Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

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The Scottish Rite
Double Headed Eagle


 
The symbol most widely recognized as Scottish Rite Masonry is the Double-Headed Eagle of Lagash. It is one of the oldest Royal Crests in the existence. This symbol has been in use at least a thousand years before the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and more than 2,000 years before the building of King Solomon's Temple.

Records indicate that in the early days of modern Freemasonry the Double-Headed Eagle was first used around 1758 by a Masonic body in Paris.  That Masonic body was known as “The Emperors of the East and West”, and controlled the advanced Degrees then in use.  It is these degrees that became a precursor of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

Our Double-Headed Eagle features the white-ribboned motto, pendant from the hilt of the sword to the point, and displaying the Latin “SPES MEA IN DEO EST”, which translates “My Hope Is In God”.  As a Scottish Rite Mason you will recognize this phrase from the lessons taught in the 31°.

Generally, the symbolic meaning of this symbol in the Scottish Rite is that of duality contained in or resolving itself in unity. Among other things, it reminds us that as man we are composed of both body and spirit, that he is both temporary and eternal; that both good and evil exist in the world and that we must perpetually espouse good while opposing evil. It also reminds us that knowledge comes both from study and insight; and that our obligations are both to ourselves and to others; that both faith and reason are necessary.

The various symbols of the Scottish Rite do not easily reveal their meanings to us; furthermore, there may be many meanings to any one symbol. Only after thought and reflection do they fulfill their function and begin to trigger ideas in the mind.

 

 

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