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Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
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Temperance and the septenary symbol

I've written an article, in which I attempt to show that the septenary symbol on Temperance's breast refers to the transformation of the rational mind, using two of the Waite Trinick images and quotes from Waite's FRC rituals. It's only four pages but it was a bit much to try and post so I thought it might be better to just create a PDF document. I've called it Temperance Decoded, but this doesn't mean I think that I've entirely decoded it, it's just the title that came to mind so that's what I went with. This is a direct download link.

Temperance Decoded.pdf 1.35 MB

Last edited by Abrac; 6 Days Ago at 01:34.
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The square as the rational or material mind is making more and more sense, to me at least. The phrase "material mind" is one Waite uses frequently and is synonymous with "natural mind" or "rational mind." The square is an excellent way to symbolize it, though this is the first time I've encountered it.

Also, it seems possible to me that the triangle represents the emergence of the soul. Here are a couple of more easily-digestible quotes from Waite that point to this:
"Above all, we are not concerned with the Old Law or the Old Temple, or with anything indeed but the Old Wine of the Doctrine, as against the comparative water of the old official religions, the indiscriminate providences, the rough ashlars of the exoteric priesthoods, which for many thousands of years have held a patent to establish the Kingdom of Heaven, and have tried as honestly as they could, but have failed always, even as external Masonry has preached the love of brothers and has not understood that love must be declared in the soul before it can sanctify the body or rule in the material mind.—The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, "Of Christian Symbolism in Connection with Temple Building."
"It comes about in this manner that we recognise the presence within us of Mind in another mode and after another aspect, which is or may become our guide into all truth. Beyond the vision of the rational mind there is this deeper state which has been known to some, according to records of the ages, and it is known at this day even to a few thinkers in the sacred heart of their being. . .There are the intimations of living experience behind official doctrine, the mind of the Soul behind the rational or so-called material mind."—Shadows of Life and Thought, Ch. 26.
The triangle represents the awaking of consciousness, the "mind of the Soul" as Waite calls it. The soul, filled with love, "rules in the material mind."
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I stumbled across an amazing image from the "Water-Stone of the Wise," a treatise on Christian alchemy originally published in the early 17th century. Waite was certainly familiar with it as it's translated and printed in The Hermetic Museum, Restored and Enlarged, 1893, which he edited and wrote a Preface for. He also makes a reference to it in a footnote in his 1926 The Secret Tradition in Alchemy, pg. 10. It shows a hand holding a torch reaching down from a radiant triangle to light a candle that's rising out of of a heart. The stump on which the candlestick is placed has many visible roots going into the earth. Two figures wearing crowns who look like they might be priests, or at least men of importance, are walking away into the darkness while the ordinary fellow is illuminated by, and in awe of the light.

This image is from the 1743 edition which I found at Internet Archive. There's also a 1760 edition that has the same frontispiece.

Last edited by Abrac; 1 Week Ago at 23:15.
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I updated the document and added some additional material on the solar symbolism of Temperance, starting below Fig. 2, on pg. 2, and going to the end of the page. I also made some minor modifications and corrected typos throughout.

Edit: I had a few problems with the upload. They have been corrected and the latest version is now available.

Last edited by Abrac; 6 Days Ago at 00:13.
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I went through the document and did some serious editing. In the main it's the same but I changed a lot of things to make it more readable and hopefully more clear. I added a couple of things to the last paragraph of page two. Hopefully I'm done messing with it for awhile.
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