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Native Americans & Freemasonry
George Washington, a young Virginia planter, becomes a Master Mason, the highest basic rank in the secret fraternity of Freemasonry. The ceremony was held at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Washington was 21 years old and would soon command his first military operation as a major in the Virginia colonial militia. In 1793 he laid the "cornerstone" for the US Capitol building.
In earnest preparation for our NA Mounds CSI History review we wish to lay this stone of information to see how well it fits within certain ancient Wisdoms held in the East and West before the 'West was Won'. It has been noted by many in the past and more recently within the Native American Church that there are parallels between Native American rituals and Freemasonry.
Let's have a quick superficial look without delving too deep and see who held the high ground in this discovery/debate – you the public jury are asked to decide.
The Number Four
There seems to be a sacred number in many religions and bonding societies and even in certain cultures. In the Hebrew Scripture the number 7 is said to occur over 360 times. Masonry reveres numbers and so does the American Indian. For Masonry it is the number 3, for the Indian it is 4.
Closely allied with the number four is the Indian use of the Cross long before contact with the White Man. The swastika and the Maltese cross show up in war shields, sand paintings and medicine shirts of various tribes. The often designation of four gods at the four points of the compass for the Native American was a story illustrated by the symbol of the cross. This is noted in Indian illustrations long before the White Man tried to change American natives to Christianity.
Belief in Immortality
Heaven was “The Happy Hunting Ground”. The Dakotas believed that the East symbolized life. They laid a dead body east and west (How shall we bury the body?) in the track of the sun so that it may rise again.
The Honhewachi Society of the Omahas demanded 100 charitable acts before admission. Hospitality and charity were universal rules among Indians -- NO HUNGER, NO ORPHANS NOT TAKEN CARE OF.
It was a common practice for an Indian male to take a partner or Brother. Such pairs often met in associations which were in all reality fraternities. Native Americans believed strongly in the Universal Kingship of all created beings.
The practice of virtue was a must. An Indian was taught to recognize his dependence on his Maker. AND “To never enter upon any great or important undertaking without first thanking the maker for the strength that gave him or her the power to perform the deed willed."
Now let's look closer at what's been overlooked. Masons are followers of a trade first and foremost – that of construction principles. Hebrew building tradition dates back to Solomon's Temple steeped in Masonic lore. George Washington was born into a well-to-do family and laid the cornerstone for the US Capitol building in 1793 wearing what can be seen as a Native American loin cloth.
George and his masonic assemblage must have been taken aback to learn that not only did Natives wear what appeared to be Masonic clothing but bore astronomical symbols and they lived in a land of earthen pyramids and platforms resembling those found in Egypt and Mesoamerica where they parcticed never-before seen ceremonies. Not only that but their tipis resembled pyramids and there were hundreds of thousands of them spread from NY and Pennsylvania across Ohio and the Great lakes region to Minnesota and the Dakotas into the Great Plains south down the Mississippi.
BUT most impressively, when asked what their Totem Poles meant, they related that they represented life, love, humanitarianism, death and resurrection.
Just how did these isolated indigenous peoples have similar knowledge, regalia, constructions, beliefs and ceremonies?? We'll pick up next time with mounds of Knowledge and Wisdom.
|Wow! Very awesome article, Jon!!|