In reading Dan brown's latest book, The Lost Symbol, I was delighted and I applaud him for his magnificent research along with his knowledge of symbols and ciphers. His book is one to read if one wants to understand the symbolism of the Freemasons and their effect on our nation's Capitol. Several years ago I traveled to Washington D.C. and visited the Capitol. I have been a student of symbols for many years, and it was each to the Masonic symbolism there. I often wonder how many people really understand these great symbols which hold messages for all to see and to realize what their meaning are.
There is an unobvious obvious that Dan Brown did not touch on in his latest book, but then he was developing his plot based on Freemason symbols and these are really universal symbols. Our senators, representatives and the many tourists who visit the Capitol have almost overlooked the Feminine Principle so blatantly obvious for those who recognize the unobvious obvious.
I had not visited the Capitol in over forty years. When I first arrived, my eyes were drawn to the 19-1/2 foot bronze statue crowning the dome. This statue is a female and her original and formal name is Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace. Beginning at her head, she wears a helmet with a circle of stars topped with a crest of an eagle's head, talons and feathers. She is clothed in a long full robe with creases. Her right hand rests on a sheathed sword while the left holds a laurel wreath representing victory and a shield of thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen states. This statue is standing on a globe with e Pluribus Unum atop a pedestal with fasces, which are rods with an axe blade as a symbol of ancient Roman magistrate's authority. She was erected on top of the Capitol dome on December 2, 1863.
There she stands in all her glory -- a female figure. Who said this was a male country? Ah, there is even more. When entering the east central entrance to the Capitol, one can look up and see the pediment over the entryway titled, "Genius of America" with three female figures representing Justice, America and Hope. President John Quincy Adams wanted these figures to "represent the American Union founded on the Declaration of Independence and consummated by the organization of the general government under the Federal Constitution, supported by Justice in the past, and relying upon Hope in Providence for the future." I find it amazing that there are three feminine figures representing 'Genius in America.'
The pediment above the House entrance wing is the "Apotheosis of Democracy." The central figure is a female representing Peace. Peace has her right arm stretched out over a youthful winged figure named Genius who holds a torch signifying immortality. The wings signify knowledge and wisdom. Flanking the sides of her are figures representing Industry and the other Agriculture representing two sources of wealth. The pediment has ocean waves on each end standing for the Atlantic and the Pacific. Apotheosis is an interesting word meaning "exaltation to divine rank, stature or deification. Again, we have the feminine principle as the center figure.
The entrance to the Senate side of the Capitol also has a pediment, "Progress of America" with the central figure a woman named America. She has an eagle at her side, a laurel wreath in her right hand and the sun at her back. The feminine principle once more.
In walking into the Rotunda, my eyes were drawn to the domed ceiling. These paintings by Brunei with the central one titled Apotheosis of Washington. We see George Washington rising to the Heavens surrounded by female figures representing Liberty, Victory and Fame. Once more, we have the word 'apotheosis' meaning deification. On the perimeter of George rising to heaven are six other frescoes. One is dedicated to Science and portrays the goddess Minerva/Athena teaching Benjamin Franklin, Robert Fulton and F.B. More while she is pointing to an electric generator creating energy in stored batteries.
The fresco of "War" is "Armored Freedom" with her sword raised and cape flying, with a helmet and shield reminiscent of those on the Statue of Freedom. She tramples Tyranny and Kingly Power and a fierce eagle carrying arrows and a thunderbolt assists her. Armored Freedom is a woman. All of these frescoes were painting by Constantino Brumidi in 1865.
Moving on to the other frescoes, we have "Marine" showing Neptune, god of the seas in a boat with the Goddess of Love, Venus laying a transatlantic cable. The frescoes of "Commerce" and "Mechanics" portray men while the one named "Agriculture" has the goddess Ceres sitting on a McCormick reaper. Only when we unify the female-male principles in balance will we have peace and true justice.
If our history books are correct, the men who have governed this great nation have been blind to the feminine principle, and they have denied women the right to vote until 1920. The Equal Rights Amendment only needs three more states to ratify it and I find it pitiful that women have to get their rights law-by-law. Our feminine principle dominates the early art of the Capitol. She graces the top of the Capitol through heat, rain, sleet, snow and watches over those who govern us. It is time for revelation and acceptance of the feminine principle.
Dan Brown's book, The Lost Symbol is excellent because it has brought the Freemasons into a true perspective of what the organization is truly about. There have been women Freemasons in history; however, this is an obscure attribute. Perhaps with the revelations of Brown's book, it may be open to women once more.
For more representations of the feminine principle, one only has to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Capitol Rotunda. The sculptor was a female, Vinnie Ream, the first woman artist commissioned by the U.S. Congress in 1866 to create a memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. She was eighteen years old.
How can the United States fulfill its destiny when women do not have full equal rights? How can this be the 'land of the free and the home of the brave' when women do not have full freedom and the ugly heads of bigotry and prejudice suppress freedom for all? It is time for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and equal opportunity for everyone. The forgotten symbol in our U.S. Capitol is the Feminine Principle.