United States Capitol, rising atop Capitol Hill in
the monument city of Washington, D.C. may well be
the most famous building in the world.
To Americans the
cast-iron, Capitol dome, dressed in pure white
sandstone, is a symbol of strength and democracy.
Radiant. Luminous. Shining. Freedom rings from this
beautiful bell. How many recognize the Capitol is a
called it “The first temple dedicated to the
sovereignty of the people.”
An anonymous essay
of 1795 described the Capitol building as a ‘temple
erected to Liberty’.
founders of the Capitol Temple likened it to
Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.
“I have every hope
that the grand work we have done today will be
handed down…to a late posterity, as the like
work of that ever memorable temple to our order
erected by our ancient Grand Master Solomon.”
Maryland Grand Master Joseph Clark, September 18,
1793, at the laying of the cornerstone of the
“It would be
unbecoming the representatives of this Nation to
assemble for the first time in this solemn
Temple without looking up to the Supreme
Ruler of the Universe and imploring His blessing.”
President Adams, November 22, 1800, opening the
Second Session of the Sixth Congress in the new
These words are more
than poetic. The U.S. Capitol has numerous
architectural and other features that unquestionably
identify it with ancient temples including stone
construction, an underground entrance, chapels, an
image of a deified being, religious imagery,
symbols, and inscriptions, divine proportions,
massive columns, palpable spiritual energy, acoustic
trickery, terrifying guardians, mystic visitors,
closed doors, private members, secret chambers, and
orientation to the Sun.
It is crystal clear
that the builders viewed the Capitol as America’s
sole temple (a solemn, Solomon’s Solar Temple to be
The dome of the
Capitol ices this connection. Domes have been called
the perfect architectural shape: the circle, symbol
of the universe, executed in three dimensions.
architecture domes proclaim the glory of God. The
word dome comes from Latin domus,
a house, via Italian duomo, a house of God,
that is a church (from kirk, meaning
‘circle’). The temple is a “house of the holy”.
Temple is also a word for the flat part on either
side of the human head, called a dome in slang,
above and beyond the eye.
or eye of the dome is considered the Gateway of the
Sun. From this gateway at the top of the dome rises
the World Axis, the link between heaven and earth.
Domes, therefore, are the threshold or gateway of
the spiritual world.
Designed in 1854 by
Philadelphia architect Thomas Walter, the cast-iron
U.S. Capitol dome (its second) features stunning
columns, pilasters, windows crowned by a statue of
the goddess Freedom. When funds ran low during the
Civil War Abraham Lincoln encouraged continuing the
controversial construction of the New Dome as a
symbol of unity.
The Capitol Rotunda
is a large, circular room located in the center of
the Capitol on the second floor. 96 feet in
diameter, it is the symbolic and physical heart of
the U.S. Capitol. It is the ceremonial center of the
United States of America.
More directly, it is
a place of American ritual. Rites are performed
here. Statues, such as the one of Eisenhower, are
unveiled here. Inaugurations take place here.
Eminent citizens lay in state here. It was the body
of Abraham Lincoln, the first president to be
assassinated, laying in state which has forever
hallowed the spot.
Hanging 180 feet
above the floor of the Rotunda, in the canopy of the
interior Dome is the single most important work of
alchemy anywhere in the world.
Painted in true
fresco, it’s called “The Apotheosis of George
Washington.” The Italian painter, Constantino
Brumidi, painted it during the Civil War. A renowned
Vatican painter, Brumidi came to the United States
in 1852, after he had received a papal pardon for
his role in Italy's republican revolution. He was
inspired by Michaelangelo’s last great work, the
Dome of St. Peters. He is called “the Michaelangelo
of the Capitol.”
The Dome of the
U.S. Capitol. Photo: Wm. Henry
Washington on a rainbow and surrounded by stars.
Photo: Wm. Henry
On the first
floor of the Senate wing of the Capitol are the
Brumidi Corridors, said to be among the most
ornate and creatively decorated public spaces in
the nation. They combine classical imagery with
patriotic American themes. Photo: Wm. Henry
The frieze of
the Rotunda showcases Brumidi’s mastery of
creating the illusion of three-dimensional forms
and figures on flat surfaces. Photo: Wm. Henry
Floating in the
center of the “Apotheosis”, a uniformed Washington
sits enthroned on a rainbow in front of a Sun gate.
Liberty, holding her fasces (a goddess
symbol of transformation), and a combination of
Victory and Fame sounding a trump flank him.
is a Greek word that means ‘to raise to god like
stature’ or the glorification of a person as an
ideal. Indeed, this fresco depicts Washington as a
god-man. Christian art portrays Jesus sitting on a
rainbow and enthroned exactly the same way. The sun
is a symbol of Christ from the prophecy of Malachi
4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of
righteousness arise with healing in his wings.”
enthroned on a rainbow with sun gate behind him. Wm.
Jesus enthroned on a rainbow with celestial
beings all around him. Note the ‘sun gate’
Tibetan artists use
identical imagery to portray their high holy ones
(called lamas) who have achieved “The Great
Perfection” (Dzogchen). The aim of the
Great Perfection is to awaken the individual to the
primordial state of enlightenment, which is
naturally found in all beings. The initiate’s goal
is to integrate enlightenment into all his or her
activities and to unite the physical body with the
energy of Nature. The supreme realization of which
lies in the manifestation of the “Rainbow Body” or
body of light.
A lama rides in a
This is the meaning
behind the symbolism of both Jesus and George
Washington sitting on the rainbow. Washington is a
perfected human, not only a Grand Master, but also
an ‘American Christ’, in tune with his divine
nature. He is now somewhere over the rainbow, and is
a bridge between Heaven and Earth.
is the foundation tantra of the European
Enlightenment thinkers Locke, Voltaire and Rousseau
who inspired the deeply spiritual, even mystic,
founders of America (many of whom were Freemasons
and Rosicrucians). Human beings are not inherently
depraved or sinful, Enlightenment thinkers reasoned,
we are naturally good.
Tearing a page from
Plato’s Republic, they saw enlightenment as
a process of revealing what is already inside the
person; self-perfection into the Gnostic “Man of
Light”. The Enlightened ones of Tibet say the same
thing only adding that perfection or holiness is the
natural state of every living being whether they
know it or not and that we also have the capacity to
manifest perfection (= Rainbow Body).
The Founders had a
vision of America as a psychological space and a
place where individuals were free to perfect
themselves, or in Jefferson’s multi-layered language
to form ‘a more perfect union’.
The circle or ‘gate’
of 72 stars that surrounds Washington
affirms this philosophy. 72 is a powerful
esoteric number with numerous correspondences in the
Mysteries. 72 represents the number of
years on one degree of a zodiacal age. Manly P.
Hall’s “The Secret Destiny of America” has an
interesting interpretation of the 72 stones in
pyramid of the Great Seal. He sees them
corresponding to the 72 arrangements of the
Tetragrammaton, or the four-lettered name of God, in
Hebrew. These four letters can be combined into 72
combinations, resulting in what is called the
Shemhamforesh, which represents, in turn, the laws,
powers, and energies of Nature by which the
perfection of man is achieved.
13 star beings
surround George Washington
figures encircle Washington, each with a star above
her head. They are thought to represent the thirteen
original states. However, this is not an earthly
scene. They are 13 star beings.
Washington are seven mythological figures that
correspond to the seven stages of alchemy. Included
is Poseidon, the ruler of Atlantis and Mercury and
Vulcan, two gods synonymous with alchemy.
Benjamin Franklin at the end of the rainbow. Wm.
Poseidon, ruler of
Atlantis. Wm. Henry
messenger of the gods. Wm. Henry
vertical line descending from the Sun gate in the
dome travels through a golden dot at the center of
the Rotunda, then through a star in a large circular
room called the Crypt one story beneath the Rotunda.
The Latin crypta means “hidden” or
“secret.” A crypt is usually found in cemeteries and
under public religious buildings, such as churches
and cathedrals. It’s a burial place, but also,
importantly, a meeting place.
The star in the
crypt marks the literal ground zero in Washington.
It divides the city into four quadrants, and every
address in the city tells you where you are in
relation to that precise point in the U.S. Capitol
building. This is just another open (yet hidden)
hint as to the significance of that particular gold
The golden dot at
the center of the Rotunda. Wm. Henry
Crypt was originally built to support the
Rotunda. It has 40 neo-classical columns modeled
after the Temple of Poseidon in Greece. Wm.
The star in the
center of the Crypt. Wm. Henry
historians link the crypt with the unconscious and
the chtonic, subterranean or earthly realm. This is
based on the medieval belief that the cathedral was
the body of Christ and a symbol also of Man. The
body and spirit, encased in a coffin or casket, is
‘planted’ in the crypt to resurrect or rise.
A crypt is also
an entrance to a tomb. Indeed, the Capitol’s
Crypt provides an entrance to Washington’s Tomb,
which is located one story beneath the Crypt.
leading to Washington’s Tomb located one story
beneath the Crypt. Wm. Henry
Washington’s Tomb is
empty. Why? The tomb was never used to inter
Washington’s body. The plans to place his casket
there were scuttled by a legal issue in Washington’s
will. His grave is at Mount Vernon, the President’s
A more compelling
answer is because Washington is on the ceiling of
the dome… in the heavens above. The story of these
three Capitol stories is that Washington has risen.
Just like Jesus’s tomb (and the King’s Chamber of
the Great Pyramid) Washington’s is empty because the
man is now a deity.
conjures the image of the Capitol as a temple of
transformation or even a casket.
The work of French
Egypt-alchemy explorer Schwaller de Lubicz,
presented in his work, “The Temple In Man: Sacred
Architecture and the Perfect Man”, leads a to major
breakthrough in our understanding of the
De Lubicz’s work
centered on the Temple of Luxor, located 2 miles
from Thebes, Egypt’s Vatican. The plan for this
temple, he demonstrated, is based on human
proportions and designed to symbolically represent
the human body. It is an open book containing the
secrets of human spiritual anatomy. In this temple
he found a human being embodied in the geometry of
the Temple’s architecture. This, he concluded is
Pharaoh, symbolic of the Perfect Man.
Projection of the
Temple of Luxor on a human skeleton
The Temple of Man
was built by Ramses II in the 13 century B.C. as a
setting for the rituals of the Festival of Opet. The
word ‘Opet’ means ‘Secret Chamber’. So it is “the
Festival of the Secret Chamber.”
During this festival
the king would make a ceremonial precession from
Karnak along the avenue of Sphinxs to the temple of
Luxor, located 2 miles away. The king would make his
way to one of the innermost chambers of the temple.
There, the king and his divine essence (called the
ka, and created at his birth), were united
and the king transformed into a divine being. The
crowd, waiting anxiously, their belly’s full of
bread and beer provided by the king for the rite,
would cheer wildly upon the king’s emergence as the
transformed or transfigured god-man.
affirmed and renewed the king’s Divine Right to
Rule. It assured the people that the power of the
Cosmos was renewed in the king.
Projecting the image
of the Temple of Luxor on the U.S. Capitol, which is
divided into seven chambers that correspond with the
charkas, reveals a provocative match. The House of
Representatives corresponds with the feet. The
Rotunda is the womb. The Senate is the head.
of the Temple of Luxor and human skeleton
upon Latrobe’s plan of the U.S. Capitol
It is ironic that
that U.S. Capitol mimics the sacred layout of Luxor
temple considering that America was founded to
abolish the Divine Right of Kings. Nonetheless, the
spectacle of the Opet Festival is echoed in the
inauguration ceremonies of U.S. Presidents as
head of state or head of government.
This term means that the President is above party
inaugural comes from ancient Rome where priests
called augurs interpreted the will of the gods by
reading the flight patterns of birds. The word
augur is thought to be derived either from the
root aug, “to increase, to prosper” or from
the Latin avi and gero, the Latin
“directing of birds.”
In this lavish
American ceremony, initiation or rite, politicians
stand at the gate of the Secret Chamber, the Capitol
Rotunda, in front of hundreds of thousands of
spectators (and millions more watching on TV) to
take the oath of office and to renew the office of
the President. It is strikingly similar to
coronations and enthronements. The crucial
difference is that the people elected the individual
being sworn in to be their head (or ‘present Id’ to
use a Freudian term for the instinctual aspect of
our psychic apparatus).
Originally, the word
inauguration referred to the sacred marriage, the
symbolic mating of the new king with the goddess of
the kingdom. Scholars point to the Irish Feast of
Tara, at which the king married the goddess Medb.
In America the
goddess is named Freedom, Liberty and America. Her
statues are abundant on the Hill and in the Capitol.
She stands on top of the Capitol. Why? It could be
because, symbolically, she ‘owns’ it.
swearing in takes place on the East Portico. For the
first time ever, an inauguration took place on the
West Terrace of the Capitol when Ronald Reagan took
office in 1981. The west side would accommodate more
visitors. Reagan’s second inaugural ceremony in
January, 1985 took place in the Rotunda due to
Obama also chose the West Terrace. After being sworn
in at noon, the newly anointed President enters the
Capitol Temple. He ascends 33 steps into the
Rotunda. He looks up. He first sees Mercury, then,
he sees the deified Washington peering down at him,
challenging him to be an enlightened American
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