France´s kings were enlightened Freemasons who used the Pine Cone symbol esoterically in their art and architecture to symbolize the Third Eye (Pineal Gland). This is evident in a series of French royal vases, urns, clocks, and other priceless Rococo artworks from the 1700s. Art history scholars and antiques experts have never properly deciphered and explained these works to the public. In this article, we´ll see how these pieces encode one of the fundamental spiritual teachings of the Freemasons.
My December 2010 article “Occult Secrets Behind Pine Cone Art & Architecture” summarized many years of research into the pine cone as a symbol of the Pineal Gland and the Third Eye awakening potential within man.
While recently re-reading an early unpublished draft of the piece, I recognized an interesting segment I had omitted from the original article. This discussion, which I now present here, shows how the French monarchy used pine cone symbolism to signify the Third Eye.
Below is an image of a magnificent Louis XVI-era vase, which I dub “The Kundalini Vase,” because it clearly reflects the Hindu tradition of Kundalini Yoga, the path to awakening the Third Eye.
The vase portrays twin serpents, representing the yogic Ida and Pingala serpents, rising symmetrically up the right and left sides, ascending toward the pine cone finial (Pineal Gland) at the apex to activate the Third Eye:
Left: “The Kundalini Vase” from Louis XVI´s France (1700s). Right: Kundalini Yoga.
As I explain in my 2011 book Written In Stone, the concept of Kundalini “Third Eye awakenings” is a “lost secret” of Freemasonry, a secret that had once been known known to all the monarchs and nobles of Europe, including Louis XVI of France.
Portrait of Louis XVI.
According to Masonic tradition, we all have a Third Eye in the form of a pineal gland—symbolized in art by the pine cone—located near the “center” of our brains. The pine cone-shaped pineal gland was once considered a “vestigial remnant” of a larger organ, the Third Eye.
Although the idea of Third Eye awakenings once formed a central tenet of an ancient Universal Religion practiced all over the globe, the tradition was considered “pagan” and became outlawed with the rise of Christianity. It was forced underground in the West; only its symbols survived.
One of those symbols is France´s most famous and prolific heraldic emblem—the Fleur de Lis. This ancient emblem, which was adopted by the first kings of France, the Merovingian kings, and later used by subsequent monarchs, actually forms a detailed “roadmap” on how to awaken the Third Eye— a roadmap that is hidden in plain sight.
The fleur-de-lis´ “twin-petals-flanking-a-centered-third-petal” motif is parallel to the Ida and Pingala channels flanking the central Sushumna:
As revealed in “Written In Stone,” France´s Fleur De Lis is an ancient
European “Triptych” (three-in-one, with power focused on the middle)
symbolizing third eye awakenings.
France´s Fleur-de-Lis bears an uncanny resemblance to another ancient, esoteric, and powerful symbol—the Caduceus, an iconic emblem widely used by the French royals as well as other kings and potentates of Europe. The Caduceus is another emblem that symbolizes the great Masonic secret of Third Eye awakenings.
The Caduceus, which is familiar today as a symbol of medicine, is also directly related to the symbolism of Kundalini Yoga, as we can see in this goddess statue holding a Caduceus in front of the Palace of Versailles outside Paris:
Left: Goddess statue holding caduceus at France´s Palace of Versailles, 1600s.
The twin serpents on the Caduceus symbolize the Ida and Pingala serpents; the vertical pole on the Caduceus symbolizes the Sushumna and spinal column.
For centuries, French Freemasons encoded the Caduceus in art and architecture, sometimes using a pine cone symbol in place of the usual “ball” at the apex of the Caduceus as a reference to the illuminating power of the Pineal Gland or Third Eye:
French Masonic architecture depicting the Caduceus
symbol with a Pine Cone depicted at the apex.
It´s interesting to see the pine cone used atop the caduceus this way. The natural beauty evoked by the pine cone greatly enhances the aesthetic of these images.
This symbolism is, in fact, Masonic insofar as it mimics the common Masonic motif depicted below on an 18th century French Masonic apron. The motif consists of twin pillars (“Jachin” and Boaz”), one capped by the sun and the other by the moon. These twin pillars are flanking a taller third pillar perfectly centered, which is topped by a single luminous eye:
Left: 1700s French Masonic Apron. Right: Caduceus
symbol with pine cone at apex in French architecture.
Note the parallels:
– The twin outer pillars of the Tracing Board capped by the moon and sun (Boaz and Jachin) match the Ida and Pingala serpents on the Caduceus.
– The middle pillar of the Tracing Board matches the central pole on the Caduceus, which is the Sushumna/spinal column of Kundalini Yoga.
– The so-called “All Seeing Eye” atop the Tracing Board (Third Eye) matches the pine cone atop the Caduceus.
Both images above refer to the awakening of the Third Eye in man.
This is the hidden secret of the pine cone symbol in Masonry, according to the famous 20th Century Masonic Author Manly P. Hall:
“…the Kundalini of Hindu mysticism… is the Lost Key of Masonry…the Spirit Fire is lifted up through the thirty-three degrees, or segments of the spinal column, and enters into the domed chamber of the human skull…where it invokes Ra (the pineal gland)… As its name signifies, the pineal gland is the sacred pine cone in man – the eye single…”
—Manly Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
In the 18th century Masonic temple at the Château de Mongenan, pictured below, twin Pillars flank the central “Third-Eye-in-the-Triangle. The two are aligned with the Sun and Moon on the right and left sides—a perfect parallel to the French Masonic apron shown above:
18th century Masonic temple at the Château de Mongenan (Portets, Gironde).
In addition to using the Third Eye in their own fraternal motifs (tracing boards, Masonic aprons, etc.), the Freemasons and their predecessor organizations of stonemasons’ guilds encoded this Third Eye concept into art and architecture, including churches, castles and most of Europe´s medieval Gothic cathedrals.
The Freemasons did this in recognition and celebration of their view that all ancient civilizations worldwide—and especially the earliest civilizations, the pyramid cultures— shared the same advanced Third Eye tradition, which was at the center of a Universal Religion in Antiquity.
This is the secret of the Masonic “Eye in the Triangle” depicted as completing an unfinished pyramid, a symbol familiar to Americans as the Great Seal of the United States; this famous symbol is a memorial to a Golden Age Universal Religion that was once spread around the globe:
Third Eye symbolism in Freemasonry is at once a memorial to, and an affirmation of, this lost ancient worldwide Third Eye tradition.
Authentic Freemasonry sees itself as a group of Cyclopes (awakened Third Eye giants) helping younger initiates awaken their Third Eye in order to become more conscious and better-rounded beings:
Third Eye-in-the-Triangle depicted over a chair decorated with the Masonic
Square & Compass in The Grand Orient De France Masonic Lodge France.
Masonic authors and scholars have long claimed that French kings and nobles were Freemasons, but few studies have been undertaken to show how French art and architecture reveals Masonic wisdom.
We can see this lost Masonic wisdom not only in the Third Eye chair from the Grand Orient of France (Masonic lodge) shown in the image above, but also in a similar image shown below of yet another Louis XVI-era artwork, a clock blending the serpent and pine cone:
“The Kundalini Clock.”
In this clock design, we see the Kundalini Serpent rising up the clock´s face toward the Pine Cone finial (pineal gland) to activate the Third Eye. The clock features two superimposed turning dials made up of enamel cartouches indicating, respectively, the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals. The coiled snake´s tongue indicates the time.
Below are several more images of royal French art (mostly Louis XVI) depicting the pine cone symbol or “pine cone finial” sitting perfectly at the apex of each design—an occult reference to the Third Eye power within man, as the Third Eye endows us with the fabled Masonic ability to see inward:
“He who looks outside dreams, he who looks inside awakens…”
Pine cone symbols on Louis XVI era vases and urns signify
the pineal gland, symbolic of Third Eye awakenings.
17th century French author, scientist and philosopher René Descartes was among those who believed the pineal gland to be the “principal seat of the soul” and viewed it as the Third Eye. Descartes attached particular significance to the gland because he believed it to be the only section of the brain to exist as a single part rather than one-half of a pair. The pineal gland, sitting thus precisely between the two hemispheres, epitomizes the abstract occult concept that we find our center by balancing duality.
During the past few decades, a kind of “piecing together” has been occurring in academic circles among researchers trying to understand the history of Freemasonry in France. The mainstream interpretation is as follows:
“…the first Masonic lodge in France was founded in 1688…”
“In the 1740s an original and mixed-sex form of Freemasonry, known as “Masonry of Adoption” arose among the high French aristocracy, of which the duchess of Bourbon-Condé, sister of the duke of Chartres, was Grand Mistress.”
These dates are interesting—but way off, because Freemasonry existed in France long before the late 1600s or mid 1700s!
We know this because nowhere in France is Masonic symbolism more visible than at the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, two fabled French institutions, the founders and creators of which were Freemasons long predating the late 1600s or mid-1700s. The Château de Versailles was the former residence of the Masonic Sun King, Louis XIV (1638-1715) and the Louvre Palace, now home to one of the world’s largest museums, dates back to the 12th century.
Art and architecture from the Louvre and Versailles connect the French kings to the Kundalini Yoga of Freemasonry. Here is Third Eye imagery from the Palace of Versailles:
Décor in The Louvre, France, esoterically depicting two eyes flanking
a solar image centered between them, in place of the Third Eye.
As we can see, twin human eyes are shown flanking a giant solar circle that symbolizes the Third Eye. This Third Eye is aligned with the “light” in the middle of the room, a reference to the spiritual light or illumination of the Third Eye.
A closer look, provided in the image below, shows that inside each eyeball is a single human profile. Each profile faces inward, toward the center of the wall. Taken together, these twin human profiles portray dual opposites, symmetrically facing the solar circle centered between them:
Following the ancient wisdom traditions of Antiquity, like those of the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, Freemasons everywhere used this type of solar “Third Eye” symbolism to signify the “inner soul” or “divine light” within.
Below are more instances of “solar-symbolism-signifying-the-soul-within” motif, this time from the Palace of Versailles:
Versailles is famous not only as a building, but also as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy. The palace rose from a humble brick and stone hunting lodge built by Louis XIII in 1623. It was expanded into a royal palace by Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” who also added landscaped gardens.
The anthropomorphism of the solar symbolism at Versailles is clearly intended to reflect the ancient cultural belief that the sun is a symbol of the “soul within” us, which is how the sun became the central element of religious ritual and experience. In Written in Stone, I showed how the ancient sun cults were identical with the cultivation of Third Eye awakening.
Critics of Freemasonry point to the greed and excesses of the French monarchy in the run-up to the French Revolution as evidence that Freemasonry has always been dominated by the elite one-percent seeking world domination—just like the Alex Joneses of the world say. Louis XVI, whose pine cone art we´ve just admired, was beheaded for his excesses and abuses of privilege and power. His wife, Maria Antoinette (falsely accused of saying “Let them eat cake” upon hearing that the French people were starving) was also beheaded. Among the furniture she left behind was her beloved pine cone chair:
Detail of the chair designed for Marie Antoinette for the Petit Trianon, 1787.
Jones and many others say that the French monarchy’s involvement with Freemasonry and obsession with its symbols is evidence that Freemasonry is “bad,” that it breeds greed and excess, and that the Masonic movement is a tool used by the elite One Percent to subjugate the masses. While it is certainly true that French royals and aristocrats tried to co-opt Masonic symbols and re-cast them as reflections of their own glory, the suggestion that the Masons drove the French kings to impoverish and suppress the poor is a serious misreading of history.
Freemasonry was popular on both sides of the French Revolution, not just with the monarchy and among the aristocracy. It wasn´t just the Kings and nobles who understood the power of Freemasonry and its plethora of symbols; many of the French common people also understood this power, and were drawn to Freemasonry for the same reasons people today are drawn to it—because by nature they are spiritually attuned; because they know that life was created for bigger and larger ends; because they seek to find out what those ends are; because their questions are not answered by organized religion; and because they march to the beat of a different drum, led by a higher calling.
In fact, some contemporary authorities maintained that Freemasons caused the Revolution exactly because the elite one-percent involved with the French crown were abusing their privileges and power. Writing in 1797, the famous Scottish physicist and mathematician John Robison (1739 – 1805), an esteemed professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and a practicing Freemason, flatly stated that the Freemasons were instrumental in toppling the corrupt reign of Louis XVI:
“In 1789…a manifest was sent from the GRAND NATIONAL LODGE of Free Masons…at Paris…addressed and sent to the Lodges in all the respectable cities of Europe, exhorting them to unite for the support of the French Revolution, to gain it friends, defenders, and dependents; and according to their opportunities…to kindle and propagate the spirit of revolution through all lands.”
— John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy
After the Revolution, Masonic images featuring the illuminated “Eye-in-the-Triangle” (the Third Eye) appeared all over France, as we can see in the following Revolution-era French designs:
Just as we see on Masonic tracing boards and on Masonic aprons, the eye is luminous, single and centered in each portrait. The Eye is flanked by twin angels on both sides, providing the balance necessary for its awakening.
Compare the images above with the three images below from Masonic tracing boards, where the twin angels are depicted as twin pillars, Jachin and Boaz, with Jachin capped by the sun and Boaz by the moon (twin opposites):
Like any movement composed of diverse strands and unfolding through a long historical process, Freemasonry has at times correctly been associated with the deeds of evil men, some of whom tried to twist its teachings and traditions to justify repression, accumulation of wealth and power, and even atrocities such as torture, slavery and imperialist wars. In this, it is no different from Christianity, Judaism or Islam.
On the whole, however, Freemasons have been leading figures onstage and behind the scenes in many of history’s brightest moments: the American Revolution, The French Revolution, and the great civil rights movements of the 20th century.
It is also undoubtedly true that Freemasons have created some of the most beautiful structures and some of the greatest works of art in human history. Many of them turned to art and architecture because their freedom to express themselves by means of the written or spoken word was restricted based on the dictates of religious or political authorities who controlled the terms of permissible debate.
One of the aspects of my work I enjoy the most is giving back a voice to those who could not speak their minds forthrightly because of censorship and religious intolerance during their active years. However much the popes and potentates of Europe tried to wipe out the empowering spiritual ideas that created and nurtured civilization since before the dawn of recorded history, the Third Eye tradition did not vanish, but developed new forms of expression and gained new followers with every generation.
We may speak of the Age of Louis XIV or the Age of Barack Obama, but there is no denying the equally powerful presence in history and in our living tradition of the craftsmen who created such powerful works of art as the Gothic cathedrals of France and the lovely pine cone vases discussed in this article.
Richard Cassaro’s new book, The Missing Link, explores the meaning, transformations and propagation of the ancient world’s most important religious icon. His first book, Written in Stone, is a wide-ranging exploration of hitherto-unknown connections among Freemasons, medieval cathedral builders and the creators of important ancient monuments, in support of his theory that a spiritually advanced mother culture, lost to history, is behind many of the world’s architectural and artistic traditions.
Prior to the publication of Written in Stone, Cassaro enjoyed a successful career as a U.S. correspondent, professional journalist, and photo researcher for Rizzoli Publications, one of the world’s leading media organizations. Cassaro, who is a graduate of Pace University in New York City, has examined first-hand the ancient ruins and mystical traditions of Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Sicily, France, England, India, Peru and Spain; he has lectured on his theories to great acclaim in the United States, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Peru.
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