of these symbols, reaching as deep as possible into the archetypal mind to express the basic yet profound concepts that lie at the heart of polarity and the Dyad, and stripping away the more dogmatic or divisive aspects of the symbolism.
Two pillars – Boaz and Jachin
To Freemasons the two pillars represent the spiritual development of humanity. This was developed from the ancient mystery teachings that came out of Egypt and later, the Mithraic mystery schools of Rome.
As the story goes in the book of Ruth, Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass, or bronze pillars which stood in the porch of Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.
Boaz – Left
Boaz represents the principle of redemption in the widest sense of reclaiming an estate by right of relationship, while the innermost moving power in its recovery is Love.
Or in other words: the principle which brings back to the original Unity that which for a time has been separated from it. This requires Love.
Jachin – Right
Yak = “one” J and Y are interchangeable.
hi/hin = “only”
Jachin = the all-embracing Unity
Boaz and Jachin are emblems of the two great principles that are the pillars of the universe.
The temple symbolized all the mysteries of Being.
The two pillars together mean Unity and the redeeming power of Love.
Thomas Troward writes in The Hidden Power, “There is a return of the individual to the Unity, and the recognition of himself as the particular expression of the Universal in virtue of his own nature.”
“The Two Pillars of the Universe are Personality and Mathematics, represented by Boaz and Jachin respectively. This is the broadest simplification to which it is possible to reduce things.
Balance consists in preserving the Equilibrium or Alternating Current between these two Principles.
Personality is the Absolute Factor. Mathematics are the Relative Factor, for they merely Measure different Rates or Scales. They are absolute in this respect. A particular scale having been selected all its sequences will follow by an inexorable Law of Order and Proportion; but the selection of the scale and the change from one scale to another rests entirely with Personality.
What Personality cannot do is to make one Scale produce the results of another, but it can set aside one scale and substitute another for it. Hence Personality contains in itself the Universal Scale, or can either accommodate itself to lower rates of motion already established, or can raise them to its own rate of motion. Hence Personality is the grand Ultimate Fact in all things. Different personalities should be regarded as different degrees of consciousness. They are different degrees of emergence of The Power that knows Itself.”7
“Jachin–the white pillar of light…Boaz–the shadowy pillar of darkness. …These two pillars respectively connote also the active and the passive…the sun and the moon…light and darkness.”8
Two Pillars related to the Two Paths
The Two Pillars can also symbolize the Two paths of spiritual evolution:
Positive (“Right-handed path”): Service to Greatest Good; Acceptance and forgiveness
Negative (“Left-handed path”): Service to Individual Good; Control and manipulation
In the deepest and oldest of ancient mystery school teachings there is no “good” and “evil”. Every action seen as one or the other of these extremes is a result of either acceptance and forgiveness and serving the greatest good – or control and manipulation and serving your own individual good.
It is easy to see how being selfish and doing only what you want without regard to how it affects other people, animals, nature…etc., can easily lead to harm of others – robbery, rape, lying, cheating, manipulating, murder – which can then telescope up to mass harm – genocide, war-mongering and war participation, mass mind control, financial manipulation, slavery…etc.
When you do not understand the complete Unity that binds all things, people, consciousness, and life…you lose respect for life in general and you are unable to see how harming another, in essence harms yourself.
Therefore, Jachim, the right-handed column represents the all-embracing Unity of reality.
When you live with regard to this Unity and your thoughts, words and actions are geared towards respecting that Unity then you are on the “positive” path.
When you do not live with regard to the Unity you may believe you are more important or valuable than other life – other religious groups, other races, other species, nature…etc. This is the “negative” path – the path of separation.
Notice – this is not the “evil” path. Evil only comes from the ignorance of forgetting the Unity that binds all things, or it can come from arrogance – in believing in superiority and elitism.
Notice Boaz, in its deepest meaning, does not mean ‘dark’ or ‘evil’. It represents the principle of redemption in the widest sense of reclaiming an estate by right of relationship, while the innermost moving power in this recovery is Love.
This means: if you are on the left-handed path – the path of selfishness, control and manipulation – whether you find yourself there intentionally or unintentionally, you can always find a way out, no matter how deep you are in. “There is always time to change the road you’re on.”
The way of redemption is coming back to unity, through the means of Love.
Love, compassion, understanding and empathy are all qualities that are heightened in an individual when they recognize and live in Unity.
So the columns do not mean “good” and “evil” as if you must pick and choose among opposites.
They mean ‘All is One’. Either you are living in Unity, or you are living in Separation and must find your way back to Unity.
There are no moral implications of good or bad. It is all about the journey from ignorance to truth.
The sooner you find the truth of Unity and start living accordingly the more harmonious your life will be. This harmony will begin to manifest in all aspects of your life – harmonious relationships, harmonious health, harmonious work, harmonious surroundings…and eventually, when enough people find the path of unity and dedicate themselves to serving the Greatest Good, and not just their own selfish good, then we can achieve worldwide harmony and peace.
Checkerboard Symbology of the Freemasons and Ancient Mystery Teachings
Unfortunately the checkerboard has become a feared symbol of negative aspects of Freemasonry and the Illuminati.
It did not begin as something negative. It has a positive message about love, redemption and unity, just as the two pillars did above.
Alternating dark and light squares represent the field of the world.
As Shakespeare wrote, “The web of our life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”
“The pattern is related to the number two …the bipolar nature of earthly existence and/or the dual paths (positive/negative; good/evil; light/darkness…”9
The pattern “represents the macrocosm and microcosm, the interactive opposing forces and principles of the universe and their correspondence to humankind’s inner life and all its conflicting forces and possibilities. Each step takes us through the polarities of the Dyad, light and shadow, the eternal struggle between consciousness and unconsciousness, wisdom and ignorance, our constructive and destructive motivations. We walk among opposite forces waging battle for domination of the world and Self, engaging in the struggle for spiritual enlightenment that is the unseen significance of each of our lives.”10
Reference Construction Lesson #6: Drawing a Checkerboard.
64 Squares on a Chess Board
Symbolism of the Game of Chess can be taken farther than just the checkerboard.
Chess is called – “The Royal game of Life”.
The board has 64 alternating white & black or red & black squares.
64 represent an octave of octaves, or eight steps of eight steps. It has profound symbolic implications which will be discussed in later articles about the Octad.
The 64 alternating squares represent the world’s polarities & the conflicting choices life offers us.
The board itself represents the universe.
The pieces represent the elements and their possible actions.
The interplay among pieces represents the cosmos and our lives as fields of transformation.
There are 20 possible opening moves.
There are 400 possible 2nd moves.
There are 20,000 possible 3rd moves…
The number of moves increase exponentially from there.
In Zoroastrian Persia chess represented the struggle between good and evil, understanding and ignorance.
‘Checkmate’ comes from shah mat – “The king is dead.”
Chess arrived in Europe after the 11th century. The pieces took on political and religious attributes at that time.
Michael Schneider tells us in A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, “A key to understanding the deeper significance of each piece is the geometric way it moves. A “square” move represents earthly action. A triangular move represents alignment with the divine within us.”
Schneider analyzes it as follows:
- most important piece
- least powerful in terms of movement – moves 1 step at a time, any 8 directions
- represents the Sun of the Solar System; or more importantly our Higher Self
- “The king [our Higher Self] is virtually hidden from the action, yet the entire game revolves around it.”
- most powerful piece – unlimited movement in all 8 directions
- queen of the materially configured world; the Moon that reflects the light of the Sun
The Bishops – 2
- power to slide along diagonals – these represent moves made by intuition
The Knights – 2
- represent the awakening spiritual initiate
- moves by leaps of intuition along the sides of 30-60-90 right triangles
- moves by alternating between white and black squares, head and heart
- only a knight or pawn can initiate the game…until then, the world waits
The Rooks – 2
- move strictly along straight lines
- represents physical power to act in the world
- these represent moves made by rational thinking (rather than intuition)
The Pawns – 8
- represents ordinary men and women attempting to cross the board of life through seven grades of initiation (7 chakras; 7 quantum densities)
- mirrors the purification of the seven chakras
- “A pawn experiences only the simplest interactions with other pieces and does not see the divine forces behind it, being aware of only one step ahead.”
- When a pawn reaches the other side, the 7th stage, it achieves a higher state or octave and transforms into any piece the player wishes
Chess & the Moon
The chess board is ringed with 28 outer squares.
These represent the Moon’s 28 mansions or nightly stations.
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28
28 equals the sum of its divisors. It is the 2nd perfect number, after 6.
1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28
28 days makes up a traditional lunar month. There would be four 7-day weeks & 13 months.
4 x 7 = 28; 13 x 28 = 364
Michael Schneider writes, “Since the moon is a symbol of reflected light, the game of chess symbolically takes place within the orbit of the moon, as images reflecting archetypal patterns.”
Also, remember the sum of angles of an octagon = 1080°, which is the radius of the moon in miles.
Silver is associated with the moon and has been for thousands of years. Silver’s atomic weight approximates 107.87 or 108, 1/10th the moon’s radius.
The Checkerboard & Two Paths of Esoteric Philosophy
On another level, the black and white squares represent the two pillars and two paths we discussed above. The white squares represent the path of Unity, and the black squares represent the path of Separation.
The point is: it’s a Choice. Each person chooses one or the other and can choose to change at any time. There are no victims. Each is responsible for themselves, their destiny and their spiritual evolution. Each is the captain of their own life and the rate of speed of their own evolution.
The end result of spiritual evolution (choosing a path) is to raise your consciousness to a higher level, help others raise theirs, and everyone learning to live in a world of peace, prosperity, justice, and abundance for all.
Control and manipulation leads to slavery and genocide.
Acceptance and forgiveness rejoices in individuality and leads to freedom and harmony.
The Square and Compass
The square and compass is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Freemasonry. As with all symbols, it has many meanings.
The builder’s square, with its point downwards, represents the 90° angle of the regular polygon, the square. The square represents physical reality and material existence. It represents the four elements, the four corners of the Earth, the four winds, the four seasons, the two equinoxes and two solstices, and so on.
The square also represents the ‘base’ nature of humanity. This refers to our basic survival instincts as well as worldly concerns that involve material possessions, power and prestige.
The compass, with its point upwards, represents the 60° angle of the equilateral triangle. The circle or hinge of the compass at the top represents the Infinite All of Cosmic Consciousness. The compass as a whole represents metaphysical reality and spiritual existence. It represents the divine infinite nature of humanity. This refers to our spiritual evolution and the upward drive towards Unity. As we evolve spiritually we become more and more like our divine “Higher Selves” and that divine nature shines through us as if we were made of light.
The compass and straightedge together in this symbol create a star tetrahedron. The star tetrahedron is sometimes called a Merkaba. This Merkaba refers to our spiritual body of light that we are trying to activate as we spiritually evolve. It is our light body, and when we have evolved into that form, we are able to achieve things we never could have imagined, such as telepathy, teleportation, instant healing and other seemingly ‘magical’ things.
Hence the lost secret teachings of the Freemasons involved building the temple within our hearts so as to activate our light body in order to ascend as “Masters”. This word “Masters” does not imply mastery over others, but mastery over our base natures as we learn to live in compassion, harmony, peace, understanding and wisdom at all times (or as much as humanly possible).
The ‘G’ so commonly found in the center of the square and compass can represent many things. Geometry is one. God is another. Golden Ratio is yet another.
The Golden Ratio as “G” is an important point.
The golden ratio symbolizes how we as humans can be a ‘part of the Whole’ and ‘the Whole’ simultaneously; or, how we can be finite and infinite simultaneously. All ratios represent a relationship. That is, our relationship with our divine nature determines how much or how little of that divine nature shines through our everyday thoughts, words and actions. If we acknowledge the existence of our divine nature and try to live in accordance with it, that is, expressing compassion, empathy and peace, then we will have a harmonious relationship with our divine nature and it will shine through us, as if we were made of light. We will express the ‘Whole’ of our Infinite natures more and more as we move through this process.
The golden ratio, then, is a representative of our relationship with our Higher self. If we don’t know or deny that we have a Higher Self (or Higher divine Nature) and we do nothing to cultivate a relationship with it by harmonizing with it, then we are heavy and opaque, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The ‘G’ as Geometry represents the tools needed to understand our divine natures and to learn to build the temple in our hearts, not on land, or in other words, to become the divine temple, and learn to radiate love, compassion, wisdom and understanding to all we meet while still retaining our unique individuality.
- Lawlor, Robert, Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice, Thames & Hudson, 1982
- Critchlow, Keith, The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Form and Number, Floris Books, 2011
- Ennis, John, Mayan Hunab Ku, http://www.sun-nation.org/sun-maya-hunab-ku.html
- Troward, Thomas, The Hidden Power, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
- Hall, Manly, P, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, TarcherPerigree, 2003
- Thomson, Sandra A., Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2003
- Schneider, Michael, A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, Harper Perennial, 1994