Knights Templar the Seal…..

As most are aware I have an affinity for the Knights Templar as stories were told to me as a child of how our family had part of the Holy Crusades to protect the people going to worship in the Holy City of Jerusalem, our family were part of the protectors of the pilgrims of that time, so I ascribe myself as one of them though as more of a backsliding Templar. One of the things I carry is the Templar coin, it remain on my body at all times. Considering I am DID you may think that another aspect of my psyche, I assure you it is not? So follows a description of the seal itself.

The Templar Seal:

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomine Tuo Da Gloriam”
The motto expresses the note inspired by devotion, consistent with the Martian nature of the order, as we will see later, when studying the seal. The invocation doesn’t leave any doubts about the conceptual object at the center of one’s choice as affiliated, represented by the order; indeed the use of ‘us’ depersonalizes the individual and leaves room for a group conscience represented only by the Order. The sense of the invocation that it expresses is even more mystical; it is total faith in the will of the Lord (God) and the commending of one’s own destiny into His hands, like Jesus the Nazarene did in his last invocation as an incarnate man, before dying on the cross, where he said: «Father into thy hands I commend my spirit».

We can clearly see the will to tend towards heaven, one’s own ideal and self-sacrifice towards the mystic glory that reminds us of the mystery of the Eucharistic elevation.

Symbols are the external and visible forms of the inner spiritual realities; for any researcher, to develop the ability to discover the reality behind any specific form means to develop one’s own (spiritual) intuition.

The concept underneath a symbol is always synthetic and therefore it is not divided in parts. Synthesis, on the other hand, is the complex of several parts that, single and multiple, are organized in a unitary perspective. Several essential parts, then, converging to the same mental point, make a whole that respects their initial essentiality. Therefore synthesis is an essential perspective that is not a summary.

Like any other symbol the templar seal can be interpreted on several levels. The most appropriate and most interesting are certainly ethic-moral (exoteric), philosophical (conceptual or esoteric) and initiatory levels.

The first consideration to make is on the form of the symbol. It must be considered in its geometrical value, which determines the field of action where the concept expressed by the symbol is placed. In our case the geometric form is a circle and the chosen metal is iron, which has a particular meaning.

The circle, or rather the circumference, circumscribes a two-dimensional space, whilst the three-dimensional sphere shows a dimension joining space and time.

The circle is the geometric form that most describes simplicity and fullness; in the instance of a circumference it distinguishes itself for the absence of points that could determine a break to the continuity of the line that defines it; in the instance of the sphere we notice the absence of lines that delimit surfaces. Thanks to these obvious reasons, it has always represented manifestation and universality. Seen as the container of the dynamic impulse generated by the point – the center – and that qualifies space by defining it, it allows motion (as a result of the interaction between centrifugal force, irradiated from the point that is the central generator of the universe, and centripetal force, the energetic space kept by the circumference) to create forms and therefore make itself invisible. The latter is what we call manifestation. Therefore the circumference, or even better the sphere, is the best geometrical representation of the second aspect of the Trinity, known as the Great Mother. It is, after all, the symbol of a mental or conscience dimension.

Going back to the use of this shape for the seal in question, we can say that the field of conceptual action indicated by it has a character of universality, expressed by principles identifiable as such precisely because of their simple completeness .

As we have anticipated above, the metal used for the seal as well leads back to specific and indicative elements that characterize the institution of which it is the emblem.

Iron, in alchemic language, is closely related to the planet Mars. In the Menorah the latter is the third light to be lit, representing the planetary hierarchy. Mars, ‘the orange tint of the Work’, is also the red planet that expresses force, tends to idealism, effort and evolution in its altruistic and inclusive manifestation; more often, where egoistic and separating nature rules, it is the aspect that tends to destructive fanaticism, war and contrast.

From these characteristics two strong indicative elements emerge: mystic idealism and art of war, both typical of the templar Order. The latter expressed the duality of mystic idealism of a militarily organized body that we will see later.

According to the principles of the Rule, the aspirant ‘Brother’ will have to undergo a year of probation and take an oath of poverty, for which the whole patrimony of the Knight (or the Soldier) was entirely devolved to the Order.

The representation in the seal of two Knights on the back of one horse has often been interpreted as the symbol of this oath of poverty. But the ordinary interpretation appears too obvious and simplistic to be convincing, since this seal, considered the most famous and typical of the Knights Templar, in actual fact dates back to a century after their appearance, when they were certainly not poor – if they ever were. In reality the oath of poverty shows with an exterior action what the aspirant is not yet able to accomplish inside; it is the principle of renunciation, which is the result of an inner process that develops abilities such as discernment, domain of passion and discipline. The renunciation to the world of form to embrace the ‘cause of spirit’ becomes a spontaneous action rather than a sacrifice.

What appears obvious straight away in the shape of the horse (equus) is the reference to the equestrian order implied in the seal. The Brotherhood in the name of the Order is the first ideal that rules this chivalrous Order with strong mystical tendencies.

Bernard of Clairvaux, which was later made saint, in the treaty ‘In praise of the New Knighthood’, claims that the Knight Templar represented the apotheosis of Christian values: ‘A new knighthood has appeared in the land of Incarnation, it is new, I say, and not yet experienced by the world, where it leads a double fight, sometimes against an enemy of flesh and blood, sometimes against the spirit of evil in heaven. The fact that knights resist with their body strength to corporal enemies I don’t find surprising, because I don’t think it’s rare. But that they fight with the strength of their spirit against vices and demons, I would say it is not only wonderful, but deserving of all the praises given to religious people.

Nine years after the foundation of the Order, the knights that went back to Europe were triumphantly welcomed also thanks to the work by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The Rule was granted on the 31st January 1128, when Hughes de Payns turned up at the council of Troyes, where the Knights templar obtained the right to wear their characteristic white mantles [3]: they were now monks as well as knights.

It was a ‘militia of Christ’, as it was called at the time, which allowed the affirmation of a code linked to chivalry, indeed called chivalric Code, which is in actual fact the expression of a Code of Honor. Therefore, with the Knights templar, also called mystic chivalry, the first Code of the Chivalry of the warrior-monks was born.

The monastic and military aspects live together in eternal symbiosis, on the equestrian order in the practice of the Order. This should be the meaning of the two men on the back of the same horse.

This should be the dualistic but not conflicting meaning of every Knight Templar.

The mystic aspect of the religious person and the warlike aspect of the military person are not separated like in any other initiatory Order (aspects sometimes in competition) but they are synthesized in the order as well as in each individual component. Every duality concurs to represent the great truth hidden in the synthesis of what is dual. The knights in pairs, like Bailiwicks and Commanderies (each Bailiwick as well as each Commandery had its ‘sister house’) but even more like black and white of Baussant, the banner of the Temple.

Everything seems to highlight with some emphasis how important what is behind this rule is. It is essentiality, which in its esoteric meaning corresponds to the power of synthesis; on its turn synthesis, in the esoteric system, completely expresses potentiality and dynamism of the will aspect. The tendency to synthesis or, in other words, the primary impulse that tends to unification is the first factor that reveals the divine nature in man. This impulse, which manifests itself as a continuation of common welfare, is typical of the higher nature; likewise personal desire is typical of the lower nature of man.

On the other hand the concept of sharing strongly emerges from the Rule that regulates the behavior of the affiliates to the Order of the Temple. Sharing, with its mental form, educates the knight to the tendency to join his two-fold nature (lower and higher) instead of separating it; this is the requirement to reach essentiality as a philosophy of life.

The next ‘neo-templar’ view lacks the will aspect of the warrior, as well as the aspect of devotion towards the idea.

The most obvious meaning of the modern ‘neo-templar’ movements, or of those who refer to it, is the memory, in myth and legend, of a ‘revenge’; it is not clear how it should be carried out or with which instruments other than intellectual ones. Therefore the joining point between aspects of past templarism and the morale of present-day neotemplarism is the concept of essentiality. Perhaps, in the destruction of the pillars carried out by the knight Kadosh, we can recognize a strong dynamic drive, in the destruction of superfluous and deceitful, or the initiatory essentiality that many mistake for poverty.

With much gratitude and devotion,

Dan Kline


One Response to “Knights Templar the Seal…..”

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