Many folks commented and thanked me for presenting the information and making the video available. On the other hand some feathers were ruffled at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Others felt that by referring to the Mayas as “Master Masons” in the video, it was an attempt to attribute global esoteric spiritual heritage exclusively to Freemasonry.
Is that really the case? Or was it an attempt to pay homage to the Maya and their impressive stone work by referring to them masters of the craft? After-all, did the ancient builders not masterfully set stone structures and stylize rock carvings in a way so elegant and mysterious that some of their methods for achievement still transcend the modern man’s level of consciousness?
ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?
Why do people comment on Facebook posts and articles before reading them first? Times are changing and people tend to use articles not so much for information but as a way to interact with other people. In the Facebook era of information influx where our attention spans are shorter that our Instagram character limit how is research to be presented if we are not paying attention to detail?
The claim that the ancient Mayas were Freemasons or that the Mayas inherited their iconography from the symbols of Freemasonry was never made in this video. The idea proposed by Richard Cassaro and presented in the video below is that the Maya were master masons – not Freemasons!
ANCIENT MAYAS AS MASTER MASONS
Now lets discuss the fact that the dialog in this video touched upon the idea that a number of Mayan glyphs and elements in their art and architecture do indeed bear a strong resemblance to some symbols in Freemasonry. First it is important to note that while the organization does maintain much historical documentation, the Freemasons themselves do not know the exact origin of their fraternity.
We can safely say that Freemasonry was established long before the first documented investigations and explorations into Maya civilization took place. Therefore it is clear to this author that the Freemasons did not inherit their symbols directly from the Maya however I believe that Richard Cassaro’s underlying theory is no less valid. By matching cathedral architecture with ancient temple design, Richard Cassaro shows the universality of what he calls a Universal Religion, which is the root wisdom of the Masonic Fraternity and the perpetuation of a life-changing ancient science. I remain indifferent to the outcome but feel his work is significant and should call for more of our attention.
The ideas expressed in this video and the reactions posted in the comments online has indeed served to become the product of a great social experiment; testing how well we actually pay attention to detail on social media. I’ll provide more data about this specific topic below including the academic view of epigraphers with respect to the symbols but now that I’ve provided a little more context, lets watch the video below and let me know what do think? Are These Mayan Glyphs the Symbols of Master Masons?
Best-selling masonic author, Richard Cassaro believes that the ancient Maya civilization who cut and shaped stones to create their majestic temples could be forerunners of Freemasonry and he points out how the Maya are “master masons” by definition. Esoteric explorer, Karina Ceja sheds light on the philosophical meaning of the Maya symbolism with respect to the indigenous tradition as explore the cemetery group at the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal:
In the cemetery group at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal we find carvings depicting images of skulls and cross bones that bear a resemblance to the single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry; the square and compass.
We also find examples of what Richard Cassaro calls a “Triptych Temple”, an enigma that is present among many of the ancient cultures.
The Triptych Enigma
In his book Written in Stone, author Richard Cassaro, a Freemason explains how the ancient Egyptians, Mayans, and Indonesians—ancient pyramid-building cultures that scholars claim were not connected—all built parallel-looking “Triptych” temples: The pyramid-cultures all built “Triptych” three-door temples, with the door in the middle wider and taller than the two flanking it.
We find examples of this symbol incorporated into Mayan architecture. Could this really be the root wisdom of the Masonic Fraternity and the perpetuation of a life-changing ancient science as Cassaro believes?
Is it a stretch to draw a connection between the symbols and architecture of the Maya and the Freemasons?
Many other researchers have also compared the TAU cross to the T shape glyph found in Maya art and architecture. The T-shaped opening is thought to symbolizes the Sacred Tree at the Center of the World upon which the shaman’s spirit may climb and serves as the portal leading to the Great Spirit, through which the breath of life may pass.
Mayan daykeeper, Hunbatz Men explains the meaning of this motif:
“A transcendental synthesis of human religious experience is inherent in the word te, Sacred Tree, which emerged from the words teol and teotl the names of God the Creator in Mayan and Nahuatl. These most revered and sacred words of the ancient people, symbolized by the Sacred Tree, were represented in the Mayan hieroglyphs as the symbol ‘T.’ Additionally, this symbol represented the air, the wind, the divine breath of God.” (1)
It is interesting to note that one of the early explorers of the Yucatan, the pioneering Mayanists, Augustus Le Plongeon believed that the T-shape corresponded to Crux, or the Southern Cross.
Le Plongeon, a Freemason, was also convinced that the roots of Freemasonry were to be found in the ancient Maya culture.
In his book, Sacred Mysteries Among The Mayas And The Quiches, Le Plongeon attempts to draw a connection to the ancient Mayan and Freemasonry.When referring to temple atop the pyramid of the Magician at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal Augustus writes;
“The ornaments that cover these walls are remarkable in more than one sense. They are not only inscriptions in the Maya language, written in characters identical with, and having the same meaning and value as those carved on the temples of Egypt; but among them are symbols known to have be longed to the ancient sacred mysteries of the Egyptians, and to modern Free Masonry.”
He goes on to describe how among the debris, at the foot of the Magician’s Pyramid he discovered pieces of what once had been a statue of a priest that wore an apron with an extended hand, as seen in the image below:
A Symbol that he felt should be easily recognized by members of the masonic fraternity.
Could the symbols already mentioned above, the constructions of the chambers themselves, and the sculptures carved mentioned by Le Plongeon on the cornice that surround the sanctuary, representing cross bones and skeletons, with arms and hands uplifted that many of the Masons again cannot fail to recognize all serve as evidence?
Le Plongeon even went as far as to suggest that the Magician’s Pyramid at Uxmal may be considered the oldest known edifice in the world consecrated to secret rites and ceremonies; and its builders the founders of the sacred mysteries despite the fact that the oral tradition maintains that the Magician’s pyramid was built by a dwarf.
“The sacred mysteries have existed in America from time immemorial, there can be no doubt” -Augustus Le Plongeon
In his work Richard Cassaro points out that 3,000 years ago the ancient Etruscans and ancient Maya (twin civilizations that developed separately) both created Skull and Bone images.
“The great unknown secret behind the Skull & Cross Bones is that it is not a symbol of death, but of life. It was used by ancient priests and priestesses worldwide, from the Mayans in Mesoamerica to the Etruscans in Europe” – Richard Cassaro
But what do these cross bones mean to the Maya? The academics have put in a century of intensive research of the glyphs resulting in the unraveling of the complex Maya calendars and astronomy, but decipherment – meaning the matching of signs to the language encoded in the script – was not to occur on any significant scale until the decade of the 1950s. Since then, there has been much progress, and it is now a fact that we can actually read the majority of Maya texts, whether encoded in stone or written in their books (codices), in their indigenous language.
As in Egypt, among the Maya there were strong linkages between text and picture, on providing commentary on the other. The Mayan Glyphs can be read from left to right and top to bottom but never bottom to top.
So What Do The Cross And Bones Represent For The Maya?
Bones are notably stylized in Maya art. Crossbones are often partnered in the symbolic scripts with eyeballs that suggested illness, death, and the underworld. As crosses, these bones may allude to quadripartite order of the world and movement between the living world and the underworld. It is not uncommon to find them shown on the wings of bats, mythological decapitators, and emissaries of the underworld lords.
In some cases crossbones are also linked to Maya’s supernatural midwife, Goddess O – associated with healing so it is possible that crossbones for the Maya may also represent ailments to be cured or again suggest the underworld.
The “X” for the Maya is symbolizes Jal, or the creation verb – to manifest.
In this video Karina explains how the X symbolizes manifestation but also sheds light on how these indigenous people saw within our bones the continuation of life. For the Maya shaman, the bones also served as conduits for which the living communicated with the dead. The X represented a crossroads of communication for these ancient stone builders.
So what do YOU think? Are these Mayan glyphs the symbols of master masons?