In consequence of the establishment and consecration of this new lodge, Novus Veteris, and in praise and thanks giving of having the privilege and opportunity to serve as a founding member of this august assembly, I have determined to dedicate my contributions to this endeavor with short pieces dedicated to the holy and sacred purpose of instruction of various feasts, celebrations and observances of the many venerated sacred systems and holy bodies dedicated to peace, fraternity and most holy Light.
Your Humble Servant,
At the winter solstice, 3 days before Christmas, the sun passes from Sagittarius, the Archer, to its lowest position of the tomb of winter, and the earth is captive, bound by frost in the hands of the evil forces of the underworld, where she can bring forth no fruit. To indicate this, the Hopi Indians kidnap, after the manner of Pluto in Greek mythology after his abduction of Persephone, a maiden and take her beneath the earth where the initiates are assembled in the kiva.
She is seated back of the mound of earth to the right of the altar erected to the feathered serpent. Near the mound are some arrows (The Thunderbird). The front of the altar has a disk-like aperture through which the effigy of a feathered serpent sticks its head and moves about. The sun is always represented in association with this altar, and at the village of Orabi is painted on a movable screen.
Even as we at Christmas adorn a tree with presents to indicate the fruits of the branch held in the hands of Hercules, picturing the middle decanate of the harvest of sign Virgo, in anticipation of the harvest which will follow this turning back of the sun, so before the feathered serpent altar are ears of corn and seeds of such other things as the Indians hopes to harvest.
The pipe is smoked, which signifies to the Indians who pass it from one to another, that all are of one mind, that is, in rapport, and seek guidance from the spirit world. Ceremonially smoking the pipe is their ritual of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”.
One of the initiates then starts blowing on a bone whistle, in imitation of an eagle’s scream, and immediately on the roof of the kiva overhead something starts tramping about, and shortly, even as Santa Claus comes down the chimney, so an Indian dressed like a Thunderbird throws down a ball of sacred meal and descends the ladder. He sits in front of the kidnapped maiden for a time, then leaps to his feet with a cry, grabs up the arrows and throws them into the mound of earth. These arrows, symbol of the zodiacal sign from which the sun is passing (Sagittarius-the Archer), represent the beneficent influence of it ruler, Jupiter. Speeches, addressed to the feathered serpent also indicate that the constructive side of Pluto, the Thunderbird, is being brought into action. The ball of sacred meal which he threw down the hatch into the kiva indicates his willingness to help procure the harvest.
The turning back of the sun, and its correspondence in the electromagnetic energies of man, are pictured by the emblem held in the hand of the Jack Spades, which is called the card of Capricorn. The victory, however, is not granted without struggle, and the initiates, as in the Degrees of the Cross of Ancient Masonry, divide into contending ranks and stage a mock fight, to indicate the struggle between the forces of Light and the forces of Shadow.
But after a time the Brethren of Light gain supremacy. The violent and destructive side of Pluto has been overcome, and its constructive powers have been utilized to free the kidnapped maiden, and to restore fertility to the mound which symbolizes the earth.
The harvest gained by those who espouse the cause of the feathered serpent as against the lightening, however, is not merely of this plane. To those who adopt the religion of the constructive side f Pluto – as signified by the religious sign Sagittarius, in the use of the powers of the Thunderbird – physical existence becomes impregnated with the determination “To Contribute their Utmost to the Universal Welfare”, and this makes certain, both here and hereafter, a bounteous spiritual harvest.
It is my hope and intention that this, and other presentations that I give, will encourage all of you to deepen your studies and open your hearts and minds to the vast treasure of knowledge and sacred truth that is, and has been, cleverly disguised in plain sight.
Masonry is one of the last and greatest strongholds and repositories of sacred knowledge in the modern world of materialism, and in my opinion, one of the world’s last bastions of free thought and true hope of the saving grace of fraternity in a world that is struggling through the last gasps of the Plutonian influences of the passing Piscean Age.
Source material: C.C. Zain’s Astrological Lore of All Ages