The Chamber of Reflection, Broken Column, Alchemy

Broken Column 

The broken column in Freemasonry is the symbol of the fall of one of the central supporters of the Craft. The utilization of the segment or columns as a landmark raised over a tomb was an old custom and was a noteworthy image of the character and soul of the individual entombed.

It is attributed to Jeremy L. Cross that he initially brought the Broken Column into the ceremonies of Freemasonry, however, this may not be very authentic.

>> Read more The Masonic Beehive and The Freemason’s Apron

Taking a gander at Cross’ use of the virgin and broken column, an assessment from Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy, Robert Hewitt Brown says of the combination, “The entire symbol may, along these lines, be astronomically clarified as follows: The virgin sobbing over the broken column indicates her despondency at the passing of the sun, killed by the snowy signs.

Broken Column

At the back stands Saturn and highlighting the culmination of the zodiacal curve indicates that Time will mend her distresses, and, when the year has filled its circuit, her master the sun will ascend from the grave of winter, and, triumphing over all the forces of obscurity, return again to her embraces.

The Chamber of Reflection 

Probably the best enigma of modern Freemasonry, the Chamber of Reflection is a little-utilized approach in the ceremonies of a recently made Mason. However, the symbolism of the Chamber originates from Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and other mysterious customs. 

In the French and Scottish Rites, a little room abutting the Lodge, where, preliminary to inception, the candidate is enclosed to revel in those serious reflections which its solemn appearance and the bleak seals with which it is decorated are determined to deliver. It is likewise utilized in parts of the advanced degrees for a similar reason.  

It is just in isolation that we can profoundly ponder our present or future endeavors, and obscurity, dimness, or singularity, is ever an image of death. A man who has attempted a thing after thorough reflection only sometimes turns around.

Manly P Hall, in his Secret Teachings of All Ages, wrote about the utilization of V.I.T.R.I.O.L., starting with the word VISITA and reading clockwise, the seven beginning letters of the seven words engraved in the external circle read: VITRIOL.

This is an exceptionally basic alchemical conundrum however is a reminder that those studying works on Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, alchemy, and Freemasonry ought to be in constant watch out for hidden meanings in tales and allegories or in cryptic alignment of action of numbers, letters, and words.


Mackey, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, says of this image, that the Neo-Platonicians presented at an early time of the Christian period an obviously new science, which they called the Sacred Science, which physically impacted the ensuing state of expressions of the human experience and sciences.

In the fifth centennial emerged, the name of the science, alchemia, al being added to chemia, a Greek word utilized in Diocletian’s declaration against Egyptian works treating of the transmutation of metals; the word appears to be basically to signify “the Egyptian Art,” or the place where there is dark earth being the Egyptian name for Egypt, and Julius FirmicusMaternus, in a work On the Influence of the Stars upon the Fate of Man, utilizes the expression sciential chemiae.

From this time the education of alchemy was followed publicly. In the Middle Ages, and up to the finish of the seventeenth centennial, it was a significant science, also studied by the absolute most recognized thinkers, for example, Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lulli, Roger Bacon, Elias Ashmole, and numerous others. Additionally, alchemy is also called the Hermetic Philosophy since it is said to have been first coached in Egypt by Hermes Trismegistus. 

Freemasonry and alchemy have looked for similar outcomes and they have both looked for it by a similar strategy of symbols. It isn’t, thusly, abnormal that in the eighteenth century, and maybe previously, we discover a joining of a significant part of the study of alchemy into that of Freemasonry.

Hermetic customs and Hermetic degrees were normal, and their relics are still to be discovered existing in degrees which don’t totally follow their cause to alchemy, however, which show a portion of it follows in their ceremonies.

The Twenty-eighth Degree of the Scottish Rite is altogether a Hermetic degree and entitles its heritage too in the title of Adept of Masonry, by which it is in some cases known.