Carvings of the Scottish Rite Double-Headed Eagle

Some of the most appreciated artifacts among the private collectors who are members of the Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum and Library are those items that were hand made (in this case carved) from a single block of wood!

These carvings/plaques adorn the homes of their makers and stand as a testament to their love of Scottish Rite Freemasonry!

Double-Headed Eagle of Lagash

"As the Adept knows, the double-headed eagle is a Hermetic Symbol, representing the Divine Generative Potency, and Productive Capacity of Nature. like the human figure with two heads, one male the other female, - God and Nature; the Egypian Osiris and Isis."

Long used as the insigne of a Scottish Rite Mason, the "Double Headed Eagle of Lagash" is now the accepted emblem in the United States of America of the 32 Degree. It is the oldest crest in the world. It was a symbol of power more than two thousand years before the building of King Solomon's Temple. No other heraldic bearing, no other emblematic device of today can boast such antiquity.

Triangle of Perfection (Wisdom, Power, and Beauty) - made to represent the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of God. Yahweh is the Hebrew vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה.

The two headed eagles are the coming together of two houses (families), Abraham and Lot though Boaz and Ruth.

The Supreme Council awards the 33 as a way of honoring outstanding and selfless work performed in the Rite or in public life. At its annual session the Supreme Council elects members of the Rite to receive the degree. Members unanimously so elected become Honorary Members of the Supreme Council.

"On the 1st of May, 5786, The Grand Constitution of the Thirty-third Degree, called the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, was finally ratified by His Majesty King of Prussia, who as Grand Commander of the order of Prince of the Royal Secret, possesed Sovereign Masonic power over all the Craft." - Origin and Progress of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for England, Wales, the Dominions and Dependencies of the British Crown.

Gandaberunda (Gun-daa-bhae-rundaa, from Kannada) is an Indian mythological bird. It is always shown with two heads and beaks, and believed to possess magnificent strength. Ancient religious Hindu texts (Vishnu Puranas) annotate the Gandaberunda to be a personification of Lord Vishnu, the Mediator (one of the three primary Gods in Hinduism).

The double-headed eagle first originated in the mighty Sumerian city of Lagash. From cylinders taken from the ruins of this ancient city, the double-headed eagle seems to have been known to the kings of the time as the Storm Bird. From the Sumerians this symbol passed to the men of Akkad, from whom it was brought to the Emperors of the East and West by the Crusades.

Eagle, with a natural head, was an emblem of Jupiter, that is, god of moral. To the pagans, Eagle, with a natural head, was an emblem of Jupiter, that is, god of moral law and order, protector of suppliants and punisher of guilt. Among the Druids, Eagle was a symbol of their Supreme Being.

The double-headed eagle was adopted by emperor Isaakios Komnenos (1057-1059) being influenced from local traditions about such a beast (the haga) in his native Paphlagonia in Asia Minor. Local legends talked about this giant eagle with two heads that could easily hold a bull in its claws; the haga was seen as a representation of power, and people would often "call" it for protection.

There seem to be some who believe that the double-headed eagle may have been a Masonic symbol as early as the twelfth century, but, it probably was first known to Freemasonry in 1758, upon the establishment of the Council of Emperors of the East and West in Paris. This was a part of the Rite of Perfection, a rite of twenty-five degrees, from which was evolved a large part of the present system of Scottish Rite.

The successors today of the council of Emperors of the East and West, are the various Supreme Councils of the Thirty-third Degree throughout the world. They have inherited the insignia of the personal emblem of Frederick the Great, First Sovereign Grand commander, who conferred upon the rite the right to use in 1786; at which time seven additional Degrees were "Adopted" making thirty-two "Ancient" and "Accepted" Degrees to which was added a governing Degree, the 33rd.






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