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Mysteries of the Templars


Subject: Mysteries of the Templars
                             The Baphomet
   (1) Rumors and Charges
   "Public indignation was aroused by...charges of ...worshipping
   the devil in the form of an idol called Baphomet." Baphomet was
   "the Templar symbol of Gnostic rites based on phallic worship and
   the power of directed will. The androgynous figure with a goat's
   beard and cloven hooves is linked to the horned god of antiquity,
   the goat of Mendes."
        - Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks
   "Some confessed that they had also worshipped an idol in the form
   of a cat, witch was red, or gray, or black, or mottled. Sometimes
   the idol worship required kissing the cat below the tail.
   Sometimes the cat was greased with the fat from roasted babies.
   The Templars were forced to eat food that contained the ashes of
   dead Templars, a form of witchcraft that passed on the courage of
   the fallen knights."
        - John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)
   In the list of charges drawn up by the Inquisition against the
   Templars on 12 August 1308, there appears the following:
     "Item, that in each province the order had idols, namely
     heads, of which some had three races and some one, and others
     had a human skull.
     Item, that they adored these idols or that idol, and
     especially in their great chapters and assemblies.
     Item, that they venerated (them).
     Item, that (they venerated them) as God.
     Item, that (they venerated them) as their Savior....
     Item, that they said that the head could save them.
     Item, that [it could] make riches.
     Item, that it made the trees flower.
     Item, that [it made] the land germinate.
     Item, that they surrounded or touched each head of the
     aforesaid idols with small cords, which they wore around
     themselves next to the shirt or the flesh.
     Item, that in his reception, the aforesaid small cords or some
     lengths of them were given to each of the brethren.
     Item, that they did this in veneration of an idol.
     Item, that they (the receptors) enjoined them (the postulants)
     on oath not to reveal the aforesaid to anyone."
          - The Articles of the Accusations
   "...They bestowed worship in their chapter on a heathen idol,
   variously described as to its physical characteristics, but known
   as a 'Baphomet', which etymologically was the same word [in Old
   French] as 'Mohammed'. [Once or twice the form Mahomet is
   actually used by witnesses in the trial.] Like so many persecuted
   heretical groups of the past, they were said to hold their
   chapters only secretly and at night."
   "It was impossible for the Templars to have 'picked up in the
   East' the practice of worshipping an idol bearing the name of the
   Prophet Mohammed, since no such idol existed anywhere in the
   Levant, even among breakaway sects such as the Ismailis or the
   Druse. The idea that Muslims were idolaters was itself a part of
   another system of 'smears', the pejorative representation of the
   oriental world by western Christians."
        - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
   "Probably relying upon contemporary Eastern sources, Western
   scholars have recently supposed that 'Bafomet' has no connection
   with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic
   abufihamat (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish something like
   bufihimat). The word means 'father of understanding.' In Arabic,
   'father' is taken to mean 'source, chief seat of,' and so on. In
   Sufi terminology, ras el-fahmat (head of knowledge) means the
   mentation of man after undergoing refinement - the transmuted
        - Idries Shah, The Sufis
   "Another theory suggests that Baphomet is a compound of the words
   'baphe' (baptism) and 'metis' (wisdom) ...Both theories imply the
   Templars were worshipping, or at least privy to, a secret
   knowledge. Several commentators believed this points to the
   Templars having been gnostics ('gnosis' meaning knowing)."
        - Encounters magazine, issue 11: 45
   "In the Inquisition evidence there are several references to
   members of the order receiving on initiation a little cord that
   had been in contact with the 'head'."
        - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of
   Jesus Christ?
   Upon being initiated into the Order of the Peacock Angel
   (Yezidis),"a holy thread, of intertwined black and red wool, is
   put around the neck. Like the sacred thread of the Parsis and
   other ancient Middle Eastern cults, this must never be removed;
   and it sounds like the cord that the Templars were accused of
   wearing when the Order was suppressed as heretic."
        - Arkon Daraul, Secret Societies
   (2) Descriptions of the Idol
   The idol was described by Philip the Fair as:
     "...a man's head with a large beard, which head they kiss and
     worship at all their provincial chapters, but this not all the
     brothers know, save only the Grand Master and the old ones."
          - Philip's instructions to his seneschals
   During The Trial of the Templars in 1307 Brother Jean Taillefer
   of Genay gave evidence. He "was received into the order at
   Mormant, one of the three perceptories under the jurisdiction of
   the Grand Priory of Champagne at Voulaine. He said at his
   initiation 'an idol representing a human face' was placed on the
   altar before him. Hughes de Bure, another Burgundian from a
   daughter house of Voulaine, described how the 'head' was taken
   out of a cupboard, or aumbry, in the chapel, and that it seemed
   to him to be of gold or silver, and to represent the head of a
   man with a long beard. Brother Pierre d'Arbley suspected that the
   'idol' had two faces, and his kinsman Guillaume d'Arbley made the
   point that the 'idol' itself, as distinct from copies, was
   exhibited at general chapters, implying that it was only shown to
   senior members of the order on special occasions."
   "The treasurer of the Paris temple, Jean de Turn, spoke of a
   painted head in the form of a picture, which he had adored at one
   of these chapters."
   "Nearly all the brethren agreed that the head was bearded and had
   long hair, and the Templars, like the majority of their
   contemporaries, regarded long hair as effeminate, so the length
   of the 'idol's hair was remarkable for this, if for no other
        - Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern
   Quest for the True Grail
   According to the most consistent accounts, the idol was:
     "...about the natural size of a man's head, with a very
     fierce-looking face and beard."
          - Deposition of Jean Tallefer
   "He went on to say that he could not describe it more
   particularly, except that he thought it was of a reddish color."
        - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of
   Jesus Christ?
   The mysterious object at one of the Templars' Paris ceremonies
     "brought in by the priest in a procession of the brethren with
     lights; it was laid on the altar; it was a human head without
     any silver or gold, very pale and discolored, with a grizzled
     beard like a Templars."
          - Stephen of Troyes
   "Other descriptions, clearly referring to copies, included
   mention of gold and silver cases, wooden panels, and the like.
   But the Paris head is different. One gets the distinct impression
   that this was the holy of holies, accorded ceremonial strikingly
   reminiscent of that used by the Byzantines."
        - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of
   Jesus Christ?
   (3) Theories About the Head
   It is possible that the head idol was intended to represent the
   severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he
   was revered by the Order. The Templars took part in the sack of
   Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de
   Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred
   chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head
   of John the Baptist.

   An egregore is a magical entity that is artificially created by
   the focused thoughts and desires of a medium (analogous in many
   ways to Tibetan tulpas.) Supposedly a medium or statue could then
   serve as a tenant for the egregore, nourished by the sexual
   life-powers of the members.
   "The Egregora does [sic] exist in the so-called 'astral plane'
   and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. It is not
   a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for
   everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted,
   introverted in human nature - a morass completely hostile to
   progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind."
        - Marcel Ramos Motta (from P. R. Koenig below)
   "The representation of the egregore as bust recalls the ancient
   literary tradition of animated statues or Salome, who wanted the
   head of John the Baptist, probably to master his visionary
   powers.....The classic prototype of such an egregore is Baphomet,
   the alleged egregore of the Templars, who was (as the Roman
   Emperor of the Gods) likewise worshipped in the form of a bust.
   In the secret statutes of the Templars, Baphomet was besought
   with the introduction to the Qu'ran and dismissed with the 24th
   chapter of the Book of Sirach."
        - P. R. Koenig, "Too Hot to Handle"
   Another possibility as to the identity of the Baphomet may lie
   with Nicodemus, who in the Gospel of John who brought spices for
   Christ's burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal
   Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified
   in Christ's favor. The Interpolation in the First Continuation of
   Chrétien's Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and
   Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following
   intriguing passage:
     "Nicodemus had carved and fashioned a head in the likeness of
     the Lord on the day that he had seen Him on the cross. But of
     this I am sure, that the Lord God set His hand to the shaping
     of it, as they say; for no man ever saw one like it nor could
     it be made by human hands. Most of you who have been at Lucca
     know it and have seen it."
          - Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien's
   "Another possibility for the origin of the Head relates to the
   imagery on the first Grand Master's shield, which consisted of
   three black heads on a gold field. After about two hundred years,
   it is plausible that this head imagery could have worked itself
   into the legend of the Baphomet. According to more than one
   account, the Head was the actual skull of Hugues de Payen, which
   was preserved as an object of veneration."
        - Forrest Jackson, "The Baphomet in History and Symbolism"
   "Surely this evidence [given by Templars at their trial] suggests
   that copies of the head, perhaps some of them not unlike the
   Sainte Face de Laon, others of carved stone or alabaster, such as
   those of the Nottingham School of the fourteenth and fifteenth
   centuries, were widely distributed throughout the order's houses.
   This would at least explain why nothing resembling a pagan idol
   was found after the brethren had been arrested, and why none of
   the pictures found in their chapels raised so much as an
        - Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern
   Quest for the True Grail
   The idol was also described as:
     "...An old piece of skin, as though all embalmed and like
     polished cloth."
          - Chronicles of St. Denis
   Ian Wilson also hypothesizes that the Templar idols were
   representations of Christ's face copied from the
   Mandylion/Shroud. A possible surviving example, on a painted
   panel found at Templecombe, England, shows "a bearded male head,
   with a reddish beard, lifesize, disembodied, and, above all,
   lacking in any identification mark....It conforms too, to some of
   the most rational Templar descriptions: 'a painting on a plaque',
   'a bearded male head', 'lifesize', 'with a grizzled beard like a
   Templars'. (The Templars cultivated their beards in the style of
        - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of
   Jesus Christ?
   "...The descriptions given of it [the Baphomet] varied wildly.
   The physical characteristics assigned to the 'Baphomet' seemed to
   come either from the maufé or demon of northern folklore, or from
   church reliquaries. It was often said to represent a cat, a beast
   traditionally associated with witchcraft and heresy."
        - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
     "INQUISITOR: Now tell us about the head.
     BROTHER RAOUL: Well, the head. I've seen it at seven chapters
     held by Brother Hugh de Peraud and others.
     INQUISITOR: What did one do to worship it?
     BROTHER RAOUL: Well, it was like this. It was presented, and
     everyone threw himself on the ground, pushed back his cowl,
     and worshipped it.
     INQUISITOR: What was its face like?
     BROTHER RAOUL: Terrible. It seemed to me that it was the face
     of a demon, of a maufé [evil spirit]. Every time I saw it I
     was filled with such terror I could scarcely look at it,
     trembling in all my members."
          - from M. Michelet, Procés des Templiers
   Based upon the idol's description as a "demon" having "very
   fierce-looking face and beard", the idol very likely could have
   been Asmodeus, the "daemon guardian" who helped Solomon build his
   Temple. A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish
   church at Rennes-le-Château.
   "The Templars' stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their
   foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244.
   Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, Baibars,
   inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside
   the tower 'a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been
   placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is
   an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this
   to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in
   its place."
        - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of
   Jesus Christ?
   (4) A Feminine Origin?
   "...We found indisputable evidence for the charge of secret
   ceremonies involving a head of some kind. Indeed the existence of
   such a head proved to be one of the dominant themes running
   through the Inquisition records....Among the confiscated goods of
   the Paris preceptory a reliquary in the shape of a woman's head
   was found. It was hinged on top, and contained what appeared to
   have been relics of a peculiar kind."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy
   The reliquary was:
     "A great head of gilded silver, most beautiful, and
     constituting the image of a woman. Inside were two head bones,
     wrapped in a cloth of white linen, with another red cloth
     around it. A label was attached, on which was written the
     legend CAPUT LVIIIm. The bones inside were those of a rather
     small woman."
          - Oursel, Le Procés des Templiers
   "Caput LVIIIm - 'Head 58m' - remains a baffling enigma. But it is
   worth noting that the 'm' may not be an 'm' at all, but the
   astrological symbol for Virgo."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy
   "The number 58 is less puzzling if one remembers that five (5) is
   the number of the pentagram and eight (8) is indicative of Isis.
   We may now complete the simple equation which exposes her secret
        5 X 8 = 40 = 58 - 18 ISIS
   "The numbers 5 and 8 are also exhibited in the beliefs of the
   'Brothers of the Rose Cross', where the rose is constructed with
   a centre of five petals, surrounded by eight petals."
        - David Wood, GENISIS (1986)
   "That it had a feminine origin is shown by Gerald Massey who
   writes 'METE was the BAPHOMET or mother of breath'. According to
   Von Hammer, the formula of faith inscribed on a chalice belonging
   to the Templars is as follows: Let METE be exalted who causes all
   things to bud and blossom, it is our root; it is one and seven;
   it is octinimous, the eight-fold name."
        - Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden
   "Herodotus (4:26) speaks of the practice in the obscure Issedones
   of gilding a head and sacrificing to it. Cleomenes of Sparta is
   said to have preserved the head of Archonides in honey and
   consulted it before undertaking an important task. Several vases
   of the fourth century BC in Etruria depict scenes of persons
   interrogating oracular heads. And the severed head of the rustic
   Carians which continues to 'speak' is mentioned derisively by
        - Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the
   Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
   A similar tradition could be found in the Celtic cult of the
   severed head which figured predominently in Peredur, a Welsh
   romance about the Holy Grail.
   "A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, a Lord of
   Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial,
   this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and
   violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine
   months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and
   at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head
   on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same
   voice bade him 'guard it well, for it would be the giver of all
   good things', and so he carried it away with him."
        - Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods
   "One chronicler cites the name of the woman in the story - Yse,
   which would seem quite clearly to derive from Isis."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy
     "At one time there was only God. He was all omnipotent and
     existed alone. This caused him to become discontented, thus he
     split himself in two in order to create a mate. He kept the
     elements of Order and Logic for his own being and gave his
     mate the elements of Chaos and Emotion for her being. Her name
     is Yse (pron. Issa). She became so overwhelmed with love at
     her creation that when he kissed her, she gave him a reaction
     which was to become known as the 'Chosen Response'. The Chosen
     Response was the first acknowledgement and reaction of love
     between a male and female in the universe, and this became the
     greatest secret of and mystery of mankind, being 'The Holy
          - Synopsis from the Merovingian Bible, "Angels Among Us!
     The Gnostic (Johannine) Christian Path"
   Dr. Hugh Schonfield in The Essene Odyssey "had discovered a
   system of cryptography - he called it the 'Atbash Cipher' - which
   had been used to conceal certain names in
   Essene/Zadokite/Nazarene texts. This system of coding figured,
   for example, in a number of the scrolls found at Qumran."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy
   Schonfield "showed that by applying the Hebrew Atbash code to the
   name Baphomet, the name Sophia [ShVPIA], female wisdom, is
   revealed. Sophia is equated with Isis by Plutarch."
        - David Wood, Genisis
   Isis's magic was allied to the wisdom of the Egyptian god Thoth.
   His wife or consort, Nehemaut, was known to the Gnostics as
   "By this analysis, therefore, when the Templars worshipped
   Baphomet what they were really doing was worshipping the
   principle of Wisdom."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   "From the Templars' use of the Atbash Cipher, it is probable that
   some form of Nazarean or neo-Nazarean sect had continued to
   survive in the Middle East as late as the twelfth century, and
   had made its teachings available to the West."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

   (5) The Black Virgin
   "Plutarch compares Isis to knowledge, and Typhon to ignorance,
   obscuring the light of the sacred doctrine whose blaze lights the
   soul of the Initiate. No gift of the gods, he holds, is so
   precious as the knowledge of the Truth, and that of the Nature of
   the gods, so far as our limited capacities allow us to rise
   toward them."
        - General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma
   "The great Egyptian goddess Isis, often depicted as a black
   woman, is inextricably linked with alchemy and is closely
   associated with the Black Madonnas of Europe."
        - Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose
   Image? The Shocking Truth Unveiled
   "The ankh [the looped cross of Egypt] which Isis carries as
   supreme initiatrix may account for some of the oddly-shaped
   scepters carried by the Black Virgins who, like Isis, often favor
   the color green. Their greeness and blackness points to the
   beginning of the opus whose secret, according to alchemists, is
   to be found in 'the sex of Isis'."
        -Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin
   "The Black Isis and her name is Notre Dame de
        - Pierre Plantard de St Clair (former Grand Master of the
   Priory of Sion)
   "The Templars, imprisoned and awaiting death in the Castle of
   Chinon...composed a prayer to Our Lady acknowledging Bernard to
   be the founder of her religion. In addition to the numerous hymns
   and sermons he addressed to her, he wrote about 280 sermons on
   the theme of the Song of Songs, the epithalamion of Solomon and
   the Queen of Sheba, whose versicle 'I am black, but I am
   beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem' is the recurring refrain
   of the Black Virgin cult."
        -Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin
     "I am black, but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem. Like the
     black tents of Cedar, like the pavilions of Solomon."
          - Song of Songs 1:5-6
   Most of the several hundred statues in France known as Black
   Madonnas were accidentally darkened by smoke and fumes from
   votive candles. Others were originally constructed of a dark wood
   like ebony (and later pear) or deliberately darkened through
   periodic treatment with oil or wine. Syrian, Coptic, or Ethiopian
   images transported to France during the Crusades may have served
   as prototypes for the Black Madonnas.
   Black represented the color of earth - the source of fertility
   and life, or divine flesh, or sorrow. Many effigies of goddesses
   were black including Isis, Diana and Cybele. From early on in
   Christianity, the Bride of the Song symbolized the Church and the
   Virgin Mary.
   Churches of the Black Virgin often bore the name of Mary
   Magdalene. In 1247, Emperor Baldwin II (who helped establish the
   Templars in Jerusalem) exchanged pieces of the Shroud of Turin
   with the Abbey of Vézelay for the purported body of Mary
   Magdalene. A secret tradition states that the Magdalene was
   Jesus' wife and bore Jesus' offspring to Southern France. There
   she was revered as a medium of occult revelation.
                   The Hidden Legacy of the Templars
   (1) Deep into Africa
   "In the year 1145, the German bishop Otto of Freising reported in
   his Chronicon a most astonishing epistle. The Pope, he reported,
   had received a letter from a Christian ruler of India, whose
   existence had been totally unknown until then. And that king had
   affirmed in his letter that the River of Paradise was indeed
   located in his realm. "Bishop Otto named as the intermediary,
   through whom the Pope had received the epistle, Bishop Hugh of
   Gebal, a town on the Mediterranean cost of Syria. The ruler, it
   was reported, was named John the Elder or, being a priest,
   Prester John. He was reputedly a lineal descendant of the Magi
   who had visited Christ the child. He defeated the Muslim kings of
   Persia, and formed a thriving Christian kingdom in the lands of
   the Ends of Earth."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   "Prester John is a corruption of Presbyter John - the Apostle
   John - even in the Gospel, it says that a rumor had arisen that
   John would never die, but that this was not true. Combine that
   with the several emperor Johns of Byzantium, at a time with
   Europe was threatened by Muslim invasion, and it becomes
   conflated into a rumor of hope of assistance."
        - Steve.Schaper (
   "...No sooner had Bishop Otto reported the existence of Prester
   John and of the River of Paradise in his realm, then the Pope
   issued a formal call for the resumption of the Crusades. Two
   years later, in 1147, Emperor Conrad of Germany, accompanied by
   other rulers and many nobles, launched the Second Crusade.
   "As the fortunes of the Crusaders rose and fell, Europe was swept
   anew by word from Prester John and his promises of aid. According
   to chroniclers of those days, Prester John sent in 1165 a letter
   to the Byzantine emperor, to the Holy Roman emperor, and to
   lesser kings, in which he declared his definite intention to come
   to the Holy Land with his armies. Again his realm was described
   in glowing terms, as befits the place where the River of Paradise
   - indeed, the Gates of Paradise - were situated."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
     "If indeed you wish to know wherein consist our great power,
     then believe without doubting that I, Prester John...exceed in
     riches, virtue, and power all creatures who dwell under
     heaven. Seventy-two kings pay tribute to me. I am a devout
     Christian and everywhere protect the Christians of our
     empire...We have made a vow to visit the sepulcher of our Lord
     with a very great wage war against and chastise the
     enemies of the cross of Christ...
     "Our magnificence dominates the Three Indias, and extends to
     Farther India, where the body of St. Thomas the Apostle rests.
     It reaches through the desert toward the place of the rising
     sun, and continues through the valley of deserted Babylon
     close by the Tower of Babel..."
          - Prester John in a letter addressed to Manuel Commentus,
     Emperor of Byznatium (1165)
   "Where was Prester John? His reference to the Apostle Thomas'
   tomb pointed to India, but so muddled were medieval notions of
   geography that India was thought to be somewhere near the Nile;
   thus when, in 1177, the Pope wrote to PresterJohn, his letter was
   presumably carried into 'Middle India', or Ethiopia."
        - Mysteries of the Past
   "Harbay, reigning Zagwe monarch of Ethiopia before his brother
   Lalibela deposed him, is deduced to have been the mythical
   Prester John. "Derived from Jano, a reddish-purple toga worn only
   by royalty, the word [Jan] meant 'king' or 'Majesty'..."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   Prester John's letter also contained a warning against the
   Templars, who were believed to have been allied with his brother
   against him.
     "There are Frenchmen among you, of your lineage and from our
     retinue, who hold with the Saracens. You confide in them and
     trust in them that they should and will help you, but they are
     false and treacherous...may you be brave and of great courage
     and, pray, do not forget to put to death those treacherous
          - Prester John in the letter written to varous Christian
     kings (1165)
   In Parzival, "a member of the Grail Company...spoke, amongst
   other things, of riding 'deep into Africa...past the Rohas'.
   ...Rohas was the old name for a town in the remotest highlands of
   Ethiopia - a town now called Lalibela in honor of the great king
   who was born there and who made it his capital when he returned
   to it in triumph in the year of our Lord 1185...Lalibela had
   spent the previous quarter of a century in Jerusalem rubbing
   shoulder with the knights of a military-religious order whose
   headquarters stood on the site of the Temple of Solomon - knights
   who would have had a special interest in any contender to the
   throne of a country which claimed to possess the lost Ark that
   the Temple had originally been built to house."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
     "Writing was seen on the Gral to the effect that any Templar
     whom God should bestow on a distant people...must forbid them
     to ask his name or lineage, but must help them gain their
     rights. When such a question is put to him the people there
     cannot keep him any longer."
     "If a land should lose its lord, and its people see the hand
     of God in it and ask for a new lord from the Gral Company,
     their prayer is granted...God sends the men out in secret."
          - Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival
   Ethiopia's diplomatic relationship with Christian Europe were to
   continue into the following century.
     "It is known that this emperor [Wedem Ara'ad of Ethiopia] in
     the...year of our salvation 1306 sent thirty envoys
     [who]...presented themselves reverentially before Pope Clement
     V at Avignon."
          - Giovanni da Carignano (a Genoese cartographer active
     during the years 1291-1329)
   "By a considerable margin, the eleven rock-hewn churches of
   Lalibela were the most architecturally advanced building that
   Ethiopia had ever known (indeed, in the considered opinion of
   UNESCO, they deserved to be ranked amongst the wonders of the
   world.)....Towering edifices, the churches remain places of
   living worship eight hundred years after they were built. It is
   important to stress, however that they were not built at all in
   the conventional sense, but instead were excavated and hewn
   directly out of the solid red volcanic tuff on which they stand.
   In consequence, they seem superhuman - not only in scale, but
   also in workmanship and in conception."
   "...Considerable efforts have been made to cloak their real
   natures: some lie almost completely concealed within deep
   trenches, whole others hide in the open mouths of huge quarried
   caves. Connecting them all is a complex and bewildering labyrinth
   of tunnels and narrow passageways with offset crypts, grottoes
   and galleries - a cool, lichen-enshrouded, subterranean world,
   shaded and damp, silent but for the faint echoes of distant
   footfalls and priests and deacons go about their timeless
   On the arch "of the ceiling of the rock-hewn church of Saint
   Mary's...can be seen a stylized croix pattée contained within a
   Star of David - a most unusual symbol in a Christian place of
   worship, but one to which it is known that the Knights Templar
   were particularly attached. Behind the arch...[is]a cloth-wrapped
   column said by the priests to have been engraved by King Lalibela
   himself with the secrets of how the rock-hewn churches were
   made." Another croix pattée is carved on a boulder on the
   outskirts of Axum, and several more can be found "in the ruins of
   King Kaleb's palace - a structure that could well have been still
   standing and inhabited in the thirteenth century."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   (2) Portugal: The Knights of Christ
   "In Portugal, the Templars were cleared by an inquiry and simply
   modified their name, becoming the Knights of Christ. They
   survived under this title well into the sixteenth century, their
   maritime explorations leaving an indelible mark on history.
   (Vasco da Gama was a Knight of Christ; Prince Henry the Navigator
   was a grand Master of the Order. Ships of the Knights of Christ
   sailed under the Templars' familiar red patte cross. And it was
   under the same cross that Columbus's three caravels crossed the
   Atlantic to the New World. Columbus himself was married to the
   daughter of a former Grand Master of the Order, and had access to
   his father-in-law's charts and diaries.)
        - Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge
   "...The first and most active figure on whom any solid
   information is available was Prince Henry the navigator, Grand
   master of the Order of Christ and a man described by his
   biographer [Zurara] as possessing 'strength of hear and keenness
   of mind to a very excellent degree...[who] was, beyond
   comparison, ambitious of achieving great and lofty deeds."
   "Born in 1394, and actively involved in seafaring by 1415,
   Henry's greatest ambition - as he himself declared - was that he
   would 'have knowledge of the land of Prester John'. Chroniclers
   who were his contemporaries, as well as modern historians, are in
   full agreement that he devoted the greater part of his
   illustrious career to the pursuit of precisely this goal."
   "It is notable that he immersed himself in the study of
   mathematics and cosmography, 'the course of the heavens and
   astrology', and that he was constantly surrounded by Jewish
   doctors and astronomers - men in every was reminiscent of
   Wolfram's character Flegetanis who 'saw hidden secrets in the
   constellations [and] declared there was a thing called the Gral
   whose name he read in the stars without more ado' [Parzival ]."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   In Portugal, Dom Enrique, mestrat of the Knights of Christ became
   know as Enrique the Navigator and "exploited every modern method.
   At Sagres his staff included geographers, shipwrights, linguists,
   Jewish cartographers and Moorish pilots. The team studied map
   making and how to improve navigational instruments, the astrolabe
   and compass. Islam had conquered the Spains; Christianity would
   conquer Africa, then Asia. By 1425 his brethren had colonized
   Madeira and the Canaries. In 1445 they settled the Azores. The
   systematic exploitation of the west African coast began in 1434,
   made possible by the new caravels, the most seaworthy ships of
   their day. Rigged with many small sails instead of one or two
   huge spreads of canvas as hitherto, these new ships were much
   easier to handle - a smaller crew make provisions last longer."
        - Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
   "Our knowledge of the Henrican voyages is inadequate, and this is
   largely due to the adoption of a policy of secrecy which included
   the suppression of facts...historical works...nautical guides,
   maps instructions to navigators and their reports."
        - Edgar Prestage, The Portugese Pioneers
   "Indeed, so great was the commitment to secrecy in Henry's time
   that the release of information on the results of the various
   exploratory voyages that were undertaken was punishable by death.
   Despite this, however, it is known that the prince was obsessed
   with the notion of making direct contact with Ethiopia - and that
   he sought to achieve this end by circumnavigating Africa (since
   the shorter route through the Mediterranean and then into the Red
   Sea via Egypt was blocked by hostile Muslim forces). Moreover,
   even before the Cape of Good Hope was rounded, the masters of
   Portuguese vessels venturing down the West African coast were
   instructed to enquire after 'Prester John' to see whether it
   might mot be quicker to approach his kingdom overland."
   "It was not until the early years of the twentieth century that
   certain secret archives pertaining to the last decade of his life
   came to light. Among these archives a brief note was found to the
   effect that 'an ambassador of Prester John visited Lisbon eight
   years before Henry's death'. It is not known what the purpose of
   this mission was, or what the prince and the Ethiopian envoy
   discussed. Nevertheless, two years after their meeting it can
   hardly have been accidental that King Alfonso V of Portugal
   granted spiritual jurisdiction over Ethiopia to the Order of
   In 1487 "King John II of Portugal, then Grand Master of the
   Order, had sent his trusted aide Pero de Covilhan on a perilous
   journey to the court of Prester John via the Mediterranean, Egypt
   and the Red Sea. Disguised as a merchant, Covilhan passed through
   Alexandria and Cairo to Suakin and there, in 1488, he took ship
   in a small Arab barque for the Yemeni port of Aden. He then
   became caught up in various adventures which delayed him
   considerably. As a result it was not until 1493 that he finally
   succeeded in entering Abyssinia. Once there, however, he made his
   way immediately to the emperor's court where he was first
   welcomed but later paced under comfortable house arrest. One can
   only speculate as to why this happened, but...Covilhan's greatest
   skill was a spy (he had previously worked as a secret agent in
   In 1497 Vasco da Gama, also a Knight of the Order of Christ
   "devoted a considerable part of the expedition [to India] to
   African exploration and is reported to have wept for joy when, at
   anchor off Mozambique he was rightly told that Prester John lived
   in the interior far to the north."
   "...the first official Portuguese embassy to the court of Prester
   John landed at the port of Massawa in 1520 and made its way
   inland [in a grueling eight month march] to meet with Lebna
   Dengel, the Solomic emperor who had been on the throne since
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
     "We our great joy the tents and camps of the Emperor
     Prester John."
          - Captain of the Portuguese expedition (October 20, 1520)
   "At the center of this tent capitol, in a red pavilion guarded by
   warriors wearing lion skins and by live lions on leashes, the
   travelers beheld him, the negus, or emperor, of Ethiopia. That
   neither he nor any of his subjects had heard of Prester John
   fazed the Portuguese not at all, so elated were they to have
   found him at last."
        - Mysteries of the Past
   "One of the members of this embassy was Father Francisco
   Alvarez...who had been told by priests of the ancient tradition
   that the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela had been 'made by white
   men'....Carved into the roof of this great edifice [the church of
   Saint George], he said, was 'a double cross, that is, one within
   the other like the crosses of the Order of Christ."
        - Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
   (3) Spain: "Viva la Muerte"
   "In Spain the brethren of Calatrava, Alcantara and Santiago were
   the spearhead of the Reconquista, consolidating the Christian
   advance, destroying the exotic Moslem civilization of Cordoba and
   Granada. On the vast and lonely meseta where no peasant dared
   settle for fear of Moorish raiders, the monkish frontiersmen
   ranched hears of cattle and sheep, a practice which reached North
   America by way; of the Mexican haciendas. In the later Middle
   Ages politicians used them to capture the whole machinery of
   Castilian government."
   "They were the perfected instrument of five centuries of warfare
   with Islam, given their final shape by the Templars' example."
   "Much of Spanish history cannot be understood without some
   knowledge of the brethren [which became the Order of Knight's of
   Christ and The Aragonese Order of Montesa after the dissolution].
   They had become the Reconquista itself and helped form their
   country's military tradition, that compound of unspeakable
   ferocity and incredible gallantry, expressed in the modern Tercio
   Extrajero's motto - 'Viva la Muerte'. It was this spirit and the
   techniques of the Reconquista which overcame Aztecs and Incas,
   creating the Spanish Empire, while Portuguese brethren
   transformed the crusading idea into a movement of colonization
   which ended with Europe dominating the world."
        - Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
   "Not long after the Templar dispersal, very accurate and
   inexplicable sea-charts began to appear all over Europe. These
   maps, called portolans (thought to be derived from 'port' to
   'land'), were far superior to the Ptolemaic maps studied by
   academic ecclesiastics in the monasteries and fledgling
   universities. Most of the portolans covered the area of the
   Mediterranean and the European Atlantic coast. They covered the
   areas crucial to European sea-commerce.
   "The earliest dated portolan chart is the Opicinis de Canestris
   map of the Mediterranean of 1335 A.D. It demonstrates that maps
   of inexplicable accuracy began to appear in Europe less than 25
   years after King Philippe's surprise raids against the Templars
   and the papal elimination of the Order under Clement V."
   "...Is it mere coincidence that his flagship, the famous Santa
   Maria, bore Templar crosses on her sails when Columbus set sail
   from Palos? Is it mere coincidence that his voyage was financed,
   not by the sale of Isabella's jewelry as so commonly thought, but
   by a mysterious consortium of wealthy men which included Jews and
   other heretics? And is it only coincidence that Columbus weighed
   anchor on August 3, 1492 just a few hours before the deadline for
   all Jews to be out of Spain?"
        - Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic
   (3) England: The Peasants' Rebellion
   For several years before the Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381,
   "a group of disgruntled priests of the lower clergy had traveled
   the towns, preaching against the riches and corruption of the
   church. During the months before the uprising, secret meetings
   had been held throughout central England by men weaving a network
   of communication. After the revolt was put down, rebel leaders
   confessed to being agents of a great Society, said to be based in
   "Another mystery was the concentrated and especially vicious
   attacks on the religious order of the Knights Hospitaller of St.
   John, now known as the Knights of Malta. Not only did the rebels
   seek out their properties for vandalism and fire, but their prior
   was dragged from the Tower of London to have his head struck off
   [along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Treasurer] and
   placed on London Bridge, to the delight of the cheering
   mob.....One captured rebel leader, when asked the reasons for the
   revolt, said, 'First, and above all...the destruction of the
   "Pope Clement V had directed that all of the extensive properties
   of the Templars should be given to the Hospitallers" almost
   seventy years before the Peasant's Revolt."
   Walter the Tyler "exploded into English history with his
   mysterious uncontested appointment as the supreme commander of
   the Peasants' Rebellion on Friday, June 7, 1381, and left it as
   abruptly when his head was struck off eight days later on
   Saturday, June 15. Absolutely nothing is known of him before
   those eight days. That alone suggests that he was not using his
   real name...In Freemasonry the Tyler, who must be a Master Mason,
   is the sentry, the sergeant-at-arms..."
   "Archbishop Courtenay, who became the leading churchman in
   England as successor to the archbishop whose head had been lopped
   off by Wat Tyler, identified the existence of the Lollard group
   in the spring of 1382, less than a year after the Peasants'
   Rebellion. He drove them out of Oxford and attempted to crush the
   entire movement. Lollardy, however, survived his efforts, and
   those of other civil and church leaders, for the next two
   centuries by the expedient of going underground. The Lollards
   conducted business in 'conventicles', or secret meetings, in a
   network of cells throughout the country, and they somehow gained
   the support of certain members of the aristocracy, especially the
   knightly class."
        - John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
   "In the early 1300s John Wycliffe, a professor of Divinity at
   Oxford University, realized that the major problem with the
   Church in England was that the Bible could only be read by the
   educated clergy and nobility because it was written in Latin.
   Although the common man was generally illiterate, Wycliffe
   decided that if an English translation of the Bible was
   available, then general literacy might be stimulated as well.
   "As Wycliffe translated the Latin text, he organized a group
   called the Order of Poor Preachers. They began distributing the
   new Bible through-out England to anyone who could read. For the
   first time, it was possible for the common man to know what the
   Bible actually said. Suddenly, peasants flocked to the village
   greens and country parsonages to hear preachers read aloud from
   the new English translation.
   "Opponents of Wycliffe's Order of Poor Preachers called them and
   their followers 'Lollards', which means 'idle babblers'. The
   Lollards grew so quickly, not only among the country folk, but
   even the artisans and noblemen that one opponent wrote: 'Every
   second man one meets is a Lollard'.
   "The Lollards made such an impact in Britain that eventually
   Wycliffe's words were banned and the Pope ordered him to Rome to
   undergo trial. Although Wycliff died in 1384 of a stroke before
   he could undertake the journey, Lollardy continued to grow. By
   1425, forty-one years after his death, the Roman Church was so
   infuriated with Wycliffe that they ordered his bones exhumed and
   buried together with 200 books he had written."
        - William T. Still, New World Order
   (4) Scotland: The Scots Guard
   "The church at Kilmartin, near Loch Awe in Argyll, contains many
   examples of Templar graves and tomb carvings showing Templar
   figures; furthermore, there are many masonic graves in the
   "...There was a strong Templar connection with this area of
   Scotland from the time when Hugues de Payen married Catherine de
   St Clair. In fact the first Templar perceptory outside the Holy
   Land was built on St Clair land at a site to the south of
   Edinburgh now known as Temple. By the beginning of the fourteenth
   century the Templars had many estates in Scotland and a great
   deal of affection and respect from the people."
   The Templars reportedly provided assistance to William Wallace.
   "...There was a battle between the Scots and the English at
   Roslin in 1303 which was won with the support of Templar knights,
   led by a St Clair."
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
   "Scotland...was at war with England at the time [1307], and the
   consequent chaos left little opportunity for implementing legal
   niceties. Thus the Papal Bulls dissolving the Order were never
   proclaimed in Scotland - and in Scotland, therefore, the Order
   was never technically dissolved."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy
   "...Part of the Templar fleet made the decision to head to Argyll
   and the Firth of Forth, where they knew Robert the Bruce was
   engaged in a rebellion against England. The fact that Robert the
   Bruce was excommunicated combined with the long St Clair family
   links with Rosslyn was the greatest attraction of Scotland as a
   sanctuary - it was one of the few places on the planet where the
   Pope could not get at them. Because of the war with the English
   the Templars also knew that as skilled warriors, they would be
   received with open arms."
   "The Scots' greatest triumph was the Battle of Bannockburn on 6
   November 1314. The battle is recorded as going strongly against
   Bruce's army until an intervention by a unknown reserve force
   quickly turned the tide of the whole battle and ensured victory
   for the Scots. Stories quickly spread that these mysterious
   warriors had carried the Beausant (the battle flag of the
   The force was "led by the Grand Master of the Scottish Templars,
   Sir William St Clair."
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
   "According to legend - and there is evidence to support it - the
   Order maintained itself as a coherent body in Scotland for
   another four centuries."
        - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy
   "At the bloody Battle of Verneuil in 1424, the Scottish
   contingents had acquitted themselves with particular bravery and
   self-sacrifice. Indeed, they were virtually annihilated, along
   with their commander, John Stewart..."
   "The new French army created by Charles VII in 1445 consisted of
   fifteen 'compagnies d'ordonnance' of 660 men each - a total of
   9000 soldiers. Of these, the Scottish Company - the 'Compagnie
   des Gendarmes Ecossois'...was explicitly accorded premier rank
   over all other military units and formations, and would, for
   example, pass first in all parades. The commanding officer of the
   Scottish Company was also granted the rank of 'premier Master of
   Camp of French Cavalry'."
   "In 1474, the numbers were definitely fixed - seventy-seven men
   plus their commander in the King's Guard, and twenty-five men
   plus their commander in the King's Bodyguard. With striking
   consistency, officers and commanders of the Scots Guard were also
   made members of the Order of St Michael, a branch of which was
   later established in Scotland.
   "The Scots Guard were, in effect, a neo-Templar institution, much
   more so than such purely chivalric orders as the Garter, the Star
   and the Golden Fleece."
   "The nobles comprising the Guard were heirs to original Templar
   traditions. They were the means by which these traditions were
   returned to France and planted there, to bear fruit some two
   centuries later. At the same time, their contact with the houses
   of Guise and Lorraine exposed them in France to another corpus of
   'esoteric' tradition. Some of this corpus had already found its
   way back to Scotland through Marie de Guis's marriage to James V,
   but some of it was also to be brought back by the families
   constituting the Scots Guard. The resulting amalgam was to
   provide the true nucleus for a later order - the Freemasons
   [Scottish Rite Freemasonry]."
   "As late as the end of the sixteenth century, no fewer than 519
   sites in Scotland were listed by the Hospitallers as 'Terrae
   Templariae' - part, that is, of the self-contained and separately
   administered Templar patrimony."
        - Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge
   "c.1560. When the Knights-Templars were deprived of their
   patrimonial interest through the instrumentality of their
   Grand-Master Sir James Sandilands, they drew off in a body, with
   David Seton, Grand Prior of Scotland, at their head."
        - A History of the Family of Seton
   (5) West to America?
   "Josephus, the historian of the Jews in the first century,
   observed that the Essenes believed that good souls have their
   inhabitation beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither
   oppressed with storms of rain or snow nor with intense heat, but
   refreshed by the gentle breathing of the west wind which
   perpetually blows from the ocean. This idyllic land across the
   sea to the west (or sometimes the north), is a belief common to
   many cultures, from the Jews to the Greeks to the Celts. The
   Mandeans, however, believe that the inhabitants of this far land
   are so pure that mortal eyes will not see them and that this
   place is marked by a star, the name of which is 'Merica'."
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
   Knight and Lomas argue that this was the true source of the name
   "America". Historical convention, of course, states that the
   continent was named after Amerigo Vespucci. This was, Knight and
   Lomas say, is due to an error committed by an obscure monk in the
   Duchy of Loraine who had mused over a meaning for 'America' and
   confused it with the amateur navagator.
     "Now, these parts of the earth (Europe, Africa, Asia) have
     been more extensively explored and a fourth part has been
     discovered by Amerigo Vespucci (as will be described in what
     follows). Insomuch as both Europe and Asia received their
     names from women, I see no reason why any one should justly
     object to calling this part Amerige (from the Greek 'ge'
     meaning 'land of'), i.e., the land of Amerigo, or America,
     after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability."
          - Cosmographiae Introductio
   When the monk published the information in Introduction to
   Cosmography it quickly became part of popular folklore.
   "If you look at a map of the road network of France, which the
   Templars had built and policed, it is very noticeable that all
   the great long-distance routes meet at one point - at La
   Rochelle, on the Atlantic coast. The harbour of La Rochelle lies
   in a natural bay, is easy to defend, and it was laid out and
   developed by the Templars very early in their history.
   Furthermore, the Order owned a huge fleet, and other seaports in
   the north, for links with England, and in the south, as a
   starting-point for voyages to the Holy Land and the Mediterranean
   islands. La Rochelle, however, is far too far north to serve as a
   viable port of embarkation for Palestine, and the same applies to
   voyages to England. For this purpose, it was far too far south.
   There were other ports from which one could cross to Britain far
   more quickly and simply.
   "For this reason, La Rochelle must have had some very special
   significance. The town was not merely the seat of a simple
   Commanderie, but also the capital of a Templar Province. Its
   population grew quickly over the years. In which direction did
   the Temple's shipping lines lead, if it was neither to the north
   nor to the south? There can only be one possible explanation for
   the position of this seaport - the Order's ships set course from
   it due west, to America."
   "After Napoleon conquered Rome in 1809, some files were brought
   back to Paris from the secret archives of the Vatican. Among
   these were a few documents relating to the Templar trials. In one
   of these records was the statement of Jean de Chalons, a member
   of the Order from Nemours in the diocese of Troyes."
        - Johannes and Peter Fiebag, The Discovery of the Grail,
   translated from the German by George Sassoon
     "On the evening before the raid, Thursday October 12th 1307, I
     myself saw three carts loaded with straw, which left the Paris
     Temple shortly before nightfall, also Gèrard de Villiers and
     Hugo de Chalons, at the head of 50 horse[men]. There were
     chests hidden on the carts, which contained the entire
     treasure of the Visitator Hugo de Pairaud. They took the road
     for the coast, where they were to be taken abroad in eighteen
     of the Order's ships."
          - Jean de Chalons
   The Zeno Narrative tells of a mysterious ocean voyage west one
   hundred years later by a Templar descendent, Henry Sinclair, Earl
   of Orkney. Indian legends and a number of clues suggest that the
   landfall was Nova Scotia.
                        Preserving the Secrets
   (1) Rosslyn Chapel
   "It is known that the Templars fled to Scotland, too, after the
   dissolution of 1312, and it is known that some found refuge among
   the Saint-Clairs of Rosslyn in Midlothian. There is a Templar
   cemetery there."
        -Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic
   "No family in Europe beneath the rank of royalty boasts a higher
   antiquity, a nobler illustration, or a more romantic interest
   than that of St. Clair."
        -Sir John Bernard Burke, Vicissitudes of Families and Other
   "...We encountered repeated references to the Sinclair family -
   Scottish branch of the Norman Saint-Clair/Gisors family. Their
   domain at Rosslyn was only a few miles from the former Scottish
   headquarters of the Knights Templar, and the chapel at Rosslyn -
   built between 1446 and 1486 - has long been associated with both
   Freemasonry and the Rose-Croix. In a charter believed to date
   from 1601, moreover, the Sinclairs are recognized as 'hereditary
   Grand Masters of Scottish Masonry'. This is the earliest specific
   Masonic document on record."
        -Baigent and Leigh, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail
   Rosslyn Chapel "is decorated inside with carvings of Masonic
   significance...and botanical significance. Arches, lintels,
   pillar bases and such like are mostly covered in decorative but
   highly detailed plant motifs, with many different species
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
   Two of the motifs resemble the aloe cactus and maize cobs, plants
   indigenous to the New World and supposedly unknown to Europe
   before the sixteenth century.
   "...Everywhere there were manifestations of the 'green man', the
   Celtic figure that represented fertility. Over a hundred 'green
   men' have been counted but it is believed that there are even
   more subtly peeping out of the vegetation."
   "the symbolism is Egyptian, Celtic, Jewish, Templar and Masonic
   in profusion. A star-studded ceiling, vegetative growth coming
   form the mouths of the Celtic Green Men, entangled pyramids,
   images of Moses, towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem, engrailed
   crosses and well as squares and compasses. The only certain
   Christian imagery was in later Victorian alterations: the stained
   glass windows, the revolting baptistery and a statue of the
   Madonna and child."
   Recalling the legend of Hiram Abif, "high up in the corner where
   the south and west walls meet, and level with the organ, is a
   head with a severe gash on the right temple and in the opposite
   side of the west wall is the head of the person who killed him."
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
   Rosslyn Chapel
   Rosslyn Chapel "...William St Clair himself masterminded the
   whole construction of the building from its inception to his own
   death in 1484, just two years before it completion; furthermore,
   he personally supervised every tiny detail of the work...William
   St Clair had brought some of Europe's finest masons to Scotland
   for this great project, building the village of Rosslyn to house
   "From the outside, Rosslyn is a representation in stone of the
   Heavenly Jerusalem as depicted in Lambert's copy, with towers and
   a huge central curved, arched roof. Inside the Rosslyn shrine,
   the layout is a reconstruction of the ruin of Herod's Temple,
   decorated with Nasorean and Templar symbolism. In the north-east
   corner we found a section of the wall carved with the towers of
   the Heavenly Jerusalem complete with the Masonic compasses,
   styled exactly as they are shown on Lambert's scroll."
   "As we looked directly upwards from the organ loft, we could see
   that the arched roof had a running series of keystones down its
   length, just like the one the Royal Arch degree describes as
   found in the ruins of Herod's Temple!"
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
     "Early this morning on resuming our labors we discovered a
     pair of pillars of exquisite beauty and symmetry: proceeding
     with our work, we discovered six other pairs of equal beauty
     which from their situation, appeared to be the remains of the
     subterranean gallery leading to the Most Holy Place."
          - Royal Arch Degree
   "In Rosslyn, we observed that the fourteen pillars had been
   arranged so that the eastern eight of them including Boaz and
   Jachin, were laid out in the form of a Triple Tau. The formation
   and the proportions were exactly as the Royal Arch degree depicts
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
     "The Triple Tau, signifying, among other occult things,
     Templum Hierosolyma, 'the Temple of Jerusalem'. It also means
     Clavis ad Theosaurum - 'A key to a treasure' - and Theca ubi
     res pretiosa deponitur - 'A place where a precious thing is
     concealed', or Res ipsa pretiosa - 'The precious thing
          - Royal Arch Degree
   "The famous Grail Seeker Trevor Ravenscroft claimed in 1962 that
   he had finished a twenty year quest in search of the Grail at
   Rosslyn chapel.....His claim was that the Grail was inside the
   Prentice Pillar (as it is known) in this chapel. The chapel is
   often visited now by Grail Seekers and many references to the
   Grail can be found in its stonework and windows. Metal detectors
   have been used on the pillar and an object of the appropriate
   size is indeed buried in the middle. Lord Rosslyn adamantly
   refuses to have the pillar x-rayed."
        - Chris Thornborrow, "An Introduction to Current Theories
   about The Holy Grail"
   Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas believe that the small crypt
   of the Rosslyn shrine was the lower middle chamber where the
   masons received their wages. Before the vaults were sealed off
   when the chapel was completed, twenty Templar knights were buried
   there in full armor.
     "Seemed all on fire that chapel proud,
     Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie:
     Each baron, for a sable shroud,
     Sheathed in his iron panoply."
          - Sir Walter Scott, "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"
   "The vaults themselves may yet be far more than a simple tomb,
   other important artifacts may be contained therein. The one
   recorded action of the Lords Sinclair that apparently contradicts
   their well earned reputation for chivalry and loyalty may also be
   explained if the vaults are opened, for it is just possible that
   some clue as to the whereabouts of certain treasures of great
   historical interest may also be discovered."
        - Tim Wallace-Murphy, An Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel
     "The Companion's Jewel of the Royal Arch is a double triangle,
     sometimes called the Seal of Solomon, within a circle of gold;
     at the bottom is a scroll bearing the words, Nil nisi clavis
     deest - 'Nothing is wanting but the Key', and on the circle
     appears the legend, Si tatlia jungere possis sit tibi scire
     posse - 'If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest
          -Royal Arch Degree
   Knight and Lomas speculate that the reconstructed treasure vaults
   of Herod's temple are located below the main floor of the Chapel.
   An Seal of Solomon (Star of David) can be constructed from the
   alignment of pillars between the entrance and Triple Tau
   "At the very center of this invisible Seal of Solomon, in the
   arched roof there is a large suspended boss in the form of a
   decorated arrowhead that points straight down to a keystone in
   the floor below. It is, we believe, this stone that must be
   raised to enter the reconstructed vaults of Herod's Temple and
   recover the Nasorean Scrolls."
   "Rosslyn is not a free interpretation of the ruins in Jerusalem;
   as far as the foundation plan is concerned, it is a very
   carefully executed copy. The unfinished sections of the great
   western wall are there, the main walls and the pillar
   arrangements fit like a glove and the pillars of Boaz and Jachin
   stand precisely at the eastern end of what would be the inner
   Temple. The spot we identified as being at the center of the Seal
   of Solomon turned out to correspond exactly with the center point
   of the medieval world; the middle of the Holy of Holies; the spot
   where the Ark of the covenant was placed in the Temple at
        - Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key:
   Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of
          Book Shelf Order directly on-line from Amazon Books
     The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the
   Secret Scrolls of Jesus
                    by Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas
                           (2) Freres Maçons
   "Jacques de Molay and his predecessors signed documents over the
     title Magister Templi, Master of the Temple. And that temple,
    taking its name from the Temple of Solomon, certainly was left
     unfinished upon the murder of its masters, who also had been
        tortured to reveal their secrets by three assassins who
    ultimately destroyed them. Not Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, but
    Philip the Fair of France, Pope Clement V, and the order of the
          Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem."
    "What the secret society needed was men who would affirm their
     belief in God, with a desire for brotherhood strong enough to
    accept any man's personal religious persuasion as secondary to
                  their principal goal of survival."
                     - John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
       The formation of the The Illuminati by Freemasons and the
   instigation of the French Revolution and anti-papacy movements in
    the eighteen century have been seen as a fulfilment of Templar
    "The Templars, or Poor Fellow-Soldiery of the Holy House of the
     Temple, intended to be re-built, took as their models, in the
    Bible, the Warrior-Masons of Zorobabel, who worked, holding the
            sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.
   "Therefore it was that the Sword and the Trowel were the insignia
     of the Templars, who subsequently, as will be seen, concealed
   themselves under the name of Brethren Masons. [This name, Freres
    Maçons in the French, adopted by way of secret reference to the
     Builders of the Second Temple, was corrupted in English into
                  - General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma
     "Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very
     origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome
     and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic
     Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself
     was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of
     his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans
     who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a
     misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole
     Spirit of that Evangel."
     "Hence Free-Masonry, vulgarly imagined to have begun with the
     Dionysian Architects or the German Stone-workers, adopted
     Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, associating
     with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint
     John the Baptist [the Johannite heresy], and thus covertly,
     proclaiming itself the child of the Kabbalah and Essenism
          - "Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free Masons"

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
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Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
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Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
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