The Use of DMT in Early Masonic Ritual
I must say, the concept of DMT ritual being associated with freemasonry or the existence of psychedelic secret societies in the deep south are both topics I was completely unaware of until tipped off by a fellow esoteric writer on FB by the name of PD Newman. Compelling reading, for sure:
What qualifies a Man for the Seventh Order [of Masonry]? A. …the Composition of the Grand Elixir. (Post Boy Exposé, 1723)1
As outlandish as it may sound, allusions to the entheogenic properties of the acacia are commonplace in Masonic literature and various rituals. For, it would appear that the psychoactive nature of acacia was fairly widely known in certain Masonic circles at least up until the late 1700s. However, some time between the mid to late 18th century and the 19th century occult revival, the secrets of acacia, like the true word of a Master Mason, appear to have been lost. It is only now that the true significance of the symbol is stepping back into the light.
In their daring book Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras, authors Ruck, Hoffman, and Celdrán made a bold attempt to interpret the founding myth of Freemasonry in an entheobotanical context, seeing in the allegory of Grand Master Hiram Abiff’s Raising a possible allusion to a ritualized harvest of acacia root.
“[T]he murdered body of Hiram Abiff, a Master Mason and Master of Works on Solomon’s Temple, was ‘raised’ from his resting place beneath an acacia sprig which marked the spot to those who would be sent by King Solomon to search. After the interred corpse of Hiram was found, Solomon himself went to the site to recover the body. Feeling beneath the ground at the site of the acacia, the king felt Hiram’s ‘hand.’ In the process of recovering his corpse, he first used the grip of the Entered Apprentice, then that of the Fellowcraft, but twice felt the skin slipping off Hiram’s hand. Finally Solomon used the grip of the Master Mason to raise the corpse. In the entheobotanical context, we feel that this myth is a description of a ritualized acacia harvest. We note that the subterranean root bark of acacia and mimosa species are known to contain high levels of Dimethyltryptamine, an entheogen which is strongly psychoactive when extracted and inhaled, and which is easily combined with other sacred entheogenic plants, and consumed as a potion.”2
Such an application of the Hiramic allegory, while indeed startling to many, actually illuminates perhaps one of the most bizarre references to the acacia in the history of Freemasonry. In the Apprentice and Companion rituals of Count Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite, the acacia is puzzlingly referred to as being the first matter in a particular and curious Alchemical operation. When properly executed, this operation results allegedly in the production of a cubical ashlar; that is, the result is a purified, crystalline stone or salt that has been extracted, or, to use Alchemical terminology, produced, from the acacia tree: a veritable vegetable stone.
“‘[T]he acacia is the primal matter and the rough ashlar is the mercurial part. When this rough ashlar or mercurial part has been purified, it becomes cubical …It is thus that you may bring about the consummation of the marriage of the Sun and the Moon, and that you shall obtain…the perfect [astral?] projection. Quantum sufficit, et quantum appetite [as much as you need and as much as you have appetite for].’3
“[T]he candidate…shall drink [the red liqueur placed upon the Master’s altar], raising his spirit in order to understand the following speech which the Worshipful Master shall address to him at the same time.
“‘My child, you are receiving the primal matter, understand the blindness and the dejection of your first condition. Then you did not know yourself, everything was darkness within you and without. Now that you have taken a few steps in the knowledge of yourself, learn that the Great God created before man this primal matter and that he then created man to possess it and be immortal. Man abused it and lost it, but it still exists in the hands of the Elect of God and from a single grain of this precious matter becomes a projection into infinity. [italics mine]
“The acacia which has been given to you at the degree of Master of ordinary Masonry is nothing but that precious matter. And [Hiram’s] assassination is the loss of the liquid which you have just received …it is this knowledge that, assisted by the Great God, shall bring you these riches.’”4
If not for its DMT content, we cannot conceive of any reason why Cagliostro would have his initiates literally drink an ayahuasca-like concoction of acacia, especially when considering the fact that the libation was expected to “raise” the candidate’s “spirit” so that he might “understand” Cagliostro’s corresponding lecture. Nor is it conceivable in any other than an entheogenic context how a “single grain” of Cagliostro’s extract of acacia might become “a projection into infinity.” In the author’s estimation, this was clearly no symbolic ritual act.