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Astrology (entry B)

A whence demanding the respect of the scholar, notwithstanding its designation as a black art, and, in a reflective sense, an occult science; a system of divination foretelling results by the relative positions of the planets and other heavenly bodies toward the earth. Men of eminence have adhered to the doctrines of astrology as a science. It is a study well considered in, and forming an important part of, the ceremonies of the Philosophus, or fourth grade of the First Order of the Society of Rosicrucians. Astrology has been deemed the twin science of astronomy, grasping knowledge from the heavenly bodies, and granting a proper understanding of many of the startling forces in nature. It is claimed that the constellations of the zodiac govern the earthly animals, and that every star has its peculiar nature, property, and function, the seal and character of which it impresses through its rays upon plants, minerals, and animal life. This science was known to the ancients as the divine art (see Magic). ASTRONOMY. The science which instructs us in the laws that govern the heavenly bodies. Its origin is lost in the mists of antiquity ; for the earliest inhabitants of the earth must have been attracted by the splendor of the glorious firmament above them, and would have sought in the motions of its luminaries for the readiest and most certain method of measuring time. With astronomy the system of Freemasonry is intimately connected. From that science many of our most significant emblems are borrowed.

The Lodge itself is a representation of the world; it is adorned with the images of the sun and moon, whose regularity and precision furnish a lesson of wisdom and prudence; its pillars of strength and establishment bave been compared to the two columns which the ancients placed at the equinoctial points as supporters of the arch of heaven; the blazing star which was among the Egyptians a symbol of Anubis, or the dog-star, which sitting foretold the overflowing of the Nile, shines in the East; while the clouded canopy is decorated with the beautiful Pleiades, a group of stars in the constellation Taurus, or the Bull, about seven of which are visible to the naked eye.

The connection between our Order and astronomy is still more manifest in the .spurious Freemasonry of antiquity, where, the pure principles of our system being lost, the symbolic instruction of the heavenly bodies gave place to the corrupt Sabean worship of the sun, and moon, and stars-a worship whose influences are seen in all the mysteries of Paganism. ASYLUM. During the session of a Commandery of Knights Templar, a part of the premises is called the asylum; the word has been adopted, by the figure in rhetoric synecdoche, in which the whole may be represented by a part, to signify the place of meeting of a Commandery.

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