Astrology was studied not merely for its material profit, but also as a religion. The early Mason cast about for an explanation of the visible universe. In his experience he had found no higher type of active agent than the mind. It was the one thing in his experience that could voluntarily create. The mind of man could build a house in imagination, then cause its construction of wood and stone. Yet what was finite mind? It was an invisible, intangible cause about which he could only think in abstract terms; an unknowable director of human actions.
Having found each visible portion of man, each organ and each physical function, to have a correspondence in the sky, what was more natural than to conclude that there must also be a correspondence to his invisible estate! And as finite mind is the most potent of all agents to create below, it logically follows that Infinite Mind is the most potent creative agent in the whole universe. Carrying this line of reasoning a step further, he was forced to conclude that as man is composed of an invisible mind and a visible body, so God likewise has an invisible and a visible domain; the invisible portion being Infinite Mind and the visible portion being the Material Universe, infinite both in extent and in complexity.
Being convinced that the universe, including man, is the result of creative design, it became the endeavor of the Magi to fathom its purport, or at least so much of it as relates to man, that he might conform his life and efforts harmoniously to that purpose. Man’s actions are symbolic of his will and purpose. Thus was it legitimate to conclude that God’s Will is revealed in the movements of nature to those who have sufficient penetration to grasp the meaning of their symbology.
Therefore, the early Masons sought out the correspondences in nature, and built their pictured symbols into the sky, as the Temple of Solomon, Grand Architect of the Universe. And this grand edifice, erected by the Ancient Masons; is of most perfect design, revealing as it does to the discerning, the Will of Deity; for what wiser thing could man do than to imitate the building of this ancient structure, and build for his own indwelling soul a mansion as perfect in its proportions, and as harmonious in its arrangements, as the Temple of King Solomon!
In time the Mason, as a priest, became only an interpreter of the ideas symbolically built into the Temple by his wiser forefathers. The word “religion” is derived from the Latin “re” (back), and “ligare” (to bind), and means literally, to bind back. This, then, became the work of later Masons: to collect truths discovered in times past and bind them together in such a manner that they might be preserved for future generations. These truths, in their symbolic form, are found woven more or less into all important religion the world has ever known. The earliest religions were purely astronomical, and it is safe to say that every important religion that ever has been entertained by the mind of man has had an astrological foundation.
Man’s body is not the real man, nor is the material universe God. The real man is the invisible controlling ego, and God is the invisible and unknowable Infinite Mind that directs and controls the mighty Cosmos. The Ancient Masons ever sought to find a fitting symbol to represent each principle and function of nature, and to build it into the Temple. What more fitting symbol could be found to represent the Infinite Ego, the true King, than the glorious orb of day!
Sol, therefore, was elected as the symbol of the controlling power of the universe—Deity—it being recognized by those of inner vision that the physical orb was but the external covering for the grander and more ethereal Spiritual Sun Who stands exactly in the same relation to the Solar System as does the human ego to its body. Thus originated Solar Worship, one of the most ancient forms of religion.
To the mind of the Ancient Mason, the physical Sun, the center of our system, from which the earth receives the requisite grade of force necessary for every terrestrial manifestation of power, organic and inorganic, vital and physical; was but the emblem of the Spiritual Sun which exerts that degree of celestial energy, which in matter becomes occult force, and in man becomes Will and Mental Power.