Starting Out Young to Build the Temple

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When you were a teen did you go to DeMolay? Or perhaps you were a Daughter of Job? Or a Rainbow Girl? Were both your grandfathers 33rd degree Masons? Was your mom Most Worthy Grand Matron of the Eastern Star? And did you ever figure out what it was all about? Yes, you knew you were always supposed to be really nice to everybody because that was the “square” thing to do, in a culture where “square” was a compliment rather than an insult, and then there was the Jacques DeMolay business.

DeMolay, the last of the Templar Grand Masters, along with all his followers, was prosecuted by the Inquisition, exonerated by the Pope, arrested and murdered by the King using an army funded by loans from the Templars’ own bank, yet died a martyr and a hero. But for what? Who were these men? What values and experiences united their purpose?

The alleged crimes of the Templars make great reading—a teenager’s introduction to kink. Good stuff. They were accused of sodomy and worshiping an image called Baphomet. In their initiation ceremonies the anal kiss was featured, too. It’s pretty easy to see how accusations like this in the 14th century would be easy to use to get “the simple folk” charged up and deflect their ire away from the criminal church and king, who were stealing their lives and labor, as such continue to do today.

Today it’s hard to get sane people excited about a little sodomy and a few rim jobs, but what’s this business about worshiping Baphomet? That sounds rather creepy and very Hollywood. When you put all this into context with later historical trends, you realize that this imagery was used metaphorically to conceal and guard the one deep and true secret the Templars knew, the secret of true sex magick, a secret that began to become public 300 years later with the publication of the founding Rosicrucian document, the Fama Fraternitatis, though only initiates would know the inner meanings for another 200 years and few would actually pay attention for another 100 years or more.

There is no actual record of the Baphomet image from Templar times. The accepted classical image of Baphomet was disclosed by the occult popularizer Eliphas Lévi in 1854. It depicts a winged androgyne body with the head of a goat surmounted by the flame of wisdom. The image is intended to be profoundly symbolic and deeply disturbing. The breasts of Aphrodite adorn a mildly masculine body from whose groin rises the phallic caduceus of Hermes. A great mystery is expressed in this image and the goat’s head discourages the fearful from investigation. The underlying mystery of this image is revealed in my paper Why We Are All Transgender.

Without pursuing the matter in detail in this brief note, there can be little doubt that the inner circles of the Templars were familiar with the powers of sex magick and, since the Templars were an exclusively male order, that sex magick was necessarily homoerotic. This fact alone is sufficient to explain their difficulties with both secular and religious authorities. Knowledge of such activities, practiced on a large scale with numbers of new acolytes who were unprepared for the rituals of initiation, much less the real-life community that treated these rituals as routine parts of a life dedicated to sacred sexuality, would inevitably slip out and eventually attract undesired attention from church and state.

After the purge, Templar knowledge, customs, rituals, etc., continued to live on in secret groups, often protected from temporal conflicts by virtue of the importance of the matters to which they could bear witness. Over 300 years later, the Rosicrucians began to emerge bearing Templar knowledge under a bold, new, rational synthesis of truth and understanding. The Templars had chosen as their symbol the equal armed cross which had long designated receptive eroticism (as in the pendant of the astrological sign for Venus). The Rosicrucians proudly and somewhat publicly adorned this ancient symbol (which the public had thought to symbolize the cross of Christianity) with the anal rose (which the public seemed to conclude had something to do with sacred blood or some other nonsense).

And, of course, out of all this over another few hundred years, as the original secrets were abandoned to achieve greater social acceptance, finally came the Freemasons, the Shriners with their Hospitals  for kids, the DeMolay boys, Job’s Daughters, and don’t forget the Rainbow Girls, whose flag of seven colors played a small role in the evolution of the modern symbol of LGBT equality. My paper Dawn of the New Age deals with some other historical aspects of the rediscovery of sacred sexuality in modern times and the overwhelming repression by social institutions that has denied humanity the power of justice, equality, freedom, and liberty to all. The loss of Templar knowledge by modern Freemasonry is but one example of the power of social repression.

In spite of such repression, we are now ready to reclaim our joy and our destiny, finally setting aside the delusions of our ignorant and frightened ancestors in favor of a rational approach to understanding our relation to the cosmos and our responsibilities to this planet and its peoples, as I will explain in my next blog.

—Dan Massey