The Craft and the Cross examines the birth of sacred symbolism in pre-Christian times and traces its development and survival into the modern world.
This study is the result of a quest to understand the symbols of Freemasonry, and reveals for the first time ever what the obscure allegories actually mean. In coming to understand the true meaning of the rituals and symbols of Freemasonry a picture emerges that is both controversial and unexpected, for it shows a common origin of both the symbols of the Craft and those of Christianity. And that common origin is the ancient veneration of the sun.
The book takes as a starting point an examination of the present day rituals and symbols of Freemasonry, where a radical new interpretation of that symbolism uncovers many allegorical references to the sun and the rhythm of the seasons lying forgotten within. That symbolism is discovered to be truly ancient, originating over four thousand years ago among the Bronze Age peoples of the British Isles.
The people who then inhabited the north-western edge of the ancient world venerated the sun above all else and regarded its four rising and setting points on the solstices - and the cross they form on the ground - as sacred. Thus the cross of the sun was sacred for thousands of years before the arrival of Christianity, and it is the contention of the author that as Christianity arose the dispossessed Druids who upheld this knowledge were absorbed into the new faith - carrying their more ancient understanding of the cross with them.
The version of Christianity developed by those Druids is known as The Celtic Church and existed as an autonomous part of Christianity quite separate from the influence of Rome until the 12th Century when the papacy finally moved to bring it into the fold. Evidence is presented that shows that though the Celtic Church faded from the pages of history it's esoteric teachings survived their overthrow and emerged as the Craft in the 17th Century.
‘The Craft and the Cross’ traces the path of this secret knowledge right from its formulation in the distant past, through the arrival of Christianity and the merging of the old with the new, and uncovers it's continued existence today, in the largest and most enigmatic brotherhood in the world - Freemasonry!
It also shows that whilst Freemasonry carries symbolism that can be regarded as having a pagan origin, many of the symbols of Christianity were derived from the very same source.
Whilst the Craft is no longer aware of the immense history that lies in its own rituals, that history is still nevertheless there, and has been newly reconstructed by the author from the minute observation of the labours of the lodge room.
The Craft and the Cross tells that story.
It has been a great honour to have been asked to participate in the gound-breaking and highly successful intiative of WEOFM.......Worldwide Exemplification of FreeMasonry - a series of lectures endorsed by the Grand Lodge of Indiana.
Special thanks to Albert McClelland for his tireless work in this project.
You can view my presentation here, also at www.weofm.org or www.irishfreemasonry.com
The full lecture series is also available through
Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols from WEOFM on Vimeo.