Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The A.A.S.R and The Lost Symbol

The cover art for the hardcover jacket of the new Dan Brown novel The Lost Symbol has been revealed. Dan Brown stated years ago that his next novel would deal with the subject of Freemasonry, so it should come as no surprise that there is a Masonic-like symbol on the cover of the book.

It is being reported that the wax seal on the jacket cover is actually the seal of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. I assure you, this is not the case. Here is the wax seal on the book jacket enlarged and enhanced to reveal some of the detail:

Here are the official seals of the Scottish rite for the Southern Jurisdiction, the headquarters of which is at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C.

As you can see, with the exception of the double-headed eagle (an emblem that has been associated with the Scottish Rite from its beginning), the wax seal on the cover of Dan Brown's novel bears little resemblance to either of the official seals of the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction. It actually more closely resembles the seal of the Scottish Rite for the Northern Jurisdiction, but it is not identical. However, the Latin inscription at the base of the seal leaves little doubt regarding the connection to the Scottish Rite:

The Latin Ordo ab Chao ("Order out of Chaos") is the de facto motto of the Scottish Rite and has been associated with the Rite since the formation of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in 1801. This motto appears boldly on the patent for the 33rd Degree that was issued to Frederick Dalcho by John Mitchel in 1801 and is the given subtitle of the Supreme Council's first pronouncement to the Masonic world, the Circular Throughout the Two Hemispheres of 1802.

The color of the seal (as well as the color of the D.C. skyline) on the book may also be emblematic of the Scottish Rite. The Freemasonry of Europe (in particular, France, as opposed to England) is often referred to as "Red Masonry." The roots of the Scottish Rite are in continental Masonry (which supposedly originated in Scotland) and not in the Masonry of England.

Given all this, I think it seems clear from the book jacket that the Scottish Rite will figure heavily into the plot of The Lost Symbol. It will be interesting to see how. I'm looking forward to reading it.

No comments: