IN OUR MOST HOLY NUMBERS
The Scottish Rite is a container of ancient initiatory traditions, often yet to be discovered. An example? The Pramantha , which is the symbol of the 18 th degree, is a Sanskrit word that, in the eastern esoterical culture means « the cold fire of the soul ».
Without going too far in the deep initiatory meaning ( cold fire ), considering the Brahminic root of the word, the first elements that spring to mind are the Rig-Veda (oral tradition) and the Veda (written tradition), which are millenary texts of the ancient Indian wisdom.
This should be enough to confirm the genuine ancientness of some symbolism.
Freemasonry re-proposes the fundament of its secrets (mysteries) through the symbolical structures, the geometrical relations of space, the schemes of architectural forms, acts, steps and words (as it happens for Kabbalah, on the other hand).
These “repetitions” can all be brought back to a common denominator: the Number, which represents the heart and soul of the initiatory Freemasonry. Heart for the meaning and soul for the motion towards abstraction and absolute elevation of the thought. Therefore, if the Number is the heart and soul of every symbolical representation, the Number is also the fundamental Symbol of Freemasonry.
Blue Freemasonry relies on Numbers
1st, 2nd, 3rd, which, in the Number 6, generate the mystery of the Hexagram , s acred to the Initiates and sign of the Great Opera.
White Freemasonry relies on Numbers
- 31st whose reduction brings back the Number 4 that hides the Mystery of the Form: (Quaternary)
- 32nd whose reduction brings back the Number 5 that hides the Mystery of Man: (Pentalpha, and the 5 kingdoms of Nature).
- 33rd whose reduction brings back the Number 6 , hides the Mystery of the Initiate: (the Hexagram, sephirotic symbol of the union between heaven, God and earth, Man)
This reminds us that even though every number and its meaning are sacred, their soul is reduced in the same value and Symbol, which is the ONE.
The scheme above leads us back to the principle that the degrees of the initiatory process are always three, repeated in order to widen the previous concepts. The three degrees, or levels, are represented in the three temples of humankind.
The Temple of Solomon , allegory of the work of humankind for the construction of the «reasoning mind». The balance and the knowledge of the rational soul that builds one's own inner Temple. The inner Temple is the Secret Chamber of the minor initiate, the Laboratory of the spiritual Alchemist.
The Temple of Ezekiel is the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Initiate, the holy perimeter of the heart that surrounds the personal Work. The heart joins all men of good will in a «Fraternal Communion of intentions» that occurs inside a major Work called Great Opera. It is implied in the building of the profane world in the Temple of Melchizedek.
All old doctrines follow the same principle. The levels, stages or degrees of learning are three. In the first, the conscience must learn to dominate the attributes of the physical plane (body, impulses and reason). In the second the conscience must learn to dominate the attributes of the mental plane (the personal self with its levels of thought ). In the third the conscience must learn to dominate itself in order to express the qualities of the metaphysical plane, of soul and spirit.
The three degrees of Blue Freemasonry represent the symbolism of the so-called minor Catechisms. Their counterparts are the three degrees of the White Freemasonry, which represent the major Catechisms. The static form of the unsolved Hexagram is animated by the appearance in its center of the “primogenial logos”, which represents its soul. Once animated, the unsolved Hexagram becomes perfect; just the same as the energetic scheme of Lodge (Eggregore) is enlightened by the 7 Masters that “represent” its ritual ganglia.
In the ceremonial, though, it is necessary to make use of the principles of the holy theurgy in order to go from the symbolic representation to the ritual practice.
In the unsolved Hexagram , sacred symbol to the Freemasons, the three minor Elements of Man (physical, thought and spirit) are intersected with the three major Elements of the divine Work (*note).
This “intersection” is ritually evocated in the sacred greeting of the Masonic High Degrees, which we'll realize in its complete geometry.
As shown in the image, the three aspects of Man can be developed in the three levels of his inner universe. Starting from the shadow at the bottom, which is the metaphor of the physical appearance and of the caducity of mortal beings; these two, though, don't affect the immortality of his spiritual entity.
Here we have, then, OOO Our  HHH Most Holy  NNN Numbers  originating 3 x 3 = 9 (999) . The sacred Number whose meaning is re-veiled (veiled twice) in the exoterical myth of Masonic degrees.
From the Trinity originated by the “Most Holy Number One”, is reflected the Number Two and then the Number Three , the latter being re-absorbed by the Two, just as the Two is absorbed in the One.
In this rule is the metaphysical meaning of the initiatory Work. This meaning allows a point of contact with the universality of the Masonic initiation, not at all administrative.
Athos A. Altomonte
(*note) in the holy Astronomy, the three minor (energetic) aspects of cosmic manifestation interact with the three (energetic) aspects of Divinity. The conjunction is balanced by a 7 th element “periodically predominant” which, in a planetary system, is the sun. In the human being the cardiac center accomplishes this regulating function, reviving the six surrounding centers with its quality. We find the same representation in the ceremony for the elevation to master mason, where a predominant element in the initiatory chain “re-awakens” the heart of the Neophyte, reviving him only symbolically. Because modern Masons have forgotten the fundamental principles of the theurgic practice.