I just got done reading “Two Essays by Paul Foster Case” (available from Builders of the Adytum). The first one was “The Masonic Letter G”, and the second one was “The Great Seal of the United States”. The essay on the Masonic letter “G” was certainly interesting, but the essay on the great seal of the United States really struck home.
We are into a new presidency, and we are experiencing a climate of great change in the basic manner of how things are done. For much of my adult life I have wondered if I was seeing the downfall of a time period, much as those at the end of the Roman era would have seen.
It is reflected in our seeming inability to shore up our physical infrastructure (buildings, roads, bridges), and now it is showing up in our seeming inability to shore up our financial infrastructure. I am not surprised to see suicides happening in the highest places. If we look at the genuine suicides, I believe that we will find these to be individuals that lived their lives as well as they could, and took responsibility when their actions, which they felt were the best actions that they could have taken, ended up losing their clients the very money that their retirement depended upon.
Humanity overall needs to take a close look at itself, and see how far it has fallen from its own beliefs and ideals. The United States is not all that old. Our beginnings are still evident in the life that we live today. It was with great interest that I read Paul Foster Case’s thoughts on the Great Seal of this country.
From the book:”… As the national arms, the seal states symbolically the principles which animated the founders of the republic. Today these principles are being forgotten. Because they are neglected in our political and economic practice, grave danger threatens the national life. To avert that danger, we must go back to the fundamentals of true Americanism, clearly set forth in thesymbolism of the seal.”
I do not know the date that this essay was written, but Dr. Case died in 1954. What seemed to me to apply today was already apparent in his time. Through the ensuing years our lack of adherence to the fundamentals of this land have manifested in many different ways.
I have seen the Great Seal discussed in several different books relating to Free Masons, and did know that the founding fathers were Free Masons. I am placing these thoughts in my Tarot blog because the principles that we see here are also seen in esoteric Tarot decks.
Dr. Case discusses the history of the Great Seal, as well as its symbolism. I found it interesting to see that the design passed through three committees before a final version was decided upon. Deja Vu all over again! The official version of the seal was drawn by James Horton Whitehouse, chief designer for Tiffany & Company. Two incorrect seals were cut – one showing a crested eagle (as opposed to the requied American eagle), and one showing the eagle holding only six arrows in his talon (the correct number being thirteen).
There is great discussion in this essay on the number thirteen, and on the science of gematria. Specified for the seal are paleways of thirteen pieces for the escutcheon, thirteen arrows for the bundle int he eagle’s talon, and a motto of thirteen letters. as well as thirteen berries and thirteen leaves on the olive branch.
The olive branch, as we might gues, stands for peace. What I did not realize is that placing the branch in hte eagle’s dexter talon was a radical departure from the heraldry of the Old World. In placing the olive branch in the dexter talon, our founding fathers were proclaiming the principle that the primary aim of the United States was to establsih peace.
The shields colors carry their own weight: red for valor, white for purity, and blue for justice.
The uppermost motto on the back of the seal contains thirteen letters, the date at the bottom of the pyramid nine letters, and the lower motto seventeen letters. Together they add up to thritynine letters – three times thirteen. The triangle of the pyramid represents the number three.
There is a great deal more to the Great Seal, but, all in all, it represents principles that I feel we as a country, and as individuals, have strayed from.
We can only be true to ourselves. If we can do this, we will carry this energy to the group collective, and perhaps bring our country back in line with what it was intended to be.