The mysterious system of underground tunnels in the Quinta da Regaleira palace and park complex (Quinta da Regaleira), built at the beginning of the last century in the Portuguese municipality of Sintra, supposedly serves as a mystical transition from light to darkness. The central building is considered to be the Well of Initiation, the entrance to which is guarded by the chthonic guards of the Penumbra, representing the world of the penumbra.
According to legend, in a mysterious well 27 meters deep, resembling an inverted tower, masons conducted initiation rites. The dedication ceremony traditionally ended at the bottom of the pit, where an eight-pointed star is depicted. The spiral staircase of the well with a strange railing overgrown with moss symbolizes the circles of heaven or hell, depending on the direction of movement. The exit from the mystical well is possible through a stone door leading to an underground tunnel.
The Well of Initiation is located at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal. Made by human hands, this unusual well was given this name because the initiation rites of masons were held in it.
It is a 27-meter spiral staircase, extending deep into the mountains. The staircase has 10 levels that support carved stone columns.
These levels symbolize 10 circles of hell, 10 circles of purgatory and 10 circles of heaven, which Dante described. In each span of 15 steps.
The well itself is built on the unity of opposites, that is, hell is opposed to heaven, to heaven - hell, to this world - otherworldly.
When a person descends to the bottom of a well, he as if passes through a certain rite of knowledge of his soul.
The lower a person sinks to the bottom, the darker it becomes.
But the compass in the well, drawn over the cross of the Knights Templar, always points to the east. This means that a person goes to the light.
After a little wandering in the dark, we still go out into the light.
The entrance to the well Initiations are guarded by the guards of the other world.
Opposite the entrance to the well is the Divine Terrace, which is protected by two ziggurats - these are religious buildings, resembling truncated pyramids, on the upper tier of which there was a sanctuary.
Freemasonry(frankmason, fr. Franc-maçonnerie, eng.Freemasonry) - a movement that appeared in 1717 in the form of a secret society. The ethics and philosophy of Freemasonry are based on monotheistic religions, on the ancient constitutions of freemasons, their regulations, statutes and codes. Freemasonry originates from little-known sources at the end of the XVI - beginning of the XVII century, presumably from the building associations of masons. The name "Freemason" or "Freemason" comes from Fr. franc-maçon (in the old French masson, English freemason), a literal translation of this name is also used - a free mason.
Freemasonry is administratively organized into sovereign grand lodges (in some countries the “great east”), each of which leads the masonic lodges within the limits of their own jurisdiction. The number of lodges, usually varies from 15 to 100 people, united geographically. Local lodges are established by a great lodge, which in one country there is only one. Some great lodges recognize each other, some do not, depending on the adherence to the ancient Masonic rules.
There are also organizations of additional degrees, which consist of members of symbolic masonic lodges, and which have their own independent governing bodies.However, in some Masonic organizations, symbolic lodges may be subordinate to the governing bodies of these organizations.
Freemasonry symbolically uses the building partnerships and legends about the construction of the Temple of Solomon to express metaphorically what is described by the Freemasons and their critics as "a moral system hidden in allegories and illustrated with symbols."
The main version of the origin of Freemasonry is the version of the origin of the medieval building partnerships, but there are theories about the more ancient origin of Freemasonry, the beginning of which is derived from the Templar orders, or - in other versions - from the Rosicrucian Order.
Now Freemasonry is spread all over the world and is presented in various organizational forms - lodges, great lodges, supreme councils, chapters, areopagans, consistories, federations and confederations. The total number of freemasons in the world is estimated at 4 million people.
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