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The Masonic Symbols of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia

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The Masonic Symbols of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia

masonic symbols

As I mentioned in my last article in this Philadelphia series about my trek to Philadelphia City Hall, on my way there I came across the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia and the impressive masonic symbols scattered throughout the architectural masterpiece.

While I had to divert my attention on that first day so that I could make sure to get into City Hall before dark, on my way back I was able to capture a number of nice snapshots of the Masonic lodge.

It was after-hours (after 5pm, nearly everything closes in Philly), but I was still able to capture some clear images of this building, which would later help me in verifying some of the history that I’d already collected about the Masonic history of this building and its members.

What I would like to share with you in this update is a lineage and history that even many residents of Philadelphia (or America for that matter) realize about the members of this secret society, many of whom were the very founding fathers of the nation. Of course, for those that have studied masonic history in America, it is no secret that the country and its Constitution were very much influenced by masonic – or Illuminati – principles.

The Spread of Illuminati in America

Why do I use the terms masonic and Illuminati interchangeably? Because, ultimately the mystic principles that masonic members incorporated into their society and its writings were very much drawn from the writings of Adam Weishaupt – the founder of the Perfectibilists, or the “Illuminati”.

All that came after that – the spread of those principles and the integration of freemasonry in Europe with Weishaupt’s society, as well as its influence in the French Revolution – those all predicated the spread of the same principles and ideals in America.

After interviewing Terry Melanson, who I consider one of the foremost historians on the early history of the Illuminati, and after reviewing his book “Perfectibilists”, I wanted to continue my Illuminati research by tracing the history documented and evidence by Terry in his book, to the actions and developments taking place in America within the time frame.

It is little secret that many of the founding fathers were part of the Masonic society, but what many people don’t realize is that the Masonic writings and practices represented the spread of Weishaupt’s Illuminati ideals in America.

What does this have to do with the masonic symbols and the history of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia? We’ll get there, my friends. But first, let’s start a few years before the construction of the Lodge, which took place in 1867. (6)

masonic symbols

The Philadelphes of France

The Illuminati principles that instigated active revolt in France were the same principles of religious and individual freedom and liberty that drove the American revolution. However, going back to the 1700s, J.J.C Bode made it very clear that the masons in France – called the Philadelphes – were in fact the Illuminati, when he wrote:

“We agreed…for France, we would adopt the name Philadelphes instead of Illuminati.” (1)

What is most intriguing to me is the connection between the Philadelphes and America that is documented in 1861, only 6 years prior to the contruction fo the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia – proving that the Mason-Illuminati were quite active in pursuing their efforts of spreading the membership in America.

In the document titled “Grand Lodge of the Philadelphes – General Statutes” dated 1861, a Communication issued from E. Benoit, the President of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphes in 1860 states:

“Moreover one must judge of a tree by its fruits. Well, can you mention within your vast Masonic empire a single Lodge that has produced such results? In the space of ten years, she has initiated above 300 profanes; she has founded Lodges in Belgium, Switzerland, England, as you well know, and America; and her children, indefatigable apostles of Masonry, have raised the first Masonic temple at Ballarat.”

This mention of America in the Philadelphes document is clear evidence that the Philadelphes were active in America. The fact that William Penn, according to the Texas Grand Lodge Magazine, was a Mason (5) – the man who named the City of Philadelphia – is further proof of the influence of the Philadelphes at this time in America.

masonic lodges

The Construction of the Masonic Lodge of Philadelphia

In 1867, the masons of Philadelphia purchased the lot and had the young freemason, James Windrim, serve as the architect – integrating so many of the masonic symbols into its architecture.

While there are lots of clues within those masonic symbols and as part of the architecture that I don’t have time to cover here – there are a couple that must be mentioned. The first is the internal architecture – the fact that the Masonic temple has sevel lodge halls, publicly explained as representing the sevel “ideal” architectures of Freemasonry.

It is interesting to note that in the Declaration of Principles, disposition number 21 reads, “In the banquets and fetes of the Orator there are seven obilgatory toasts” – those seven are to the oppressed of all nations, the Grand Lodge, to the president of the Lodge, the two Wardens, the Visitors, the Officers of the Lodge, and all “Masons of both hemispheres”. (2)

That could be coincidence, but what is of far less likely coincidence is the interesting rose symbols that make up a few of the windows – particularly the one most pronounced over the main entrance.

Most people are very familiar with the triangles and all-seeing eye as symbols of the Illuminati and Freemasonry, but what are these flower masonic symbols all about?

masonic lodges

The Mystical Rose Croix

The answer comes from the “Primitive Rite” attached to the Lodge of the Philadelphus. The rite is dated back to France in 1780 and in describing the various classes and degrees of mason, specifically states under Third Class the five degrees of “Rose Croix”. These are levels above that of Master Mason.

The document reads:

“The Fourth and last Chapter of Rose Croix, or Rose Croix Brethren of the Grand Rosary, engaged in researches into the occult sciences, the object being the rehabilitation of man in his primitive rank and prerogatives.”

What is the Rose Croix? Understanding the masonic symbol of the rose in the architecture, art, and even within the garb that masonic members of the Lodge where is the first step in understanding the true history of the secret society that even President Washington himself was a member of.

This is defined in a book titled “History & Doctrines of the Rose-Croix” by Paul Sedir (5), as “one of the manifestations of the Providence of God.”

After describing the metaphysical foundations of the Rose-Croix, Sedir explains its integration into the belief system of a secret society:

“But the Earth is constitutionally incapable of conserving the gift which God has given it for long without deforming it; man has the power to stray from the road which had been drawn out for him. Then Divine Mercy sends beings who bring hope; or an exemplar who comes among men to play the role fulfilled by the comets in the cosmos. Such is the function of secret societies; such is the mission of the messengers of the Absolute, notably the Rose-Croix.”

The explanation for the rose – or specifically the rose on top of a cross, producing the 8-piece symbol – comes on page 23:

“After triangular emblems, the seal of Brahatma and the triangle of the holy syllable, the most ancient Masonic emblem which the ancient priesthood has bequeathed is that of the Rose-Croix.”

And further explaining the symbol:

“This rose was placed in the center of a cross, because the latter expressed to them the idea of rectitude and infinity; of rectitude, by the intersection of its lines at a right angle and of infinity, because these lines can be extended to infinity and that, by a rotation made by the thought about the verticle line, they represent the triple senses of hight, breadth and depth.”

masonic symbols

Illuminati in America

So, what does this mean for the path of my Illuminati research in trying to trace the path of the various secret societies around the world? It simply means what many people have assumed is true – the illuminati principles established by Adam Weishaupt form the core of Masonic beliefs.

They will of course deny this – Masons believe (because it’s what they are told) that the foundation of Freemason principles are ancient and go back as far as Egypt and ancient eastern mysticism. They believe, as Adam also did, that the illuminated individual has risen “above” religious belief and – enlightened with mystical understanding – and can see the world with open eyes.

It is amazing to think that these mystical beliefs were what the Masons of Philadelphia embraced. It is intriguing to consider that this could have been the foundation upon which America was built.

References & Image Credits:
(1) Perfectibilists – Terry Melanson, pg 78
(2) Grand Lodge of the Philadelphes – General Statutes
(3) Encyclopedia of Freemasonry – Primitive Rite
(4) Texas Grand Lodge Magazine, IX, 346.
(5) History of the Rose Croix
(6) A View on Cities

Originally published on

  • A Portland, Oregon Freemason

    I am going to be charitable and assume you are not a Freemason.  Your article displays so much ignorance about the  Fraternity that it would be hard to assume otherwise.  Herewith are just a FEW of your mistakes:

    1)  The building is the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania…not the “Grand Lodge of Philadelphia” as you state.  Had you read the the sign posted outside the building and the flag posted outside it (images 1 and 2), you would know that.  As the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, it would be hard to imagine a building constructed by Freemasons for the use of Freemasons to have other than Masonic symbols on the outside of it.  I wonder why you didn’t go inside the building…  There’s a museum that is open to the public and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania gives regular public tours of the building (there is a small charge).  Had you gone inside the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, your head would’ve probably exploded.  For example, image 3 shows the rose window from the inside of the building.

    2)  Your references to the Illuminati and Adam Weishaupt are sloppy at best.  The Illuminati owes it’s existence to Freemasonry — not the other way around.  Freemasonry predates the Illuminati by at least 300 years.  Our public persona, founded in 1717, predates Adam Weishaupt’s birth by 30 years.

    3)  You state “Masons believe (because it’s what they are told) that the foundation of Freemason principles are ancient and go back as far as Egypt and ancient eastern mysticism. They believe, as Adam also did, that the illuminated individual has risen “above” religious belief and – enlightened with mystical understanding – and can see the world with open eyes.”  What crap!  Freemasonry is founded on three timeless principles:  Brotherly love, Relief and Truth.  Brotherly Love because we endeavor to treat ALL MEN as our brothers — as our Creator has commanded many times.  Relief because we believe that it is our duty to lend a helping hand to anyone needing our help.  Truth because all men become better men by seeking the truth.  For the record, IMHO, “seeking the truth” and believing something “because it’s what they are told” are incompatible ideals.  Since I know what I’ve been told and you don’t, you lose this particular argument because you are not in possession of all the facts.

    Next time you want to comment on Freemasonry, ask a Freemason about the Fraternity before doing so.  You will be surprised at how much he will tell you.  The only things that are private are what we term “modes of recognition” — how one Mason may know another to truly be a Freemason.

    Also, lay off the Illuminati conspiracy theories…they’ll rot your brain…


    A Portland, Oregon Freemason

    P.S.  Dan Brown is a writer of FICTION.  Ask him…

  • Thanks for your feedback. I value your opinion and appreciate that you’d take the time to offer your thoughts, however antagonistic they may be.

    I only have a few points in response.

    (1) Semantics. If this is the only problem you can point out, I’ve done well.

    (2) The references to Adam Weishaupt and Illuminati are solid. I did not say Freemasonry owes its existence to the Illuminati. If you bothered to read our past research here (which you clearly haven’t), you would know that we’ve proven with solid historical references that Weishaupt’s group and Freemasonry in Europe collided, and the influence of Weishaupt’s writings transformed freemasonry prior to its arrival on our shores. This started with Germany but quickly spreading throughout the world, most notably in France during the French revolution. Please take the time to read my interview with historian Terry Melanson, who documented that history very well. It may also help you appreciate the history of the organization you are a member of.

    (3) I appreciate that you feel you know more about freemasonry because you’re now a member, but that would be like me claiming I know more than a Vatican historian simply because I grew up Catholic. I would wager that most new freemasonry members know far less than they think about the history of the organization, and the rhetoric at higher levels. You can learn a great deal from the estates of those higher-level members that have passed away, by the way.

    Additionally, your reference to Dan Brown is a poor attempt at an ad-hominem attack, an attempt to make me out to be a crazy conspiracy theorist. We’ve never cited Dan Brown here, and I find his fiction a deplorable thing – driving the public down rabbit holes that don’t exist.

    I recommend that you get to know me just a little better before trying to create such false and irrational (and might I add a bit childish) judgments. Reading our past historical research here at TSW before responding further would help.


  • I will not be so charitable. This is absolute bullshit. You just make stuff up as you go along and then repeat the lies made up by other nutjobs! You’re not even good at that!

  • You’re an idiot. How’s that for “Antagonistic”?

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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