Astronomy and Freemasonry

Astronomy and Freemasonry
Chinguacousy Lodge No. 738
September 30, 2019

W. Bro. Ken Moore
Historian
Manito Lodge No. 90

G.R.C.

A Cornerstone Lodge 2014-2019

Astronomy and Freemasonry

WM, W. Bro. Martin, thank you very much for welcoming
me here this evening.

I have prepared a discussion regarding some of the many
links between astronomy, and Freemasonry. I’m very
grateful for the opportunity to share it with you my
brethren at Chinguacousy Lodge and on an occasion near
the Autumnal Equinox, when there are 12 hours day, 12
hours night and the Sun –which is an emblem of
knowledge- lights us equally, should you live anywhere, on
our tilted Earth.

Here, in a Masonic Lodge Room symbols are all around.
Many of these symbols represent things from beyond this
Earth, the Sun to rule the day, the Moon to rule the night
and, in the East just to the Worshipful Master’s right, there
is a five-pointed star-shaped symbol. This is meant to
represent Venus. But, why is it here?

To uncover why this may be, let’s imagine the Temple
Building has no roof. It’s high twelve and as we sit here,
under the midday Sun, we’re traveling through space on an
Earth that is turning. If you’re facing west, you are turning
backward and, the horizon is rising. After, as it would
appear to us, the midday Sun disappears below the western
horizon, all natural light is eventually diminished except
that from the stars above, as they appear, falling in the sky.
Or so it may be.

During some years, just before nightfall, a bright object
appears near the western horizon. That luminary, in the
west, that is Venus. Venus is a planet. Earlier observers,
including the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, mistook it for
two separate stars but it is the planet second nearest to the
Sun. Venus is always closer to the Sun than is the Earth.
Venus shines because –either before the day begins or after
the day ends- the light from the Sun, which itself is hidden
below one of our horizons, is being reflected back to Earth.
In a Masonic Lodge, Venus is shown in the East, where
learning originated and shown as originally mistaken to be,
a star. This tells of the journey we are on and how
astronomy has continually helped to raise ignorance from
despair. Let’s recall that to early man the Universe was
alive with forces and powers beyond their comprehension.
In this, our modern time, it is difficult to fully comprehend
the effect of what appeared to be happening in the heavens,
as it occurred to early man. We can hardly imagine their
terror of the comet or sense their awe and reverence for
the Sun and the Moon because we are too well
educated. We, in fact, know much about the architecture
and proportions, which make the Universe a vast machine.
The questions, which we pondered as a result of unaided
visual observations, have all been answered. Through
research and exploration, we are now learning about
cosmic events that occur hundreds of thousands of light
years away, well beyond the perimeter of the Milky Way.
The study of astronomy is pushing back the frontiers of
science and, the connection between astronomy and
Freemasonry is ancient.

According to Greek mythology, which goes back to the very
dawn of civilization, one of their Gods, Zeus was nourished
in infancy from the milk of a goat. In gratitude, Zeus, placed
this goat up in the sky to remain forevermore as a
constellation, but first gave one of the goat’s horns to his
nurses with the assurance that it would forever pour for
them whatever they desired. That horn of plenty is the
cornucopia; it is a symbol of abundance.
The cornucopia is the jewel of the Stewards’ office it is

found on both their collars and their wands too. The one-
horned goat from which it came is found in the

constellation, Capricorn, which adds another significance.
Our Sun begins its passage through the constellation of
Capricorn at Winter Solstice when it is also at 900 to the
tropic of Capricorn, on Dec 21st. At Winter Solstice the
Earth’s axis is tilted directly away from the Sun, and after
then each day begins to get longer. Cornucopia marks the
change of season and the coming spring.
These allegorical and also the more conspicuous lessons
woven throughout each Masonic degree are, by all
accounts, very old, and astronomy is one of the many
things Freemasonry is intended to convey to its members.
To effectively express how intricate the relationship
between astronomy and the Craft in fact is; we must

rediscover a very important day in history, the day on
which you were made a Mason.
On the day you were initiated, your Mother Lodge officially
began with knocks from the East, wherefrom the Sun rises.
Next to speak, Bro. Junior Warden was seated 1⁄2 way
across the Lodge room to mark the midday Sun. Bro.
Senior Warden informed all that he closes the Lodge from
his chair in the west; whereto the Sun sets. This is done to
convey an informed and intimate understanding of where
we are on Earth, and also within the solar system.

You are each too expert in the principles of Freemasonry to
require much reminder that our Lodges are opened in the
name of the Great AOTU. Perhaps, you may even recall
that, after being received in open Lodge for the very first
time, Brother Chaplain offered prayer to Almighty Father
and Supreme Governor of the Universe. So mote it was.
You then rose from kneeling and perambulated the lodge,
going from east to west by way of the south, as does the
Sun. Your circumambulation about the Altar was in
imitation of the course of the Sun.

After perambulating the Lodge you were brought to the
center, hoodwinked. You hadn’t seen an opened lodge
room so the predominant wish of your heart was indeed
knowledge, literally and metaphorically light. After you
asked for light you were shown what is about us here
today, but first, the Worshipful Master imparted some
things quite profound to you.

When you were initiated the most modern understandings
regarding creation were revealed to you, as they are to all
Apprentices, and as they have been since time immemorial.
After taking your Obligation you were told: In the
beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. The Earth
was without form and void; and darkness was upon the
face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face
of the waters and God said let there be light.
And there was light.

To put that which is told and also demonstrated to all new
Masons into context, let me summarize some important
things astronomy has helped to discover: Less than 15
billion years ago all around us was a void. Stillness and
utter darkness were all around. All of matter was without
form and, in a single place. Scientists call this a state of
singularity. Then at this single place in what is the center of
the ever-expanding Universe a Big Bang occurred. All of
creation began.
And there was light.

Every material thing we have ever been able to define, to
measure, or in any way have come to know, originated
from a single place. From a purely scientific perspective,
every single thing you are grateful for came from the
singularity. How then came to be that which, like a
singularity, science does not measure? Where did
morality, virtue, brotherly love, and the indefatigable spirit
of mankind begin?

The entire Universe, which surrounds us, came from a
single source, far removed from our earthly abode. And
just like how the Universe began your initiation to the Craft
began in a state of complete and utter darkness. The
creation of the Universe and that of a newly obligated
brother among Masons, each occurred in the center. Your
journey as an Ancient, Free & Accepted Mason, it also
commenced with a tremendous Bang.
And there was light.