The Acacia Symbol and Freemasonry
By Bro. Rolph Klein
Acacia is one of the main symbols of Freemasonry, as acknowledged in 'Morals and Dogma' by none other than Albert Pike (who plagerized many of his material from the books of the French magician, Eliphas Levi) : "Masonry still retains among its emblems one of a woman weeping over a broken column, holding in her hand a branch of acacia, myrtle, or tamarisk (...)". The sprig of Acacia plays a central part in the third degree ritual ; a sprig of Acacia is sometimes laid in graves or on caskets at Masonic funerals, and it is also seen on the 14th Degree cordon. As a matter of fact, in ancient Egypt, from which Masonry claims to have borrowed a large part of its imagery, the thorn of acacia was conceived of as a symbol of the birth-and-death mother-goddess Neith. In the Old Testament, from which Masonry also twists much to add to the decoration of its Temples, the Acacia is said to have been used in the building of the Tabernacle and of the Ark of the Covenant. Some Freemasons also claim that the crown which Jesus-Christ wore on his crucifixion was made of acacia thorns and his cross made of acacia wood, as part of their bizarre attempt to 'prove' that Jesus Christ was himself a 'Famous Freemason'!
What is less well-known is that an acacia tree, or a cluster of acacia trees, is the symbol of Al-Uzza, an Arabic goddess who rules birth, death, marriage, warfare, raids, the Zodiac, the change of the seasons, the course of heavenly bodies, and Venus as the morning star. Green, her sacred color, was adopted by Islam as its own favourite colour. Meteorites, such as, for instance, the black stone in the Ka'aba ('cube'), are her sacred stones. Al-Uzza received blood offerings, sacrifices of humans and animals. The acacia, as we have just pointed out, is her sacred tree. It is under an acacia tree that the companions of Muhammad took a pledge of fidelity (known as Ba'ait al-Ridwan - "Pledge of Good Pleasure") to him the day before the signing of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, a treaty which brought about the political victory of Islam throughout Arabia.
The broken column denotes the untimely death of our Grand Master Hiram Abiff; the beautiful Virgin, weeping, denotes the Temple, unfinished; the book open before her, that his virtues there lie on perpetual record; the sprig of acacia in her right hand, the timely discovery of his body; the urn in her left, that his ashes were there safely deposited to perpetuate the remembrance of so distinguished a character; and Time standing behind her unfolding the ringlets of her hair denotes that time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things.
Master Mason Initiation Lecture
Masonry still retains among its emblems one of a woman weeping over a broken column, holding in her hand a branch of acacia, myrtle, or tamarisk, while Time, we are told, stands behind her combing out the ringlets of her hair. We need not repeat the vapid and trivial explanation... given, of this representation of Isis, weeping at Byblos, over the column torn from the palace of the King, that contained the body of Osiris, while Horus, the God of Time, pours ambrosia on her hair.
Illustrious Albert Pike 33°
Morals and Dogma, page 379