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2006-07-27

The Emerald Temple - Part I

Note: This article is written from both the Mormon and Freemason perspective simultaneously, some parts may be applicable to one group of readers, and other parts to the other, while much of it will apply to both.

The Lion, The Tiger, The Bear. O My!


In looking at the Wizard of Oz, we will here examine both the book and the movie versions. If the symbolism contained within it is indeed a product of the collective unconscious, then we should consider it possible for the creators of the movie to have tapped into this same source to also create valid symbolism. We will, however, attempt to note the differences that exist between the two versions as they are presented here. This article will attempt to demonstrate significant parallels between this story and the LDS Temple Endowment, the symbolism of Freemasonry, and to the Ancient Israelite Tabernacle and Temple. I would welcome further comparisons to be introduced here, as there are probably numerous other tales and traditions that have been based upon these same archetypes.

The Farm in Kansas - Our First Estate - Condition of Darkness

In the book a storm was coming from the North and another from the South to form a Cyclone. Aunt Em went into the storm cellar. Dorothy was going to follow, but Toto ran and hid under the bed, so she went to get him. Halfway across the room, the house shook, "she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor." After this, the house rises into the air.

In the movie, Dorothy is returning home with Toto. She arrives and attempts to tell her Aunt and Uncle, and the farm hands, that Miss Gulch had whacked Toto with a rake. No one seems to be paying too much attention to her, and eventually Miss Gulch arrives to make complaint to the Gale family about the dog's misbehavior, and produces an order from the Sheriff to take Toto away and have him destroyed. Miss Gulch puts him in a basket and rides off on her bicycle, but Toto escapes, and returns to Dorothy's room through the window. Dorothy decides that she must run away before they come back to take him away from her. They go down a road, across a bridge, and come across Professor Marvel's wagon, proclaiming "Let him read your PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE in his Crystal," (also Juggling and Sleight of Hand). He has her close her eyes, as he takes a peek at the contents of her basket, and finds a picture of Aunt Em and the farm, and he proceeds to tell her what he 'sees in his Crystal' (the same genuine, magic, authentic crystal used by the Priests of Isis and Osiris in the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt), that Aunt Em is crying, and going to her room, dropping onto the bed with her hand on her heart. Dorothy decides she must go home right away, to which Marvel responds "I thought you were going along with me", and Dorothy and Toto depart. Back at the farm, we see the storm beginning to take its toll on the farm, as everyone hurries into the cellar. Aunt Em is calling for Dorothy, but Uncle Henry ushers her firmly into the cellar. Dorothy makes it into the house, the window of her room blows loose, hits her head, and she falls on the bed. After this, the house spins and rises into the air.

The Land of Oz

The Land of Oz is divided into four quarters, surrounded by a great desert, with the Emerald City at the center point. To the east is Munchkin Country, to the South is the Quadling Country, to the west is Winkie Country, and the North is the home of the Good Witch, details of this land are not specifically mentioned in the book, however we learn from later sources in the Oz series that it is Gillikin country.

Freemasons will be well acquainted with giving special significance to the South, West, and East, as well as a general silence given concerning the North, known as a "place of darkness" because in the Temple of Solomon, the Sun, being at the South at noonday, would not reach its rays into the Northern parts of the Temple. Masons may also note that the land of Dorothy's initiatory journey is Blue, as likewise the Three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry are sometimes referred to as "The Blue Lodge"

The color of Quadling Country to the South is Red, and it is home to the Palace of Glinda the Good. From other Oz material, we learn that the color of Winkie Country in the East is Yellow, and Gillikin country to the North is Purple.
And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

Exodus 28:8

Colors of the Clothing of the Priesthood

The four colors of the lands are the same as those worn on the sash of the High Priest in the Tabernacle of Moses: Scarlet, Blue, Purple, and Gold. At the center of which, is a city of Green, which happens to be the only distinctive color represented in the clothing worn by patrons of the Temples of the Latter-day Saints.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:7

The York Rite of Masonry contains a similar progressive color scheme. The Symbolic "Blue Lodge" or Ancient Craft Masonry is commonly represented by Blue and Gold, The Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is Red, and The Council of Royal and Select Masters is Purple. Although Knights Templar is the usual body progressing beyond these, it is notably different in trappings from the preceeding bodies, and this authors believes it to be a newer innovation. Allied Masonic Degrees is an invitational body preserving additional and historical degrees, and green is its color. This is just one example of how these colors are applied in Freemasonry.

The Masonic lodge is said to have a Mosaic Pavement, emblematic of human life, checkered with good and evil. It is surrounded by a beautiful border called the "Indented Tessel", representing those blessings and comforts which surround us, and which we hope to obtain by a faithful reliance on Divine Providence which is hieroglyphically represented by the Blazing Star in the center. With the Wicked Witches in the East and West, and the Good Witches in the North and South, we have a checkered floor in the Land of Oz. It is surrounded by a great desert, and although it may not be called beautiful, it certainly would serve as a reminder of the blessings and comforts to be had inside the Land of Oz, by a faithful reliance on The Wizard of Oz, represented by the Emerald City in the center.

I would propose that Witches in the Wizard of Oz are representative of the Priesthood. One may note that all of the Witches are women. We will see more gender role reversals later in this study, and consider it at that time. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two priesthoods which can be used for Good: the Aaronic, and the Melchizedek. In the Temple, Satan appears to taunt Adam and Eve, and the patrons, and boasting, he gestures to his apron which he says represents his Power and Priesthoods. Priesthoods? Does this imply that these two priesthoods could be used for Evil, and perhaps already are being used in such a manner? Is this defiance of God's power be related to the unpardonable sin that causes Lucifer and his followers to become sons of perdition? On the other hand, he may be referring to entirely different priesthoods. Either way, a parallel is seen where two, be it Witchcrafts or Priesthoods, are for good, and the other two (or perhaps more, as Lucifer merely uses the plural) are for evil.

This concludes Part I of the Emerald Temple. The next part will be on the symbolic meanings of colors and characters in the Wizard of Oz.

2 comments:

Lianne said...

Interesting take. I have never liked the OZ books. Was Baum a Freemason?

By the way, thanks for visiting my blog, but it has a new address:

http://maternalalchemy.com/woman/

Jeff said...

There is evidence that Baum was a Theosophist, but not a Freemason. There are however, many prominent Theosophists who are Freemasons, so there may be some influence in that direction. However, I tend to think most of it is an attraction to these types of ideas that is originating from the collective unconscious.