"The Magic Flute" - Bro. Alberti and the Frontispiece of the Libretto on the Occasion of the First Performance in the Year 1791 (Page 37).


At the left side under the head of the bull, there are five hieroglyphs. Out of these we can only interpret the sign of Venus and the sign of Jupiter. The seven free arts, astronomy, music, geometric, arithmetic, dialectic, rhetoric and grammar are associated by esoteric with the names of planets. The sign of Venus stands for rhetoric, the sign of Jupiter for geometric and so on. Whether this connection is really meant here, cannot clearly be discovered. The observer supposes the symbols are a cipher code. Gnostics of all times and cultures searched and found their "vehicle", their "arcandiscipline", their "cipher" - it may be magic of numbers, astrology, alchemy, crusadership, mystic religion or counter-religion, minstrelsy or secret writing. Real secrecy by means of cryptography was not possible, and many leading freemasons realized this. The only purpose coding could have had in freemasonry, is the supposition that it was for ritual reasons. In the "Magic Flute" the two in armour take over this ritual action in act two, scene 28: "They read aloud for Tamino the transparent script written on a pyramid."

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