The Shugborough Coat of Arms
and the Dogon Religion
by Shannon Dorey
Figure 1. Shugborough Coat of Arms
©Earl of Lichfield With Permission

I was first interested in Shugborough at Staffordshire in Lichfield, England because the three key figures of the ancient African Dogon religion appear on the Shugborough coat of arms. (See Figure 1) This indicates to me that Shugborough has an association with the ancient African Dogon religion. Further research has proven these connections and has also found that the Dogon religion has strong associations with the carvings found in Rossyln Chapel in Scotland and with the Cathars, the Merovingians, and Rennes-le-Château of Southern France, suggesting that all of these groups were connected to each other through their religious beliefs.

According to the Dogon, the Nummo were purely spiritual, immortal, alien beings who came to Earth from space when their world was destroyed. The Nummos' skin was primarily green, but, like the chameleon's, it sometimes changed colour. It was said to at times have all the colours of the rainbow. The Nummo were amphibious beings with fish tails who spent more time in water than on land. While on land they moved like serpents on their long thin fish tails. I believe that the Nummo who visited the Dogon people, appear in the Shugborough Coat of Arms, Figure 1, as a green horse with a fish tail. The phrase, "horse of god" that appeared in one of the mysterious ciphers found at Rennes-le-Château,2 is also likely associated with the Nummo.

In the Dogon religion, the horse was not only a symbol of the Nummo but it was also identified with the Nummo's spaceship or ark. The stacked round wooden cups that the Dogon spiritual leader, the Hogon, used for religious ceremonies usually had a lid with a horse on top, representing the Nummo.3 Henry Lincoln, author of The Holy Place, a book on Rennes-le-Château believes that the Knight's Stone found in Rennes-le-Château and dating to the seventh century is the Celtic horse goddess Epona.4 Initially, I speculated that the Nummo became identified with horses because the chevrons on their backs looked like a horse's mane. Research in 5

Although there are many references to Sirius in the Dogon religion, my research in The Rose and The Nummo, reveals that the Nummo were associated with Mars, the Alpha Centauri system in the Constellations Centaurus and the Constellations Auriga and Gemini. According to the Dogon, when these events occurred billions of years ago the stars were much closer together. The Nummo Ancestors, who were part human and part Nummo, also lived in the Pleiades and it was from there that they returned to Earth at a much more recent date.6

The black dog, on top of the Shugborough coat of arms represents the Jackal. In the Dogon religion, the Jackal was a symbol of a failed experiment and humanity's separation from truth and immortality. In the Dogon religion, the Jackal stole fire from the Nummo's workshop and fled with it back to Earth. The stolen fire that the Jackal took from the Nummo represented the spiritual and biological essence of the Nummo. In other world mythologies, including Greek mythology, the stolen fire was associated with stolen cows as is in the story of Hermes (the Greek god of thieves) stealing the cows from the sun God Apollo. This is because the Nummo were also symbolized by cows. The Jackal represented the genetic defect in the experiment and was symbolized by a dog or fox, rooster, and a white cow in the Dogon religion. In other world mythologies he was symbolized by a white bull. In both The Master of Speech and The Nummo, I refer to this in association with the ritual of the sacrifice and death of the king. The Jackal was a male figure associated with single sexed beings and the Earth. The Nummo, on the other hand, represented heaven, immortality and the divine feminine.7

The myths about the Frankish Merovingian ancestor Merovée associate him with the Dogon religion. According to beliefs, Merovée was a semimythical person born of two fathers. One was a king named Clodio, the other, a sea monster. The Merovingians were also said to have been descended from aliens who were the offspring of nephilim, or fallen angels. Because of their ancestry, Merovée and his descendants were reputed to have supernatural powers and unnaturally long lives.8 In the Dogon religion, the first two male Nummo Ancestors created an offspring that caused humans to lose their immortality. I believe that Merovée is associated with that individual.

In The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, Lincoln, Leigh, and Baigent assert that the objective of the Knights Templar was to protect the Merovingian bloodline because they thought the Frankish royal family was descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalen. Merovingian kings became kings through sacred right on their twelfth birthdays. They were priest-kings rather than ruling kings.9 My research, however, ties the Merovingians to myths about the Nummo Ancestors.

Lébé, the Dogon ancestor of humanity who was created in a third experiment, was symbolized by the lion in the Dogon religion. The lion appears on the right side in the Shugborough coat of arms. Lébé was born of two mothers.10 Even though Lébé's parents were androgynous, and identified as the Seventh and Eighth Ancestors in the Dogon religion, they were primarily female and Lébé was born of their union. Lébé's birth was likely done to offset the birth of Merovée, who was born of two fathers.

During the second experiment, the procreation of the Eight Ancestors was controlled so the genetic defect that occurred in the first experiment, wouldn't appear in the offspring. The Master (Mistress) of Speech (Seventh Ancestor), who had the perfect combination of Nummo and human, was able to procreate only with the Second Ancestor. The Second Ancestor, who was male and identified with the bad DNA and the Jackal, fell in love with the First Ancestor, but the First Ancestor was supposed to procreate only with the Eighth Ancestor. The Second Ancestor seduced the First Ancestor into a forbidden relationship in the Nummos' world, which ruined the second genetic engineering experiment. Although the First and Second Ancestors were androgynous, they were primarily male, making their offspring a child born of two fathers. I believe the name of the androgynous fish tailed god Dagon is also the source of the Merovingian name Dagobert. For more information about this refer to The Nummo.11

The Shepherd's Monument and the Masonic Society

Monuments on the Shugborough grounds also relate to the Dogon religion. I was particularly interested in the secret code on the Shepherd's Monument, which has provided a mystery for visitors since the monument was first built by the Anson family in the 1760s. It is said that the secret letters on the Shepherd's Monument are "hiding a set of instructions on how to find the Holy Grail, the chalice in which the blood of Jesus was collected as it fell from his crucified wounds."12 Since the Dogon religion is about immortality, creation and regeneration, this reference to the Holy Grail is significant. In my book, The Nummo, I refer to the connection between the Dogon religion and the Arthurian Mythos involving the Holy Grail and cauldrons of regeneration.

My research points to the possibility that the Shepherd's Monument was a meeting place for an Operative Masonic group that was connected to a secret underground political group involving the exiled Stuarts and their attempt to regain the English throne. Because they were said to be connected to the Merovingian bloodline, the Stuart line would have been important to the religion practised by these individuals. The "Divine Right of Kings" may have originated with the genetic experiment and the protection of the beneficial DNA. The Templars who were involved in a number of important building projects of the early Middle Ages, appear to have played a role in the formation of the early "master associations" or guilds.13 Operative was a term that was used to refer to working masons. It is quite possible that the Templars did protect the Merovingian bloodline but not for the reasons that Lincoln, Leigh, and Baigent believed. The religion practised by these individuals was much older than biblical mythology. My research indicates it is the core religion, from which every other religion in the world has emanated.

The result of the Philalethan Congress held in Paris from 1785 to 1787 tends to support my research. "This meeting called upon eminent Freemasons from all lands and all rites to convene 'to discuss and clarify the most essential points of the doctrine, the origin, and the historical affiliation of the true Masonic science.'" These individuals brought their diverse opinions with them and the "resulting understanding generally agreed upon was that Freemasonry was the 'original religion'." According to those who met at the Congress, this religion was handed down from various sources including individuals such as King Arthur, the Gnostics, the Templars, Pythagoras, Plato, the Rosicrucians and Hermes Trismegistus, just to mention a few. Those individuals mentioned above have been discussed in my books and articles.14

Historical documents indicate that the group associated with the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument was probably established by the Rosicrucian and alchemist Elias Ashmole around the time of Charles I execution in 1649. Ashmole, who was the first Operative Mason of any consequence, was born in Lichfield on 23 May 1617 and died in South Lambeth (London) in 1692.15 The Shugborough Monument is located on the grounds at Shugborough Hall, the seat of the Earls of Lichfield. I believe it was built as a meeting place for the Operative Masons sometime in the 1760s, long after Ashmole's death but at a time when the Stuarts' desire to regain the English throne was still paramount. The monument would have also provided a meeting place for those who still believed in the ancient religion.

Figure 2. Shepherd's Monument, Staffordshire ©Shannon Dorey

The Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough was designed in reverse to Poussin's Les Bergers d'Arcadie, which was painted in 1637-39. In this painting, shepherds point to the phrase Et in Arcadia Ego, which happens to be the title of Poussin's earlier painting in which the river god appears.16 The painting of the morose water deity dates from 1630 to 1635. "The river Alpheus is a central river in the actual geographical Arcadia in Greece, which flows underground and is said to surface at the Fountain of Arethusa in Sicily and is deemed to be sacred."17 Poussin's painting would have been created a few years before Elias Ashmole formed the Operative Masonic group associated with Shugborough. Poussin's paintings indicate that he had knowledge of the ancient the religion associated with the African Dogon religion and which is evident at Shugborough, Rennes le Chateau and Rosslyn.

According to the Dogon, the Nummo sometimes lived high in the mountains in caves and sometimes underground. The sunlight dried out their skin. Because they were amphibious, they needed to keep moist in order to stay alive. I believe that the "underground stream" that appears in the mythology of the Rosicrucians and the river god Alpheus found in the artist Nicholas Poussin's painting, Et in Arcadia Ego are related to the Nummo. The morose water deity is associated with the Nummo who were devastated by the failed experiment on Earth.

Another meeting place for this particular Operative Masonic group appears to have been in Rennes-le-Château in southern France. Most of the clues for solving the puzzle of the letters on the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument come from Rennes-le-Château, some appearing in ciphers that were thought by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, authors of Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, to have been composed in the 1780s by the curé at the time, Abbé Antoine Bigou. In one of the ciphers, Nicolas Poussin is mentioned as providing a key to the mystery.18 Southern France and the Cathars were also connected to the Merovingians, whose first king, Dagobert, married his second wife Giselle at Rennes-le-Chateau in the south of France in 671. Some legends also link the Cathars with the Holy Grail.19

It is the fact that the shepherd's found in Poussin's painting are reversed to that of the shepherd's on the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough that is the key to solving the enigma of the letters on the monument. In the early 1970s the actual tomb, which appears in Poussin's painting of Les Bergers d'Arcadie, was found on the outskirts of Arques, approximately six miles from Rennes-le-Château.20 A mile or so east of Rennes-le-Château lies the ruins of the Château of Blanchefort, seat of the fourth Grand Master of the Knights Templar, who presided over the order in the mid-twelfth century.21 The clues found at Rennes-le-Château may have been part of a Masonic ritual in which initiates were to read the meaning of the letters on the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument. Poussin's reversed painting of the shepherds in Les Bergers d'Arcadie indicates that the letters on the Shepherd's Monument are supposed to be read in reverse. And not only are the letters on the Shepherd's Monument meant to be read in reverse but the top letters are also separated from the bottom letters because the top letters are also meant to be flipped.

When flipped and reversed, the top letters on the Shepherd's Monument spell MAVSONO, or . The clue for the reversal and flipping of the letters is also found in the church at Rennes-le-Château, where the original Visigothic Pillar that used to support the old altar was displayed upside down in the church (see Figure 3B). Another clue to be found in the church is a statue of Jesus being baptized by John where two upside-down Vs are seen hanging from John's cross to form the letter M. See Figure. 3 Notice the Alpha and Omega signs on the statue, which means beginning and end.

Figure 3. John Baptizing Jesus. Rennes-le-Château ©Robert Hill 2011

Figure 3B. Upside Down Cross. ©R. Hill

On the Shugborough Monument, the letters SON spell the end of the word MASON. The letter O at the end of the letters may stand for Omega but also probably Operative, which, as mentioned earlier, was a term that was used to refer to working masons. I believe the working masons likely provided some of the army's backbone in the Stuart uprisings. The word "operative" also became identified with mathematicians and scientists in the 1600s. Elias Ashmole was supposed to have been the first Operative Mason of any consequence.23 In her Theosophical writings, H.P. Blavatsky asserts that Elias Ashmole was admitted to the freedom of the Operative Masons' company in London in 1646. Blavatsky further reports that Elias Ashmole was the celebrated antiquarian, who founded the museum of Oxford and was initiated together with Colonel Mainwarring in the Brotherhood of the working Masons in Warrington. She recounts how "the entrance of such men as Elias Ashmole into the Operative Fraternity paved the way for the great 'Masonic Revolution of 1717', when SPECULATIVE Masonry came into existence."24

In A Chronology of the History of Freemasonry it is written that "In this year, of 1646, a company of Rosy Croix that had been formed in London according to the ideas of Bacon's New Atlantis, assembled in the conference room of the Masons. Elias Ashmole, who was a member, and the other Brothers of the Rosy Croix, rectified the formulas of reception of these workmen, which consisted of some ceremonies similar to those used among all the professionals, and substituted a mode of initiation which they copied, partly, from the old mysteries of Egypt and Greece."25

The letters A and V of the mysterious word shown in Figure 4 represent two Masonic symbols, the compass and the square. These symbols are meant to appear overlapping each other, as shown below. In addition to being Masonic symbols, they make the A in the word MASON.

Figure 4. Engraved Letters on the Shepherd's Monument

Figures 5 and 6 show how the cross and square appear on Masonic artefacts and support the theory that these two letters were meant to be read together.

Figure 5. Compass and Square
Figure 6. Masonic Symbol

The clue that these Vs should overlap also appears at Rennes-le-Château, where they are engraved in stone in the word OMARIE. The A in the name MARIE is overlapped by an M. It is part of a phrase meaning "Oh Mary Conceived Without Sin Pray For Us." Henry Lincoln, one of the authors of Holy Blood/Holy Grail and the author of The Holy Place, a book about Rennes-le-Château, says it almost appears as if the stone mason who carved the phrase and the name MARIE made a mistake, first putting in the MM and then overlapping the second M with an A.28 Lincoln joked that he thought this was highly unlikely because the M's are written like upside down V's. The overlapping letters in the stonework are clearly the Masonic symbol. The OM that begins the phrase may also be a clue to the fact that the Masonic group associated with Shugborough and Rennes Le Chateau were Operative Mason, which followed the ancient operative traditions. This is important because at that time in history a transition was taking place and speculative Freemasonry was taking over the old operative traditions that were becoming lost.29 It was the old operative traditions that were most closely linked with the ancient religion. Some historians have speculated that the Operative Masons were groups identified with actual working masons and the later Speculative groups were identified with clubs that weren't comprised of working masons but who just followed the Operative Masonic rituals. My research tends to support the fact that the older operative groups were more closely associated with the ancient religion that later became confused by the speculative Freemasons.

Asmodeus, Alchemy and Advanced Science

Figure 7. Asmodeus©R. Hill 2011

Figure 7B. Asmodee by Sauniere

There is another clue at Rennes-le-Château that shows the overlapping V's. It is found in a picture of a bookplate that was framed together with a picture of the demon Asmodeus by Sauniere and found in the museum at Rennes-le-Château. Asmodeus appears on top and the bookplate (Figure 7B) with four angles appears below Asmodeus.30 A reversal of these two images appears on a statue at the entrance to the church at Rennes-le-Château. If you look at Figure 7 you can see the entrance to the church and Asmodeus' head beneath the feet of the four angels, which also appear in Figure 7B, on the bookplate. In the framed picture, Asmodeus appears on top of the four angels but at the entrance to the church he appears beneath them, another clue to the flipping of the letters on the Shepherd's Monument. At the very top of this picture of the statue, we see the top of Asmodeus' head, with the seashell on his head, the salamanders and letters BS above the shell, and the feet of the four angels above.

Figure 8. Heinrich Madathanus, The Golden Age Revived Bookplate

The two triangles overlapping each other appear on the bookplate, which appeared in Figure 7 and again as Figure 8. According to Simon Miles, the drawing (Figure 8) of the overlapping triangles, or hexagram, is the Masonic V's and is thought to have been created by Berenger Saunière, who became the parish priest at Rennes-le-Château in 1885. The letters BS appear prominently in the hexagram, which is why it was assumed the drawing had been created by Berenger Saunière. As Miles points out, however, the drawing of the hexagram or triangles on the framed bookplate is actually the frontispiece to a book by Heinrich Madathanus, Aureum Seculum Redivivum, or The Golden Age Revived, first published in Frankfurt in 1625. Madathanus was the pseudonym of Adrian von Mynsicht (1603-1638), an alchemist, esotericist, and apologist for the Rosicrucians.31 This is important because of Elias Ashmole's relationship to the Rosicrucians and the fact that he was also an alchemist. Because this drawing appears in the Church's museum, it suggests that it had some religious significance associated with Rennes-le-Château. Miles points out that the overlapping triangles are also prominently displayed on a monument in Rome known as the Porta Alchemica, or Alchemical Door. This door, which is covered in hermetic and alchemical symbols and quotations, is located in the wall of the Italian Villa Palombara in the Piazza Vittore Emmanuele. The villa was built around 1680 by the Marquis Massimigliano Palombara.32 The association with the Alchemical Door is significant not only because of Ashmole's connection to alchemy but also because there is a round alchemical tower on the grounds at Rennes-le-Château.33 On top of the centre of the archway of the Italian Alchemical Door there was once a head not unlike the two heads that appear on the very top of the Shepherd's Monument in between wreaths. (See Figure 2) This may indicate that this door in Italy was another meeting place for this religious group, the exiled Stuarts and their Italian sympathisers.

Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 21 by Michael Maier

The Masonic symbol on the Alchemical Door has also been compared to the twenty-first emblem of Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens, which is another alchemical manuscript and was published in Frankfurt in 1617.34 In the drawing shown above, a man with a pair of compasses is in the process of constructing the overlapping triangles, or hexagram, by drawing a triangle within a larger circle. Inside the triangle is a smaller circle and inside the circle is a drawing of Adam and Eve. The compasses in the picture repeat the hexagram's connection to the Masonic Society. A seashell in the foreground emphasizes the Masons' association with the Merovingians. Take note of this seashell, as it also appears on the statue at the entrance to the church at Rennes-le-Château. The letters BS on the cover of Aureum Seculum Redivivum are a reversal of the initials of Simon Baruch, the alchemical engraver who created the two images shown above in Figures 8 and 9. As Henry Lincoln points out, the statue at Rennes-le-Château also shows the four alchemical elements. Salamanders are born of fire, water is symbolized by the shell, angels are identified with air, and the devil was also known as Rex Mundi, or Lord of the Earth.37 There were tapestries of the four elements in the house at Shugborough, though only one is still remaining and hangs in the staircase hall. It is of Earth and was probably woven by John Vanderbank at the Soho Manufactory in London in the early 1700s. "It is closely based on a panel of the Gobelins Elements, designed by Le Brun a generation earlier."38 The four elements are important alchemical symbols and are also associated with the Dogon religion, where the development of the world was associated with air, water, fire, and earth as well as the four directions of space.39

Figure 8. Frontispiece of Aureum Seculum Redivivum © Adam McLean

Figure 9. Two salamanders and a Rose © Adam McLean

The drawing from the frontispiece of Aureum Seculum Redivivum appears again in another alchemical work, Donum Dei, by Simon Baruch and redrawn by Adam McLean and shown as Figure 8. A book by Abraham Eleazar titled Uraltes chymisches Werck (Erfurt, 1735) also shows Simon Baruch's engravings.35 In Eleazar's book, also known as The Book by Abraham the Jew, we see another engraving (Figure 9) by Simon Baruch of two salamanders and a mountain with what appears to be a rose growing from it. The rose was the symbol of the Rosicrucians. The salamanders and rose also appear on the statue at the entrance to the church at Rennes-le-Château on Figure 7. All of these images were combined to create the statue found at the entrance to the church at Rennes-le-Château, which was carved under the direction of Berenger Saunière.

Figure 10. Church Entrance of the Four Angels ©R. Hill

In Figure 10, we see the rose in the centre of the cross above the angels. The rose and cross were the symbols of the Rosy Cross, or Rosicrucians. At the ends of the cross appear fleurs-de-lis, which are associated with French monarchs and derive from the baptismal lily used in the crowning of King Clovis I of the Merovingian dynasty. I discuss this symbol, which is particularly significant to the Dogon religion, in The Nummo. An ancient spelling of the words fleur-de-lis is fleur-de-luce, which means "Flower of Light".36

The arms of the angels also appear reversed to each other, perhaps another clue to the reversal of the letters not only on the Shepherd's Monument but also on the statue itself. The arm of the angel at the top is positioned in such a way as to create the appearance of her peering outward as if guiding a ship with the cross acting as its mast. This is significant because of the Rosicrucians' alleged association with a secret group known as the Prieuré de Sion, the Grand Masters of the which were known as Nautonniers, an old French term meaning "navigator or helmsman."40 Knowledge of the Prieuré de Sion is based on a document known as the Dossiers Secrets, which was deposited in the Bibliotèque Nationale sometime in the 1950s or 1960s.41 The existence of the Prieuré de Sion has never been fully proven, but clues found at Rennes-le-Château tend to support its existence. There is also a hidden round room in the church in Rennes-le-Château with a window that resembles a ship's portal. The door to the curved room was found in the back of a cupboard in the church's sacristy.42

The letters BS, which may be the name Simon Baruch reversed, are another connection that Saunière was trying to make in his creation of the statue. Modern artist and alchemical researcher Adam McLean has no information on Simon Baruch, a name he believes was likely made up, as the Hebrew word Barûkh means "blessed," an important reference to the Elysian Fields, which were associated with the Isle of the Blessed.43 The word is also related to Irish and Welsh Celtic myths relating to Bran the Blessed, the Cauldron of Regeneration, and the islands of the Otherworld. These associations are important as they relate to regeneration and immortality. In the Dogon religion the alien Nummo were immortal. Humans were created and regenerated by the Nummo in a device not unlike the cauldron of Welsh myth. McLean also points to a non-canonical book of the Bible, The Book of Baruch. Simon Baruch's engravings, which are found in the book of Abraham Eleazar known as The Book by Abraham the Jew, are all alchemical. Abraham Eleazar's book also contains a series of engravings by Nicholas Flamel,44 the famous medieval alchemist who is said to have been Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion between 1398 and 1418.45 I believe this may indicate that Simon Baruch was actually Nicholas Flamel.

Flamel said that he performed his first alchemical transmutation at noon on January 17, 1382.46 Following the strict method found in The Book by Abraham the Jew, he writes, he "changed a half-pound of mercury first into silver, and then into virgin gold. And simultaneously, he accomplished the same transmutation in his soul. From his passions, mixed in an invisible crucible, the substance of the eternal spirit emerged."47 Whether Flamel can be believed or not, the truth is that he became very wealthy afterwards. By 1413 he had founded and endowed fourteen hospitals, seven churches, and three chapels in Paris and a similar number in Boulogne.48 January 17 also appears frequently in the mysteries and stories relating to Rennes-le-Château. Flamel's transmutation is reminiscent of the Nummo's regeneration process. For more information on this process refer to The Master of Speech and The Nummo.

Greek mythology plays a role in deciphering the bottom letters, D M, on the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument. These letters, which when reversed like Poussin's painting, spell M.D., meaning Medical Doctor. Ashmole was an M.D.; Oxford had conferred the title of M.D. on him in 1669.49 The symbol associated with the medical profession is the caduceus, which is related to Hermeticism and the Greek god Hermes. Hermes, a Jackal figure, was the god of thieves and thieving is an important part of the Dogon religion. The Jackal stole fire from the Nummo's workshop in the same way that Hermes stole the 50 immortal cows from the sun god Apollo. In the Dogon religion fire symbolizes the spiritual essence of the Nummo. Both the cow and the sun were symbols of the Nummo. This means that the immortal cows that Hermes stole represented the same thing as the fire stolen by the Jackal. It was identified with the genetic make-up of the Nummo and represented those souls lost to the Earth. Hermes, who also plays a significant role in the mythology of the Masons, was one of the alchemical images circulating during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The name Hermes is part of the word "Hermaphrodite," and androgynous and hermaphroditic figures also play a role in Masonic, Dogon, and alchemical mythology.

Figure 11. Engraving in Ashmole's Theatrum Chemcicum Britannicum 1652 © Adam McLean

Figure 11 is taken from an engraving in Ashmole's Theatrum Chemcicum Britannicum, 1652, which was copied by Adam McLean.50

Hermes is in the centre at the top, holding the caduceus in one hand and a six-pointed star in the other. Because Ashmole was a famous Operative Mason and the cover of his book shows the caduceus, it relates this symbol to the Operative Masons. In my book The Master of Speech, I compared the caduceus to the symbol for DNA, which is so much a part of the Dogon religion. The serpent symbolized the goddess in ancient cultures and was quite often used in conjunction with the symbol of the sun. Refer to The Nummo and The Master of Speech for more information about this. In ancient Egypt, for example, Isis was sometimes depicted as a serpent. The female on the right looks as if she has a fish tail, as does the figure on top of the monument in the centre of the engraving. These symbols are all important as they relate to Masonic symbolism and the ancient Dogon mythology related to the Merovingians.

Asmodeus and Science

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, various scientists were connected with the Masonic societies because it was mathematics and geometry that Masons used to build their structures. Masonry thus came to represent advanced science, which was rooted in the myth of Asmodeus (also known as Ashmedai) (shown as Figure 7) who was supposed to have been the builder of Solomon's temple. According to the Haggadah, when Solomon was erecting the Temple, "he did not know how to get the blocks of marble into shape, since, according to the law (Ex. xx. 26), they might not be worked by an iron tool." The reference to marble associates the Temple of Solomon with the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument, which is a marble bas-relief. The myth goes on to say that the wise men advised Solomon to obtain "the 'shamir,' a worm whose mere touch could cleave rocks. But to obtain it was no slight task; for not even the demons, who knew so many secrets, knew where the shamir, was to be found. They surmised, however, that Ashmedai[Asmodeus], king of the demons, was in possession of the secret, and they told Solomon the name of the mountain on which Ashmedai[Asmodeus] dwelt…."51 The shamir was likely an advanced scientific instrument capable of shaping marble, which is why Ashmedai(Asmodeus) became identified with the scientists and alchemists of the day.

Magnificent buildings seem to have existed throughout the world, from the Egyptian pyramids to the Bolivian remnants at Tiahuanaco. These ancient buildings were made with massive stones, making it inconceivable that humans could have lifted them. For instance Tiahuanaco's Gateway of the Sun is carved out of a single piece of solid andesite and weighs more than ten tons.52 The gateway is reminiscent of the Masonic archways and the alchemical doors discussed above. The Great Pyramid of Egypt covers a full 13.1 acres at it base. It weighed about six million tons and consisted of roughly 2.3 million individual blocks of limestone and granite. When the nineteenth century archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie examined the blocks at the base, he was astonished to discover "tolerances of less than one-hundredth of an inch and cemented joints so precise and so carefully aligned that it had been impossible to slip even the fine blade of a knife in between them. 'Merely to place such stones in exact contact would be careful work', he admitted, 'but to do so with cement in the joint seems almost impossible; it is to be compared to the finest opticians' work on a scale of acres.'"53

Asmodeus' association with Solomon's temple connected him to the figure of Hiram Abiff, who was said to have been the architect of the temple and a key figure in Masonic rituals. William Harvey, J.P., F.S.A. (Scot.) Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire, reports the name Hiram Abiff was undoubtedly Phoenician, but that there was some confusion as to the actual form of the name.

'Hiram' is the more common rendering, but the author of the Chronicles adheres to the spelling 'Huram,' and other writers adopt the variant 'Hirom.' Mr J. F. Stenning says that it is equivalent to 'Ahiram,' and means 'the exalted one'. According to Movers, Hiram or Huram, is the name of a deity, and means 'the coiled or twisted one,' but other scholars regard this derivation as very improbable.54

My research indicates this last description, which sounds like Hiram or Huram is coiled like a serpent, is probably the most accurate explanation of the name Hiram, since Asmodeus or Ashmedai with whom he was identified, was associated with the devil or Satan. As was mentioned earlier, the serpent was a significant pagan symbol and occasionally associated with the Goddess Isis. The serpent, identified with the sacred feminine, was later reversed by patriarchal cultures, including the Roman Catholic Church, turning it into a figure of evil. According to the Masonic legend, Hiram Abiff was murdered by one of three workers who assaulted him in their attempt to discover the secret he held. Hiram Abiff's secret was never divulged and his body was hidden outside the city walls, where it remained until it was recovered by Solomon.55

Guercino, Poussin and the Secret

"The Raising of the Master," a sketch done by the seventeenth century artist Giovanni Francesco Guercino, shows the story of Hiram Abiff. The sketch, which also incorporates the compasses as well as other symbols from Masonic rituals, is now owned by the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, Edinburgh.56 Guercino also painted Et in Arcadia Ego in 1618; this painting has the same name as Poussin's earlier painting of the River God.57 In Guercino's painting there is a skull, which is an important Masonic and Knights Templar symbol associated with death. Death represents mortality an important theme in the ancient Dogon religion. Skulls and crossbones also appear in paintings at the church of Rennes-le-Château. Masonic symbols can be found in Guercino's other works.

Guercino (1591?-1666?) was born in Cento and died in Bologna.58 Poussin had died in Rome in 1665. I believe both artists were connected with the secret Masonic group associated with the Merovingians and the ancient religion. Their deaths coincided with the imprisonment of Nicholas Fouquet in 1665 relating to a letter written by Fouquet's brother, Abbé Louis Fouquet, to Nicholas about a "secret" that he (Louis) had learned after meeting with Poussin in 1656. Part of the letter that Louis had written to his brother Nicholas appears in The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail and is quoted below:

He and I discussed certain things, which I shall with ease be able to explain to you in detail - things which will give you, through Monsieur Poussin, advantages which even kings would have great pains to draw from him, and which, according to him, it is possible that nobody else will ever rediscover in the centuries to come. And what is more, these are things so difficult to discover that nothing now on this earth can prove of better fortune nor be their equal.59

According to Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent, no historians or biographers of Poussin or Fouquet have been able to satisfactorily explain this letter. My research indicates that the "secret" being referred to here is associated with the ancient religion involving the Merovingians. Research indicates that Poussin was well aware of the fish and serpent like alien beings connected to the Merovingians. The last part of this letter, "nothing now on this earth can prove of better fortune nor be their equal" relates to chapter 41 of the Book of Job, where the Leviathan is mentioned: "Nothing on earth is his equal--a creature without fear." Is it possible that foul play could have been involved in the artists' deaths? Louis XIV of France, who might have felt his own throne threatened in view of Charles I's beheading in 1649, could have misconstrued the secrets involved with these groups. It could explain why he had Nicholas Fouquet arrested and later imprisoned. Poussin was known as a keeper of secrets and signed his work Tenet Confidentiam.60 Both Poussin and Guercino would have chosen death emulating their hero Hiram Abiff, than to reveal the secrets they knew relating to the Merovingians and the Stuarts.

In Poussin's Et in Arcadia Ego, we see the fish-tailed river god Alpheus, who was identified with the "source" or the "Alpha," relating him to the Garden of Eden. A painting of the god of the River Tiber and the twins Castor and Pollux hangs under the stairway in the house at Shugborough. As I wrote in The Master of Speech, Castor is commonly believed to be mortal and Pollux was commonly believed to be immortal. In Dogon mythology, the Jackal was mortal and his androgynous sister, known as the Master(Mistress) of Speech, was immortal. In the Dogon religion, during the first experiment to create humans, the Jackal was born defective and single-sexed. His sister was born androgynous and perfect. The word "twin" in the Dogon religion meant androgyny. One of the sisters of Castor and Pollux was Helen of Troy. The story of the forbidden relationship between the First and Second Ancestors in the Nummo's world was discussed earlier. It ruined the second experiment and caused humans to be turned into mortal beings. This relationship may have resulted in the birth of Merovée the ancestor of the Merovingians. I see the river god as associated with the fish tailed Nummo and the Merovingians.

In early church history, Christ was secretly said to have been a twin. Lincoln points out that behind the altar in the church at Rennes-le-Château were statues of two baby Jesuses. The one on the right is held by Joseph, the one on the left by Mary. Lincoln says that the twin of Jesus was Thomas. 61

The Christ figure in the Dogon religion was the Master (Mistress) of Speech, who was a hermaphrodite but primarily a female figure. She was part human and part Nummo and because of this she was identified as a twin. Her human part was identified with the male sex and her Nummo part was identified with the female sex. From head to waist she was human and below that she was serpent and fish-like. Because she was androgynous, she was immortal. She was also identified with the colour red, and may be the source of the symbolism associated with a document titled Le Serpent Rouge that was found in October, 1997, in Rennes-le-Château. Researchers Marcus Williamson and Corella Hughes first became aware of the existence of Le Serpent Rouge in an appendix to Genesis by David Wood.62

Because the Jacobites were Catholic, this might explain why later Catholics, including the parish priest Berenger Saunière, were involved with the ancient religion associated with the Operative Masons, alchemy and the Rosicrucians. It may also explain the significance of the wreath and keys that Saunière had carved over the entrance to the church at Rennes-le-Château, as shown in Figure 12. The wreath with the keys positioned in reverse to this picture is a Masonic symbol.

Figure 12. Crest of Pope Leo XII over the doorway © Alan Scott 2005

According to Alan Scott, this is the crest of Pope Leo XIII.63 The turned keys may be another clue that the letters on the top of the Shugborough Monument were meant to be flipped. This association with Pope Leo XIII is important in the context of the Masonic Society, science, and hermeticism. On February 20 1878, Leo was elected to succeed Pope Pius IX. Leo XIII worked to encourage an understanding between the Church and the modern world, which had been damaged by Pius IX's uncompromising Syllabus of Errors, which was issued in 1864 to condemn as heresy eighty propositions, "many on political topics, which were at the foundation of scientific, rational secular society." One of the propositions concerned secret societies, including Freemasonry. Leo also objected to the statement that human reason was "...the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil."

Pope Leo XIII firmly reasserted the scholastic doctrine that science and religion can co-exist. He even opened some of the Vatican archives to screened historians. In 1896, his bull, Apostolicae Curae, condemned Freemasonry, suggesting a reversal of his earlier statements.64 This could explain why the Masonic symbol of the wreath and the keys are shown flipped to that of the Pope's crest. The papacy's on and off again relationship with Freemasonry may explain some of the confusion relating to Catholicism and Freemasonry. The close association of Masonic symbols with the ancient religion no doubt contributed to the Catholic Church's final rejection of Freemasonry.

Figure 13. Shepherd's Monument

Figure 14 Masonic Altar 1780 65

Figure 15 Masonic Altar 66

Figure 16. Masonic Altar With Insignia 67

Figure 17. Masonic Altar With Wreath68

Figure 18. Masonic Altar With Wreath and V's 69

Compare the Masonic altars, Figures 14 to Figures 18, with the picture of the Shepherd's Monument, Figure 13. The bottom section of the Shugborough altar also appears in the engraving of Ashmole's Theatrum Chemcicum Britannicum (1652) which was shown earlier as Figure 11. The drawing in Figure 14 is dated 1780. It is believed that the Anson Family built the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough sometime between 1761 and 176770 so this drawing is from the same time period. On Figures 17 and 18 of the Masonic altars a wreath appears at the top centre on the keystone. These wreaths resemble a close up of the wreath on the top of the Shugborough monument, Figure 19.

Figure 19. Close-up of Wreath

Figure 20. Shepherd's Monument wreath with Keys

Figure 21. Masonic wreath with Keys71

A second wreath appears in the centre of the Shepherd's Monument above the keystone, with an X in its centre, Figure 20. Compare it to the Masonic symbols of the keys and wreath, Figure 21.

Figure 22. Visigothic Pillar, Rennes-le-Château ©René Meyer 2003

A similar wreath also appears on the original Visigothic pillar (Figure 22, left side) that formerly supported the old altar in the church at Rennes-le-Château and can now be found in the museum there. On the front of the pillar is a cross. As mentioned earlier, the pillar had been displayed upside down in the church, another clue to the flipped letters on the Shepherd's Monument. The inscription "Mission 1891" was added to the foot of the upside down pillar by the priest Berenger Saunière. It was one of two Visigothic stone pillars that had supported the original white marble altar in the church. Saunière made these changes to the cross when he removed the pillars that supported the altar. Figure 22, above, is the only one of the two pillars still remaining.72 When the cross is upright in its correct position, as it is in this picture, we can see the date 1681 at the top, which is the date 1891 flipped from the Saunière inscription, "Mission 1891".73

The date 1681 relates to one of the ciphers associated with Rennes-le-Château that referred to "Peace 681" and was discussed in The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail.74 In Freemasonry, Royal and Select Masters date years from the year in which the Temple of Solomon was completed. This is Anno Depositionis, or "in the year of the Deposit," and the Masonic calendar adds 1000 to the calendar commonly in use.75 This makes the year 681 in the cipher become 1681, as carved on the cross on the Visigothic pillar.

"Royal and Select Masters" are part of a cryptic form of Freemasonry. According to Paul M. Bessel, "the Cryptic degrees are centered on stories involving a vault or crypt where certain treasures were hidden beneath King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem for very specific purposes." One theory is that the Jacobite Masons created the Cryptic Rite. The association of the Shepherd's Monument with Rennes-le-Château, the cipher and the date on the Visigothic pillar would tend to support this theory. Bessel further reports that the

Stuart exiles living in France in the early 1700's, sometimes called 'Jacobites' from the Latin form of the name for James, were involved in Freemasonry. Some Masonic lodges in France and Italy were made up completely of Jacobites, and the grandson of James II, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' was definitely an active Mason. In 1745, the same year he attempted to invade England, he became the Grand Master of the Masonic Knights Templar, and also formed a Chapter of Rose Croix.

[The Jacobite Masons] considered the death of Hiram Abiff to represent the execution by the English Parliament of Charles I, the father of James II, and the raising of Hiram Abiff to represent the coming restoration to the English throne of the Stuart Kings. The 'Royal Master' was the Stuart claimant to the throne, who was called by some the 'Pretender' to the throne (at first James II, then his son James III, and then the grandson, Charles), and the secret vault was the place where the Jacobites plotted their return to power. The 'Select Masters' were the closest companions of the 'Pretender'. The ritual of the 'Select Master's' degree can easily be seen to be that of a secret political movement, if one believes this theory.76

The "peace of 1681" referred to in the cipher is likely the year when Charles II dissolved Parliament for the last time to prevent it from passing the Exclusion Bill, which would have prevented his brother, James II, from inheriting the throne. Because Charles didn't have any legitimate children, parliament feared James II would become the heir. James was an avowed Catholic who refused to become a Protestant to appease Parliament. After Charles dissolved Parliament of 1681, he called no further Parliaments. Charles, whose popularity was very high at the time, allowed James II, who had earlier fled England, to return in 1682.77

These associations are important considering connections between the Shepherd's Monument located at Shugborough at Staffordshire in Lichfield, and Rennes-le-Château, in Languedoc, where the Cathar heresy had taken route in the south of France. The Cathars are discussed in more detail in my book The Nummo. Their beliefs paralleled Dogon beliefs.

Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln report that Staffordshire (where Shugborough is located) was a hot bed of Masonic activity in the early- to mid-seventeenth century and that in 1688, shortly before he was deposed, James II created the Radclyffes as earls of Derwentwater. Charles Radclyffe was born in 1693. His mother was an illegitimate daughter of Charles II by his mistress, Moll Davies. Radclyffe was thus, on his mother's side, of royal blood and a grandson of the next to last Stuart monarch. He was also a cousin of Bonnie Prince Charles and of George Lee, Earl of Lichfield, another illegitimate grandson of Charles II.78 When Charles Radclyffe, another alleged Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion,79 escaped from Newgate Prison in 1714, he was aided by his cousin, the Earl of Lichfield. In 1746, Charles Radclyffe died beneath the headsman's axe at the Tower of London. This was approximately fourteen or fifteen years before the Shepherd's Monument was been built at Shugborough in Lichfield.

As discussed earlier, the underground political group associated with the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough in Lichfield was possibly founded around the time of the execution of Charles I in 1649. Records show that Elias Ashmole was sworn into Operative Masonic groups in London and in Warrington, which was in Lancashire, in 1646. The group associated with Staffordshire was probably formed around the same time or perhaps even earlier. As mentioned previously, the Operative Masons associated with these groups may have provided the backbone for the army used in the Stuart uprisings.

Rosslyn Chapel, the Rosicrucians and the Sinclairs

Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland was another likely meeting place for the Jacobites. The Sinclairs, who built the chapel, were not only connected to the Merovingian bloodline but they were heavily involved with the Masonic Society.

According to Masonic historical records, James II, King of Scotland, appointed William Sinclair, Baron of Roslyn, head and governor of the Masons:

The king wanted this dignity to be hereditary in his family and to belong to those that succeeded the barons of Roslyn (2). The title remained, indeed, in the family of Sinclair until in the year 1736, the time when the Grand Lodge of Saint John of Edinburgh was established.80

The records further report that "Masonry flourished under the kings of Scotland who succeeded James II. James VI particularly protected it."81 Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln wrote that the Sinclair family was the Scottish branch of the Norman Saint-Clair/Gisors family. Their domain at Rosslyn was only a few miles from the former Scottish headquarters of the Knights Templar. The chapel at Rosslyn was built between 1446 and 1486 and was long associated with both Freemasonry and the Rose-Croix, or Rosicrucians.82

Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln further report that in 1613 Frederick of the Palatinate married Elizabeth Stuart, who was daughter of James I of England, granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots, and great granddaughter of Marie de Guise (Guise was the cadet branch of the house of Lorraine), who had been married first to the duke of Longueville and then to James V of Scotland. This latter marriage created a dynastic alliance between the houses of Stuart and Lorraine. After Frederick's marriage to Elizabeth Stuart, he established an esoterically oriented court at his capital at Heidelberg. This court was defined as "Rosicrucian":

The Frederickian movement …was an attempt to give those currents politico-religious expression, to realize the ideal of Hermetic reform centered on a real prince…It…created a culture, a 'Rosicrucian' state with its court centered on Heidelberg.83

In 1618, Frederick accepted the crown of Bohemia, offered to him by the country's rebellious nobles. In doing so, he angered the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, which led to the Thirty Years War. By 1620, he and Elizabeth had been driven into exile in Holland, and Heidelberg was crawling with Catholic troops.84

Depictions of heads found beside the wreaths on the top of the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough may represent the carvings of the heads of the "Master Mason" and "The Apprentice" in the Rosslyn Chapel. It was believed by Scottish Templar historian Chev. Robert Brydon, that the original carving of "The Apprentice" in the Rosslyn Chapel had been altered and the individual in the sculpture originally had had a full beard. According to Brydon, the carving was very likely originally not that of an "apprentice" at all, as in ancient and medieval times only Master Masons were allowed to sport full beards, which implies the original carving was that of a "murdered Master" and not a "murdered apprentice."85 This might associate the carving with Hiram Abiff, the murdered architect of Solomon's Temple, who, as mentioned previously, also represented the executed Charles I.

The sculpture of the "Master Mason" may have been altered in the seventeenth or eighteenth century to protect its association with Charles I and the Jacobite uprising. The story about the murdered apprentice may have been fabricated at that time. Neither head on the Shepherd's Monument has a beard, which would fit with this theory. The heads on the Shepherd's Monument were possibly depicted this way to protect the monument's association with the exiled Jacobites. It is interesting to note that originally there was also a beardless head on the top centre above the keystone of the Alchemical Door in Rome created in 1680 by the Marquis Massimigliano Palombara. As mentioned earlier, it is possible that the Roman Alchemical Door was another meeting location for Italian sympathisers of the Jacobites.

"In 1629, when 'Rosicrucian' interest in Europe was at its zenith, a man named Robert Denyau curé of Gisors, composed an exhaustive history of Gisors and the Gisors family. In this manuscript Denyau states explicitly that the Rose-Croix was founded by Jean de Gisors in 1188."86 Gisors was also said to have been the first Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion.87 If we recall, the Sinclair family was the Scottish branch of the Norman Saint-Clair/Gisors family.

Rosicrucian manifestos that circulated in the seventeenth century throughout Europe claimed the existence of a secret brotherhood founded by one Christian Rosenkreuz, said to have been born in 1378 and died in 1484, and promised a transformation of the world and of human knowledge. The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was based on hermetic thought. One of these manifestos was The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, written in 1616 by German theologian Johann Valentin Andrea, another alleged Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion.88

Andrea seems to have created a network of secret societies known as Christian Unions, each headed by an anonymous prince and assisted by twelve others, and divided into groups of three, with each being a specialist in a given field of study. The primary focus of the Christian Unions was to preserve threatened knowledge and scientific advances that the Church deemed heretical. Scholars, scientists, philosophers, and esotericists found havens in these unions and many so-called heretics were smuggled to safety in England, where they became closely associated with Masonic circles and gained intimacy with Robert Moray, Elias Ashmole and Robert Boyle.89

During Cromwell's Protectorate, these dynamic minds both English and European formed what Boyle-in a deliberate echo of the 'Rosicrucian' manifestos-called an 'invisible college'. And with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the 'invisible college' became the Royal Society.90 Charles II granted the Royal Society its charter in 1662 and became a member of the group.91 The common theme among the scientists who began the Society was the acquisition of knowledge by experimental investigation. The first group included Robert Moray, who was one of the earliest men on record to be inducted into a Masonic lodge in 1641.92 Other members were Robert Boyle, said to have been another Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion,93 John Wilkins, John Wallis, John Evelyn, Christopher Wren, and William Petty. Elias Ashmole was another founding member.94 Virtually all of the Royal Society's founding members were Freemasons. Holy Blood Holy Grail argues that the Royal Society was a Masonic institution derived through Andrea's Christian Unions and from the 'invisible Rosicrucian brotherhood'.95

The first European prince to become a Mason and to publicize his Masonic affiliations was François Duke of Lorraine, who was initiated in 1731 at The Hague by Jean Desaguliers, a friend of Isaac Newton, who was also said to have been a Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion.96

François, who is better known as Francis I, married Maria Theresa of Austria in 1735, uniting the houses of Habsburg and Lorraine and inaugurating the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. Francis was Holy Roman Emperor and so his court at Vienna became Europe's Masonic capital. He also spent time in England and became a member of the Gentleman's Club of Spalding. As a practising alchemist, Francis also had an alchemical laboratory in the Hofburg, the imperial palace. Earlier, as Grand Duke of Tuscany, Francis was able to prevent the Inquisition's harassment of Freemasons in Florence.97 It was thanks to Francis' protection that Charles Radclyffe, was able to found the first Masonic lodge on the continent.98

According to Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln, Archduke Johann von Habsburg, cousin of Franz-Josef I, Emperor of Austria in the nineteenth century, visited Berenger Saunière at Rennes-le-Château in the late 1800s. Saunière and the archduke opened bank accounts, with the archduke making a substantial transfer to Saunière's account. Saunière used the money to redecorate the church.99 Among other things, Saunière added the statue of Asmodeus (or Ashmedai), the statue of the angels and the salamanders, the crest of Leo III over the archway, and the statue of St. John baptising Christ with the letter M hanging from his cross.100 This association of the Masonic Habsburg's with Rennes-le-Château is important because it reiterates Rennes-le-Château's connection with the Masonic Society, Rossyln Chapel and the Shepherd's Monument.

Evidence indicates that the Ansons, who built the Shepherd's Monument, were also associated with the Masonic Society. In 1730, Thomas Anson became Fellow of the Royal Society, which if we recall was identified as a Masonic institution as virtually all of the Royal Society's founding members were Freemasons. Holy Blood Holy Grail argues that the Royal Society was a Masonic institution derived through Andrea's Christian Unions and from the 'invisible Rosicrucian brotherhood'.101 Thomas Anson's proposers were the mathematician William Jones and the Rev Zachary Pearce (vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields).

Thomas Anson served as a Member of Parliament for Lichfield beginning in 1747. When his brother George died in 1762, Thomas inherited his brother's enormous fortune.104

When George died, a poem was read in Parliament. In it are references to the Shepherd's Monument and to "reason's finger pointing at the tomb."106 At that time in history, "reason" was identified with science, and much of science derived from hermetical studies. The late 1700s was the period of the age of reason. In the poem there was a reference to the lover's breast.

Upon that storied marble cast thine eye
The scene commands a moralising sigh.
E'en in Arcadia's bless'd Elysian plains,
Amidst the laughing nymphs and sportive swains
See festal joy subside, with melting grace
And pity visit the half-smiling face;
Where now the dance, the lute, the nuptial feast.
The passion throbbing in the lover's breast.
Life's emblem here, in youth and vernal bloom.
But reason's finger pointing at the tomb!


The title of Poussin's painting Et In Arcadia Ego alluded to in the poem means "And In Arcadia, I [Am]" suggesting the presence of an immortal forced to live in Arcadia, which although beautiful is still mortal.108

I believe this poem can be related to the Dogon religion, where the love affair between the first two ancestors ruined the Nummos' genetic engineering experiment. I believe the offspring of this affair resulted in the birth of Merovée the ancestor of the Merovingians. The affair caused humans to lose their immortality. Refer to The Nummo more information about this.

The Elysian plains are also mentioned in the poem and identified as being in Arcadia. The ancient Arcadians claimed descent from Arkas, the patron deity of the land, whose name meant "bear." Arkas was the son of Kallisto, a nymph connected with the Greek goddess Artemis.109 Kallisto was raped by Zeus and gave birth to twins, Arkas and Pan.110 These twins are significant to the Dogon religion and are discussed in The Nummo. The name Arcadia derives from Arkades, which means People of the Bear. The ancestors of the Merovingians were also said to be connected with Arcadia's royal house.111

In 1767, five years after George Anson's death, an anonymous poem relating to Shugborough refers to "righteous men" being wrapped in "Elysium".112 Elysium, means the land of the blessed dead, an obscure and mysterious name that evolved from a designation of a place or person struck by lightning.113

In the Dogon religion, during the regeneration process, humans were wrapped with cord like ropes. According to the Dogon, "the body was surrounded from top to bottom by a flexible iron helix, called amma su or "cord of God." The individual being regenerated was also struck on the forehead with something from the spaceship that sent a shock through his or her body. For more information on these associations refer to The Master of Speech and The Nummo.
If you would like to contact the author, email Follow this link for more on Shugborough and the Anson Family .

Shugborough Then And Now, Stafforshire County Council. ©Earl of Lichfield
2Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, BPCC Hazell Books,
Aylesbury, England, 1990 p. 26.
3Shannon Dorey, The Nummo, p. 83.
4Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000.
Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd.
5Dorey, The Nummo, p. 2.
6Shannon Dorey, The Master of Speech p. 2. 7Dorey, The Nummo, pp. 233-236.
8Dan Burstein, Secrets of the Code, CDS, New York, NY. 2004. p. 348.
9Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p. 253.
10Dorey, The Master of Speech p.113.
11Dorey, The Nummo, p.124. 12
2005/05/17/shugborough_code_feature.shtml Helen Thomas

13Paul Naudon, The Secret History of Freemasonry
Translated by Jon Graham, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont. 2005. p. 81.

14Naudon p. 266.
Grand Lodge of Yukon and British Columbia. Elias Ashmole
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the%20right%20angle%20p2.htm From the Theosophical Writings
of H.P. Blavatsky compiled by Geoffrey Farthing.
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Square%20&%20Compasses/SQC79.jpg Kena Hiram's Masonic Picture Collection.
National%20Sojourners/ Kena Hiram's Masonic Picture Collection.
28Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000. Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd.
29The Secret History of Freemasonry Paul Naudon, Translated by Jon Graham, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont. 2005. p. 266-267.
30 Simon Miles
31 Simon Miles
32 Simon Miles
33Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000. Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd.
34 Susanna Akerman, Christina of Sweden 1626-1689. the Porta Magica and the Italian Poets of the Golden and Rosy Cross. Michael Maier - Atalanta Fugiens, Public Domain,
35 Adam McLean
37Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000. Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd.
38The National Trust, Shugborough, John Martin Robinson. 1989. Reprinted 1998.
39Dorey, The Nummo p. 58.
40Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.133.
41Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.97.
42Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000. Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd. Odyssey Book IV: 563
44 Adam McLean
45Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.133.
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47 Magicians, Seers, and Mystics by Reginald Merton
48Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.446.
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50A076 Engraving from Ashmole's Theatrum Chemcicum Britannicum, 1652. ©Adam McLean 1998-2004.
artid=2019&letter=A Haggadic Legend.
52Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of the Gods. Seal Books, Toronto 1996. P. 81.
53Hancock p. 309
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55 William Harvey, J.P., F.S.A. (Scot.)Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire The Story of Hiram Abiff
56 Compasses In Art. Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon.
57Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp.187-189.
58 Compasses In Art. Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon.
59Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp. 38-39.
60Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p. 185.
61Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Château. DVD. 2000. Illuminated Word. 2005. The Disinformation Company Ltd.
62Le Serpent Rouge Marcus Williamson and Corella Hughes
63 Alan Scott.
Dr. John Grohol Psych Central
70 Shugborough Hall. Paul Smith
72 Alan Scott
Alan Scott Photo by © René Meyer 2003.
74Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.26.
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82Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.190.
83Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp.145-146.
84Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp.145-146.
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Dr. Karen Ralls, FSA Scot.
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88Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.147.
89Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.148.
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94Gerry Rose,"The Venetian Takeover
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96Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.133.
97Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp.153-154.
98Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.149.
99Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln pp.29-30.
100 Alan Scott 2005
101Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.148
Shugborough Hall. Paul Smith.
103 Earl of Lichfield.
Shugborough Hall. Paul Smith
Shugborough Hall. Paul Smith
106Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.191.
107Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.191.
108Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.40.
109Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.250.
110Carl Kerényi, The Gods of the Greeks. (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, Penguin Books Ltd. 1958.) p. 130.
111Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.249.
112 Shugborough Hall, Paul Smith (Burkert 1985 p. 198)