I am stepping off the reservation to comment on a novel, but not just any old story. This one is on the subject dear to my heart, ancient symbols.
It has been interesting watching the herd of people comment on Dan Brown's Lost Symbol page on Facebook. What I find most interesting is how certain of those who post most often have a complete lack of understanding about ancient symbology.
I thoroughly enjoyed the DaVinci Code, yet I am still surprised that so few understand the hidden symbolic messages encoded throughout it. The same goes for the cover of the new book, The Lost Symbol. Have I missed something or has no one truly grasped that the rip in the parchment on the US cover is the image of a mountain? Likewise, the capitol building in the center is also designed to be symbolic of a mountain. Also, we see the sun rising from the eastern horizon behind the capitol and through its pillars.
To the right (east) side of the nested dual mountain symbols (the ripped parchment and the capitol within it) has been placed the "point within a circle" (the O in the word code), hence the Egyptian symbol for the sun that is very important within Freemasonry. It is important that it is on the East side, because that is where the sun arises and where the fire resides on the cross and four elements.
Also of interest is the red seal atop the mountain, as well as the "smoke" which points to the mountain as a simmering volcano, waiting to blow and/or "quake." Curious indeed... The double-eagle seal (looking both west and east) is self-explanatory on an exoteric (literal) level, as the seal of the Scottish Rite 33rd degree. The hidden (esoteric) meanings are the most interesting and relevant though and I look forward to how Dan Brown will address this in the story line. If the mountain is indeed one of the lost symbols, then people should grasp what a mountain truly symbolizes.
Mountains, pyramids, and their peaks symbolize and model the hierarchical relationship between bodies of knowledge and their associated wisdom (pinnacle or pivotal/acme knowledge). The many allusions in modern languages to pinnacle, apex, acme, highest ideals, ascendancy, and so on, all flow from original ancient symbolized wisdom that used mountains and peaks to represent the highest of all “earthly” knowledge. Notice also that stars and the sun, hence light (truth) sources are above mountaintops. When standing atop a mountain you can see (understand) them (truth sources) much better. This models that pivotal axiomatic proven principles give one greater insights and a wider understanding of larger bodies of knowledge.
Pyramids and their precise measurements and perfect angles symbolize a body of perfect knowledge and its precise wisdom (peak, capstone). The straight sides allude to the shortest path to truth and wisdom, which is a straight line or perfect path. The capstone is based on peaks symbolizing great wisdom and gold or white reflective cover stones at the top (capstones) symbolize truth (light) emanating (shining) from the highest point.
So, that takes us to the so-called Illuminati pyramid, as seen on the USA one-dollar bill, and what that symbolism actually should mean. We are continuously told that this is “God’s” eye, without ever saying that the Creator doesn’t have physical eyes, so this is symbolizing something else. As you can see from the above description, the shining capstone should refer to truth emanating from wisdom, as well as wisdom opening one’s eyes and improving one’s ability to “see” the “light,” hence [understand] the [truth].
So, that takes us to the 33rd degree seal atop the mountain. It is an allusion to the fact that Freemason's and others are led to believe that the Scottish Rite and 33rd degree are pinnacles of wisdom. The only problem is, deception and greed are not wisdom, which is one reason the seal is cracked and tilted. The other clue is that the seal appears to be tilted 33 degrees to the left and west. Symbolically, the West and left side point towards darkness (ignorance, deception, lack of truth), while the right and east side point towards the direction of the rising sun, hence light (truth). Since Freemasonry is supposed to help people seek the light, this cover says that the Scottish Rite does the opposite of what it claims. In my humble interpretation, this is alluding to duplicity on the part of the double-headed eagle.
Other important Masonic symbols on the cover are the pillars on the capitol. Pillars symbolize principles and their association with a mountain points to the principle of wisdom. The light shining through them also alludes to the sun as a symbolic principle. This takes us back to the point within a circle shown to the right of the dual mountains. Prophecy associates the messiah with the East and the rising sun.
I also find it curious that the zodiac wheel behind the mountain top has the 33rd degree seal and the mountain's peak centered in the middle of the circle where the cross and four elements would normally reside, but they are obscured by the 33rd degree seal. This also serves to simulate another certain point within a circle. One ancient purpose of the zodiac was as a prophetic tool used to chart star-time, hence cycles of time. The point within a circle is also the juxtaposition of a single degree with a full 360-degree circle. This lost clue is the hidden key to using a corrected zodiac (not the one publicly available...) to decode the meaning of Hebrew prophecies. Hence, one day-degree equals a full year's orbit of 360 degrees, so a day in prophecy encodes a year and a year encodes 360 years. Likewise, a star ( as in Seven Star Hand...) symbolizes a 360-year cycle. More on this later...
In closing, it is also important to grasp what this says about the interpretations of the Bible and Egyptian symbology, which follow the same hidden rules. For example, the stories of the Exodus where [Amen]Moses ascends to the mountaintop to gain wisdom have long been represented literally and thereby falsely. From this information, it should be clear that climbing a mountain and ascension have always symbolized gaining mastery over a great body of knowledge (mountain, corpus) and grasping its associated wisdom (pinnacle, peak, mountaintop). Similarly, light has always symbolized the truth, which is something that religion has always lied about. Much more on this later...
Until then here's something else to ponder...
Peace and Wisdom...