Thoughts on the Martinist Altar
+ Mike Restivo [Sar Ignatius, I::L:: Rose†Croix Martinist Order (Ontario, Canada)]
After the Martinist Conventicle Opening, Brother Sar Ignatius rises to offer some thoughts:
The Martinist altar is of the dimension of a double cube about 4 feet in height by 2 feet square. In the Martinist Order and Synarchy and the Rose†Croix Martinist Order, the altar is divided into 3 layers, the lowest at the base is coloured black, the next higher in the middle is coloured red, and the uppermost top section is coloured white.
The black section represents the first Martinist degree, that of Associate, one of preparation of the personality to become a more enlightened being and the study of exoteric and esoteric science. It is the study of the Book of Nature and the Book of Humankind. Alchemically speaking, it is the stage of purification and separation of the dross from the prima materia which is the Martinist him or herself.
The red section represents the second Martinist degree, that of Initiate, one of self examination and discipline along the Mystic Way in selfless and chivalrous beneficence to humankind. It is the study of Christian mysticism and application of meditative and cognitive techniques to improve the personality along the model of chivalrous social hero.
The white section represents the third Martinist Degree, that of Unknown Superior, in which the Mystic Way is intensified with practical applications of meditative and breathing techniques. The Martinist is training to become a social priest and pastor, as it were: leader to both junior Martinists and fellow non Martinists. This model is a sacerdotal metaphor only, not a privilege to bestow any religious sacraments. The third degree is a Rosicrucian degree of study in the Rose† Croix Martinist Order. Culminated S::I::'s are called Rose†Croix Martinists not by mere honorific, but by recognition of their practical entitlement to the degree.
On the altar top are three single candles of 100 percent natural beeswax in brass holders. They are arranged with the apex luminary's position pointing to the Master Superior's Table in the east, one luminary pointing to the north and one luminary pointing to the south forming an equilateral triangle. According to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the luminaries are respectively representing the Sephiroth or Kabbalistic spheres of correspondences, Kether (Crown) in the East, Chokma (Wisdom) in the North and Binah (Understanding) in the South in the Rose†Croix Martinist Order arrangement.
Also on the Altar is an incense burner with charcoal and sanctuary votive luminary, both ignited immediately prior to the Opening, incense container with spoon and frankincense resin and candle taper or gas lighter in the Rose†Croix Martinist Order arrangement.
Bro:: Sar Ignatius (Mike Restivo) resumes his seat as other members and the Temple Master offer comments.