January 20, 2018 at 3:29 am

Alchemically Stoned: The Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry – GrahamHancock.com


January 2018 AOM: Alchemically Stoned: The Psychedelic Secret Of Freemasonry
by P.D. Newman | See: Facebook

Books by P.D. Newman
Alchemically Stoned
The Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry

It is with pleasure that we welcome our first Author of the Month of 2018: P.D Newman, and his radical interpretation of Masonic symbolism, Alchemically Stoned: The Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry.

“In the tradition of Wasson, Hofmann and Ruck, in The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (1978), and Heinrich’s Strange Fruit: Alchemy, Religion, and Magical Foods (1995), Newman suggests that practical psychoactive pharmacology, rather than philosophy, lies concealed in the root of some of our allegories and mysteries. Admitting to being more than a mere theoretician, Newman draws from his own personal experiences, and a wide range of sources, in presenting his theory in a logical manner, which merits consideration.”

– Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, Grand Archivist and Grand Historian, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction.

masonic tracing board, hiram abiff, acacia, sacred geometry, international, randall carlson
A Master Mason tracing board, featuring a sprig of acacia at the head of the grave of Hiram Abiff, the central character of an allegory presented to all candidates during the third degree in Freemasonry.

“It is admitted that the texts and nomenclature of Medieval materials on [Hermetism] were cryptic and queer; but for that there are several explanations for the need for secrecy, [including] the need to keep laymen from endangering themselves with drugs they could not understand.”

In the earliest versions of the Master Mason degree there is no mention made anywhere of a sprig of acacia. Rather, the references are to a sprig of cassia; a different plant altogether possessed of no real psychotropic value. Cassia, i.e., Cinnamonum cassia, is an evergreen originating in southern China, whereas acacia is a genus of nearly one thousand species, with all but ten of those having their origin in Australia. Nearly one hundred of them are known to contain DMT.

It has been suggested that the original inclusion of cassia in the Master Mason degree was an error that likely arose “from the very common habit among illiterate people of sinking the sound of the letter a in the pronunciation of any word of which it constitutes the initial syllable.”ii Acacia would therefore have become cassia. However, we are not so convinced. There is no evidence supporting the supposition that the switch from cassia to acacia was not a deliberate one. From 1745 onward the change appears to have been accepted nearly universally. Who, if anyone, is responsible for this switch?

We do not know. But, if it was intentional, it is suspected that the change must have arose with a prominent Freemason who also was a knowledgeable, practicing Alchemist. For, it was the Alchemists who were preoccupied with the production of a miraculous stone, the lapis philosophorum or philosopher’s stone, from the mysterious prima materia, or first matter. For certain of the Alchemically-inclined Freemasons, this stone was none other than DMT salts (a veritable vegetable stone) that had been extracted from certain species of acacia. Truly, acacia is referred to precisely as the prima materia by both Cagliostro and Melissino in the respective Alchemico-Masonic rites authored by them. The same is true of the Fratres Lucis.

P.I. Melissino (1726 – c. 1797), a General of the Artillery of the Russian Empire, is widely considered to have been the best Russian artilleryman of the eighteenth century.
Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (1743-1795) was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo. He became a glamorous figure associated with the royal courts of Europe, where he pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying.
Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (1743-1795) was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo. He became a glamorous figure associated with the royal courts of Europe, where he pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying.

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (1743-1795) was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo. He became a glamorous figure associated with the royal courts of Europe, where he pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying.

The principle goal of Alchemy was (and is) the production of the lapis philosophorum. The Alchemical axiom states that the coveted stone is made “not of stone, not of bone, not of metal.” That is to say, it comes not from the mineral kingdom and not from the animal kingdom. It must, therefore, be deduced that the true stone of the philosophers is to be found only within the vegetable kingdom; namely, within the sprig of acacia, Masonry’s prima materia. Unfortunately, many present day Alchemists are content to produce stones from virtually any mineral, metal, plant, or animal, ascribing the value of those stones solely to their possessed planetary signatures. However, for a stone to meet the criteria of the true stone of the wise, imagined planetary signatures will not suffice. It must first satisfy specific requirements, chief among them being the conferral upon its possessor of the gift of immortality.

The Alchemical vocation is no vain search for physical immortality. Bodily longevity is not the variety of immortality here described. The mythologist explains rightly that “the search for physical immortality proceeds from a misunderstanding of the traditional teaching. On the contrary, the basic problem is: to enlarge the pupil of the eye, so that the body with its attendant personality will no longer obstruct the view. Immortality is then experienced as a present fact.”iii Indeed, the Alchemists purport that the stone of the wise has the power to give its possessor the knowledge of his very immortal soul. Hence, it’s also being called the stone of projection. For, the soul of its possessor is the very thing that appears to be projected upon the stone’s proper application. Liberated from its bodily frame, the stone-projected soul is free to roam and explore the so-called astral plane, loosened from the limitations of its corporeal container — a concept that has come to be known as an outer body experience.

Conveniently, there exists a special class of truly magical and mystical plants that actually satisfies the above listed criteria. We speak here of entheogens. As the word implies, entheogenic plants are those which generate an experience of one’s divinity within; that is, entheogens have the potential to facilitate what appears to be the direct experience of the reality of one’s own immortal soul; of the continuity of individual consciousness independent of the mortal frame. And, certain species of acacia constitute a portion of these plant entheogens.

In the Apprentice and Companion rituals of Count Alessandro di Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite, the acacia is specifically referred to as being the primal matter in a very particular Alchemical operation. When properly executed, this operation results allegedly in the production of a “cubical ashlar,” that is, the result is a purified, crystalline stone or salt that has been extracted, or, to use Alchemical terminology, produced from the acacia tree. This stone is then dissolved into a “red liqueur,” which is afterward imbibed by the candidate for initiation.

“‘The acacia is the primal matter and [when] the rough ashlar or mercurial part has been purified, it becomes cubical …It is thus that you may bring about the consummation of the marriage of the Sun and Moon, and that you shall obtain…the perfect [astral?] projection. Quantum sufficit, et quantum appetite [as much as you need and as much as you have appetite for].’

The candidate…shall drink [the red liqueur placed on the Master’s altar] raising his spirit in order to understand the following speech which the Worshipful Master shall address to him at the same time.

‘My child, you are receiving the primal matter …Learn that the Great God created before man this primal matter and that he then created man to possess it and be immortal. Man abused it and lost it, but it still exists in the hands of the Elect of God [Elus Cohen?iv] and from a single grain of this precious matter becomes a projection into infinity.

The acacia which has been given to you at the degree of Master of ordinary Masonry is nothing but that precious matter. And [Hiram’s] assassination is the loss of the liquid which you have just received …It is by this knowledge that, assisted by the Great God, shall bring you these riches.’”v

If not for its DMT content, we cannot conceive of any reason why Cagliostro would have his initiates literally drink a concoction of acacia, especially when considering the fact that the libation was expected to “raise” the candidate’s “spirit” so that he might “understand” Cagliostro’s corresponding lecture. Nor is it conceivable in any other than an entheogenic context how a “single grain” of Cagliostro’s acacia stone might become a “projection into infinity.” In our estimation, this was clearly no symbolic ritual act.

Granted, there is no mention made in Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) containing plant, the same which would normally be necessitated in order make DMT orally active, as in the case of the Amazonian jungle brew ayahuasca. However, there are yet two other possibilities. The first is that, if enough is consumed, the DMT may be able to overwhelm the MAO within the gut, thereby making it orally active without the need of an MAOI. The second possibility is that, being Beta-carbolines, certain flavonoids present in some species of acacia (such as A. confusa) may work as functioning MAOIs. J. Erik LaPort, one modern-day practicing Alchemist, is currently doing some important research in this area.

Gum acacia or gum arabic tree, ‘Acacia senegal’. Chromolithograph after a botanical illustration from Hermann Adolph Koehler’s ‘Medicinal Plants’, edited by Gustav Pabst, Koehler, Germany, 1887.

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT or N,N-DMT) is a tryptamine molecule which occurs in many plants and animals. It can be consumed as a powerful psychedelic drug and has historically been prepared by various cultures for ritual and healing purposes. Rick Strassman named it ‘the Spirit Molecule’. In most countries, DMT is illegal.

To continue, the Fratres Lucis, an alleged splinter group of Der Ordens des Gold und Rosenkreuzer,vi offered a similar Alchemical interpretation of Masonic ritual. Compare the following excerpt to that of Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite:


“Before receiving the into the Order they took thee into a darkened room, this teaches thee that our Matter is found in a black state — our Earth. We also took away all the Metals thou hadst upon thee; this shows that our Matter is not found where Metals grow. They tookest away thy clothing; it shows that our Matter is stripped of the Veil with which Nature has clothed it …They removed thy shoe, [significant] of the mysterious severance …Thine eyes were blindfolded; which teaches that though our Matter is luminous, and in itself shining and clear, yet that it is only to be found in the darkest dwelling. A [Cable Tow] was round thy neck, by which the body was led; it…teaches the drawing out of our Matter. …The point of a [Poniard] was applied to thy breast to warn thee to beware of it. It should remind thee that no double edged weapon must ever be used to slay our Hiram and produce his precious blood, which is shown afterwards by a feeble Brother and his bloody handkerchief… In touching thee with the Compasses (held over a plate with blood thereon), the plate of blood held up, signifies that we have another [Poniard] beside the one that was shown to thee, and which we thrust into the bosom of our Matter until it pours forth blood. …Hiram, which word signifies our Matter, has been killed by Three Workmen, in order that they might procure the Word… These traitors buried him and have already his Caput Mortuum. They make a hillock and the dead head appears, as if the Spirits excited it with rage, this is shown by the Branch of Acacia.”vii


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  1. Wow. I need more-!

  2. Barking up the wrong tree.