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                                                Author Unknown

                                                   Short Talk Bulletin: March 1930

We have more right to be astonished that the astronomical references are so few, rather than to be
surprised that there are so many! We are taught that geometry and Masonry were originally
synonymous terms and geometry, fifth of the seven liberal arts and sciences, is given more
prominence in our Fellowcraft degree than the seventh, astronomy. Yet the beginnings of
astronomy far antedate the earliest geometrician. Indeed, geometry came into existence to answer
the ceaseless questionings of man as to the “why” of celestial phenomena. In these modern days
it is difficult to visualize the vital importance of the heavens generally, to early man. We can
hardly conceive of their terror of the eclipse and the comet, or sense their veneration for the Sun
and his bride, the Moon. We are too well educated. We know too much about “the proportions
which connect this vast machine.” The astronomer has pushed back the frontiers of his science
beyond the inquiries of most of us; the questions which occur as a result of unaided visual
observations have all been answered. We have substituted facts for fancies regarding the sun, the
moon, the solar system, the comet and the eclipse. Albert Pike, the great Masonic student “who
found Masonry in a hovel and left her in a palace” says:

         “We cannot, even in the remotest degree, feel, though we may partially and
         imperfectly imagine, how those great, primitive, simple-hearted children of Nature,
         felt in regard to the Starry Hosts, there upon the slopes of the Himalayas, on the
         Chaldean plains, in the Persian and Median deserts, and upon the banks of the great,
         strange River, the Nile. To them the universe was alive - instinct with forces and
         powers, mysterious and beyond their comprehension. To them it was no machine,
         no great system of clockwork; but a great live creature, in sympathy with or inimical
         to man. To them, all was mystery and a miracle, and the stars flashing overhead
         spoke to their hearts almost in an audible language. Jupiter, with its kingly
         splendors, was the Emperor of the starry legions. Venus looked lovingly on the
         earth and blessed it; Mars with his crimson fires threatened war and misfortune;
         and Saturn, cold and grave, chilled and repelled them. The ever-changing moon,
         faithful companion of the sun, was a constant miracle and wonder; the Sun himself
         the visible emblem of the creative and generative power. To them the earth was a
         great plain, over which the sun, the moon and the planets revolved, its servants,
         framed to give it light. Of the stars, some were beneficent existences that brought
         with them Spring-time and fruits and flowers - some, faithful, sentinels, advising
         them of coming inundations, of the season of storm and of deadly winds some
         heralds of evil, which, steadily foretelling. They seemed to cause. To them the
         eclipse, were portents of evil, and their causes hidden in mystery, and supernatural.
         The regular returns of the stars, the comings of Arcturus, Orion, Sirius, the Pleides
         and Aldebaran; and the journeyings of the Sun, were voluntary and not mechanical
         to them. What wonder that astronomy became to them the most important of
         sciences; that those who learned it became rulers; and that vast edifices, the
         pyramids, the tower or Temple of Bel, and other like erections elsewhere in the
         East, were built for astronomical purposes? - and what wonder that, in their great
         childlike simplicity, they worshipped the Light, the Sun, the Planets, and the stars;
         and personified them, and eagerly believed in the histories invented for them; in

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