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The Occult Symbolism of the Bronx Zoo

The Occult Symbolism of the Bronx Zoo 129

By Richard Cassaro

A hidden body of ancient spiritual wisdom lies encoded in the architecture of the Bronx Zoo in New York City. It was put there by the architects and stonemasons who designed and built the zoo’s central structures at the turn of the last century. This wisdom is akin to the “lost” doctrine of the Freemasons and bears every evidence of having been designed and built by (true operative) Masons. Visible in the shape, blueprint, layout and iconography of the zoo’s key buildings and landmarks, the message conveyed is one of spiritual illumination, aimed at leading a seeker toward expanded consciousness, nirvana, and ultimately the higher Self.

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A caduceus symbol, inscribed on a building at the Bronx Zoo,
flanked by a lion on the right and lioness on the left.

The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City. It is one of the world’s largest metropolitan zoos, with some 4,000 animals representing about 650 species from around the globe.  Yet few if any of the Bronx Zoo’s annual visitors realize that hidden within the zoo’s unique architecture is an immensely profound secret doctrine of spiritual illumination; a doctrine encoded in stone by “operative” Freemasons who designed and built the zoo’s central structures.

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The Torch of Illumination, a symbol of intellectual and spiritual enlightenment.

This doctrine is visible when walking along “Astor Court,” an approximately 10-acre-large promenade of esoterically-designed buildings, balustrades, grottoes, fountains, gardens and pathways. Situated on a low natural hill at the heart of the zoo’s 265 acres, Astor Court is the zoo’s most mysterious and provocative feature. Here’s an aerial view of the Astor Court promenade with photos:

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Aerial view of Astor Court with photos, Bronx Zoo, New York City.
By 1909 annual attendance had reached four million visitors.

The buildings on Astor Court―the Monkey House, Lion House, Bird House, Elephant House, & Administration Building―were constructed between 1899 and 1910 to designs by the architectural firm Heins & La Farge. Four of them are richly embellished with large, realistically modeled, stone and terra-cotta sculptures of animals by Eli Harvey, Charles R. Knight and Alexander Phimster Proctor. These works of art were commissioned to illustrate the animals housed in each building.

At first glance these designs seem innocent enough; but look more closely and you’ll notice the consistent recurrence of a “three” or “three-in-one” trinity pattern etched in stone and art. This trinity pattern cries out for further examination. We see the pattern clearly on one Astor Court building called the Lion House. Its facade looks like the ruin of a marvelous ancient temple built by some genius long-lost civilization.

The Lion House ― The Front Entrance

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Note the two lions facing each other above the main doorway.

Two columns or pillars flank the main entrance, called “Jachin” and “Boaz” in modern Freemasonry. They support a giant Tri-angle (Tri = Three) or “pediment”―our first glimpse at the recurring “three” or “three-in-one” trinity pattern. Inside the Triangle a male lion sits on the right side and a female lioness sits facing him on the left side. Both flank a large Caduceus, which points upward at the Triangle’s apex.

Interestingly, the Caduceus is not made with a “rod” (in the middle) but a single “column” or “pillar.” Why?

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The Caduceus shows a “pillar” instead of a “rod” (see inset).

This pillar has a very special meaning in the occult. It is the “Middle Pillar” of the so-called “Three Pillars of Wisdom,” illustrated in various Secret Society documents, and visible on church and cathedral stained glass. These Three Pillars enshrine powerful information on the human condition―authentic truths revealing our spiritual and physical makeup.

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The “Three Pillars of Wisdom” from various Secret Society documents
including the Oddfellows, Freemasons, and Knights of Pythias.

What exactly do they teach?

We’re told that together the Three Pillars of Wisdom are called “Wisdom, Strength & Beauty.” But this is just a smokescreen―similar to how Freemasonry has been “dumbed” all the way “down” to the three-pronged slogan of “Faith, Hope & Charity.”

All Three Pillars look the same, but there’s a crucial difference: Special attention surrounds the middle pillar. It even has a name―the “Middle Pillar.” In the Masonic certificate below the Middle Pillar is partially obscured:

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Masonic Testimony of Initiation. Note the Three Pillars. The Middle Pillar,
partially obscured, is aligned along the same vertical axis as the Masonic Eye.

The Middle Pillar is special because it is spiritual, while the “Twin Pillars” flanking it are physical, as we’ll see in a moment. Thus, the Middle Pillar is deeper, more profound, and more mystical and magical than the outer Twin Pillars. This importance is clearly expressed in Masonic drawings. Note the emphasis on the Middle Pillar here:

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The 19th Century “Master’s Carpet,” a basic emblematic chart for the
instruction of Freemasonry. Note the emphasis given the Middle Pillar.

Sometimes the Middle Pillar is excluded from view. When shown this way―as depicted on the Masonic Tracing Board below―the outer Twin Pillars are called “Jachin” and “Boaz” and are usually capped by the Sun & Moon, respectively.

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Masonic Tracing Board featuring the Twin Pillars, called Jachin & Boaz, capped by the
Sun & Moon. Note how the Middle Pillar appears “missing”―a pedestal without a pillar.

Why the Sun & Moon?

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The Tai-Chi or Yin-Yang symbolizes pairs of opposites inside the universe.

Like the ancient Chinese “yin/yang” symbol, the Twin Pillars denote the “pairs of opposites” in our world via the following “sun/moon” formula:

·    The SUN rules the Day (Yang)―but the MOON rules the Night (Yin)
·    The DAY brings Light (Yang)―but the NIGHT brings Dark (Yin)
·    The LIGHT brings Hot (Yang)―but the DARK brings Cold (Yin)
·    The HOT brings Dry (Yang)―but the COLD brings Moist (Yin)
·    The DAY symbolizes Life (Yang)―but the NIGHT symbolizes Death (Yin)
·    The LIFE is considered Good (Yang)―but DEATH is considered Evil (Yin)

In other words, everything inside Creation...inside the physical world of change…has a “sun” side (yang) and a “moon” side (yin)―including man. Everything in the cosmos, including man, is made of twin complementary opposites.

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We see this in the Kabbalistic “Tree of Life” design in the image below. The human body’s twin symmetrical halves are depicted by the Twin Pillars of “Mercy” and “Severity.” Of course, these Twin Kabbalistic Pillars parallel Freemasonry’s Jachin & Boaz pillars. Between the Twin Pillars of Mercy and Severity there’s a Middle Pillar―the Middle Pillar of the soul. It’s nicknamed the “Pillar of Consciousness” because the eternal soul is consciousness―it makes us who we are:

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The Kabbalistic Tree of Life reveals how man is formed by
“Three Pillars of Wisdom”―a Middle Pillar flanked by Twin Pillars.

Visualize yourself stepping into and becoming the Tree of Life. Put the Pillar of Mercy on your right, and the Pillar of Severity on your left. These two pillars are symmetrical opposites, like the left and right sides of your symmetrical body. The real you, however, is not the body. The real you is not composed of opposites. The real you is the spiritual center, between the opposites.

This is the secret of the Three Pillars of Wisdom! We are the divine and eternal Middle Pillar, separate from the outer Twin Pillars of the physical human body. Yet, while we are man, we are all three of these in one―a “three-in-one” or “trinity” being (discussed earlier).

Standing in the center, and balancing the outer Twin pillars, we consciously remember again the Middle Pillar, which is who we are. The Middle Pillar is our connection to heaven or, better, our connection to our heavenly Self. This is exactly what the designers of the “Middle Pillar” on the Bronx Zoo’s Lion House are telling us! Center yourself between the opposites of male/lion and female/lioness and remember who you are!

Know Thyself” ― Delphic Maxim

This above all: To thine own self be true.” ― Shakespeare

He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu

Know then thyself…The proper study of mankind is Man.” ― Alexander Pope

When one attains the “Middle Pillar” the resulting apotheosis was anciently personified as a “Caryatid” pillar. This is an architectural device once used to symbolize a perfected human being―like a Christ or a Buddha or an Athena or a bodhisattva; one who has found or attained the eternal divinity within. A Caryatid is a human being so perfect that their (now superhuman) body itself actually forms the Middle Pillar, as if the twain were one!

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Left: The Middle Pillar on the Lion’s House.
Right: A Caryatid or perfect human is “one” with the Middle Pillar.

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Left: The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis at Athens.

For the ancients, finding the Middle Pillar meant reuniting with our axis mundi. The axis mundi (or “world axis”) is analogous to the rotational axis of the earth which is an idealized line running through the middle of the globe to the Pole Star. It has been symbolized as a column or pillar, as a tree, a ladder, and a mound, mountain or pyramid, all of which are seen as forming a connection between the earth and the heavens.

Associated with the spinal column, the axis mundi can be thought of as your “eternal soul” within, your (umbilical-like) link to heaven, or, rather, a link to the heavenly and immortal aspect of your being. Your axis mundi stretches all the way to heaven. Otherwise said, you—the eternal spiritual part of you―stretch all the way to heaven.

The Road To Heaven. At the end of this road is…you. Long exposure
film of stars circling the North Celestial Pole. The daily rotation of
Earth creates the appearance of rings around the pole.

While alive on earth, we (atman) are always attached to heaven (brahman) via this axis mundi, like a fetus attached to its mother via the umbilical cord―so the ancients believed. The axis mundi is not a part of you, it is you; your body is a part of your eternal axis mundi, but only temporarily i.e., until the body’s death. The problem is that when we are man we have amnesia of this truth.

“The axis mundi (also…world pillar…) in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth…At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones…”

— Wikipedia

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This implies that the divine realm and human realm are not separate; that matter is not evil, as the theistic religions teach, but is instead the manifestation in the imperfect material realm of a perfect spiritual substance, like a flower arising out of the ground. In other words, the natural world, and the substance of our lives, is fashioned from the stuff of the spiritual realm.

This same idea persists in Hinduism’s Kundalini Yoga, where we again find the “Middle Pillar” concept.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga teaches that we each have male (pingala) and female (ida) energies that define our bodily right and left sides. When balanced, our Middle Pillar, called “Sushumna,” is activated, and a hidden Third Eye opens in our forehead. The Third Eye peers inward at our spiritual soul, showing us our true hidden eternal nature!

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Left: Caduceus on the Lion House, Bronx Zoo, with twin serpents
rising. Right: Kundalini Yoga depicting the awakening of the Third Eye
by balancing these opposing twin energies (called Ida and Pingala).

·    The Middle Pillar (at left) matches our spinal cord (at right).
·    The twin serpents going up the Caduceus (at left) match the twin ida and pingala spirals ascending upward (at right).
·    The pine cone or pineal gland sitting atop the pillar (at left) matches the awakened Third Eye on the forehead (at right).
·    The male and female lions (at left) corresponds to the sun and moon (at right).

Thus, the Caduceus symbol in general―the Caduceus on the Lion House is one example―is an arcane allusion to Kundalini Yoga, the art of balancing our male/female energies in an effort to activate the hidden Third Eye in our foreheads:

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“Caduceus” by Alex Grey. A symbol of awakening our Third Eye.
During the dark days of the Christian Inquisition, all non-Christian
spiritual teachings had to be hidden and concealed.

Essentially, Hinduism’s “awakening-our-Third-Eye-to-find-the-inner-Self” method is the perfect equivalent to the Kabbalistic “form-the-Middle-Pillar-to-return-to-source” teaching conveyed in the Tree of Life; both practices involve usage of a “trinity” or “three-in-one” method of balancing opposites to achieve the inner soul.

Knowing this information, we can make sense of the Masonic Tracing Board below. As discussed, man is symbolized by Three columns or pillars; a centered Middle Pillar and twin “opposing” pillars flanking it:

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The Three Pillars of Wisdom. We are Three Pillars when we are
man (i.e., when our soul incarnates as man). This is depicted
on the First Degree Masonic Tracing Board above.

The Middle Pillar is topped by a single luminous Eye―the Third Eye. The right-side pillar is topped by the sun, the left-side pillar is topped by the moon.

Note how the Middle Pillar is perfectly centered, and how the Third Eye above the Middle Pillar is emitting light―more light than the sun and moon. Why? Because when our sun and moon halves are balanced, our Middle Pillar is erected and Third Eye opens, giving us more “light” or illumination than ordinary duality.

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Here is another example of the Three Pillars showing the Middle Pillar capped by the Third Eye:

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The Three Pillars of Wisdom from an Oddfellows certificate.

The Middle Pillar, in the image above, aligns perfectly with the Eye symbol above it. Note how the Middle Pillar is “vertical.” This is important. There’s a definite resemblance among all the “vertical” objects presented in this article. Recall the Caduceus and Torch of illumination, shown earlier (and shown again below). Both are vertical symbols:

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Left: Caduceus on the Lion House. Right: Torch of illumination. Both are
strikingly similar. As we’ll see, occult symbols are sometimes interchangeable.

All three symbols emphasize the vertical principle, which is the spiritual principle; the horizontal, on the other hand, is the material principle. The vertical axis in general is important in the occult. It signifies not only the spiritual, as opposed to physical, but also the “now” moment, as opposed to past/future, left/right, etc. The “now” moment is the only thing that’s real, because it is spiritual. The past/future, left/right, etc. is not real, because it is physical and part of the “maya” or illusory physical realm:

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

―Alan Watts

Paying tribute to this vertical/spiritual principle, a series of Caduceus gateposts surround the tomb of the Yale University fraternal society “Book & Snake,” a truly spectacular display. These posts are unique because they combine, among other things, the “vertical” aspect of the two images in the photo above, namely, the Caduceus and the Torch of illumination (see below left):

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Left: A Caduceus with torch outside Yale’s “Book & Snake” headquarters.
Right: A caduceus capped with a pine cone on the Whitehall Building in New York City.

A similar combining of symbols can be seen in the Caduceus symbol in the image above (right), etched in stone on the Whitehall Building in New York City. There are three torch-like symbols, one big one in the middle and two smaller ones flanking it. At the top of the torch in the middle there is a pine cone in place of the flame, signifying our pineal gland (pine = pineal) or Third Eye.

A similar symbol decorates the stone pediment of this turn of the century midtown Manhattan building:

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Twin serpents flank a Middle Pillar on a midtown Manhattan
building pediment. The “Triangle” symbol conveys
“balanced opposites” as does the image inside it.

These images underscore the interchangeable nature of occult symbols and symbolism, as well as their common “trinity” or “three-in-one” denominator―conveying the “balanced-duality-will-lead-to-your-center” idea.

The problem is day-to-day we don’t live from our center; we don’t know who we are inside. We have amnesia of the soul, we don’t re-member the Middle Pillar. In a sense, the Middle Pillar is broken. Hence the long-ago establishment of Orders and spiritual systems aimed at helping seekers reconnect.

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This idea, that we have lost a direct connection to our soul, is related in Freemasonry’s “Broken Column,” first illustrated by Amos Doolittle in the “true Masonic Chart” by Jeremy Cross, published in 1819.

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The “Broken Column” in 1819.

Our connection to our Third Eye is non-functional because our “Middle Pillar” is broken―i.e., the broken column shown here. We’ve been swept away by the opposites. We’ve lost the gnosis or “knowledge” of our “soul within,” exchanging it for a cheap “hope” or “faith” in a Santa Claus like father-figure in heaven taught to us by the Holy Bible.

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The Middle Pillar is broken in most of us. We don’t know who we are.

As a result, we have amnesia of who we really are inside, of our eternal godhood, and of all our inherent and inborn powers that come with it. We’ve identified with the Creation, and ceased to realize that we are in fact the Creator.

In this sense, all is lost.

That’s why long ago, as growing Christianity violently stamped out more and more of this ancient wisdom―plunging Europe into the Dark Ages―underground Secret Societies were established, like the Freemasons.  Their purpose and aim―today mostly forgotten―was to safeguard this wisdom of introspection and spiritual illumination, and initiate new generations into it.

Not all initiates have been men. In her famous portrait, The Broken Column (1944), the spiritually-awakened artist Frida Khalo (1907 – 1954) depicted herself as having “pieced together” the broken column, which she correctly associates with her spinal cord:

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The Broken Column (1944) by the spiritually awakened artist Frida Khalo.

Khalo’s magnificent artwork features numerous Third Eye images, which she correctly associates with her forehead as well as the foreheads of others, indicating her deep understanding of the Secret Doctrine of the Freemasons.

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“Diego and I” by Frida Khalo (1949).

Khalo’s artwork shows she also understood the importance of artistic “symmetry,” which she no doubt learned by studying ancient world art. Antiquity’s most sacred art (Egyptians, Etruscans, Aryans, Shang, Olmec, etc.). is symmetrical; it expresses duality, as well as the directions of “left” and “right,” thus creating a definable “center” between them and transforming the artwork into a coded message that urges the viewer toward spiritual illumination:

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The Two Fridas by Frida Khalo (1939).

Note the similarity between the symmetry above and the following Egyptian artistic symmetry:

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Top Photo: Third Eye religion of ancient Egypt. Bottom Photo: Third Eye religion of ancient India.

This ancient Egyptian stone carving is a three-in-one design, with a left side, right side, and middle axis. Both left and right sides―or “halves” you might say―are mirror images of the other. Running up the middle is the axis mundi or Middle Pillar. See it?

At the top of the Middle Pillar, the circular Aten symbolizes the Third Eye; it’s the Egyptian version of Hinduism’s bindi “dot” still worn on the Hindu forehead today. Note how two eyes flank the Aten (circled in red)―same with the bindi dot in India.

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Countless Egyptian images show the Aten as Egypt’s version of Hinduism’s bindi Third Eye dot.

Directly beneath the dot, in the Egyptian relief, is the legendary Djed column of the god Osiris, which is his backbone or spinal column. This is a very ancient version of the Middle Pillar and a forerunner of the Caduceus.

Recall how in the Kabbalah and Hinduism, opposites must be balanced for the Middle Pillar to be established / Third Eye awakened. In Egypt, this is symbolized by the Djed topped with the Aten. These symbols have a complementary meaning, conveying the act of raising spiritual energy up the spinal column to establish the Middle Pillar and revivify or, better, “resurrect” the “god within.”

Rosalie David, Professor and Keeper of Egyptology at the Manchester Museum, describes this “resurrection” associated with the Djed Column―said to be that of Osiris―in her book The Ancient Egyptians: Beliefs and Practices:

“The scenes on the walls in this area depict the rites which culminated in the raising of the djed-pillar, which probably symbolized the climax of the festival, when the god was believed to return to life.”

The origin and meaning of this symbol remains obscure but the djed pillar came to represent strength and permanence to the Egyptians and to be an essential symbol of the god’s resurrection.”

— Rosalie David, The Ancient Egyptians: Beliefs and Practices:

The Egyptians knew something about the Djed column that modern Egyptologists don’t realize; namely, that the god here is not some “guy” named Osiris. Rather, “Osiris” is a symbol of our higher eternal Self. The “Osiris within” us is our “god within” or “Christ within” or “Buddha within” or “soul within”―doesn’t matter what you call it.

The act of “bringing the god back to life” or “resurrecting” the god—as described by Rosalie David—simply meant establishing the Middle Pillar and remembering who we are (i.e., an eternal soul or god). The Egyptians knew the formula for “bringing the god” back to life: balance. This concept of “balance” expresses the true meaning of the Djed, and is even depicted in symbols of it.

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See below. The Djed looks like a giant anthropomorphic spinal column; it is vertical, and single, and thus a a perfect “Middle Pillar” symbol. Both arms appear symmetrical, holding twin “opposites”—shepherd’s staff (guidance/Mercy) in one hand and flail (punishment/Severity) in the other hand—in perfect balance:

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One of the world’s most ancient designs of a Middle Pillar symbol.

The Djed’s “Mercy” and “Severity” opposites parallel the Mercy and Severity pillars on the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life―evidence that what the Egyptians called the “Djed Pillar” the later Kabbalists called the “Middle Pillar”!

In Egypt, the Aten was often drawn with twin serpents issuing from it, and it is this symbol that later evolved into the Caduceus―the same Caduceus that found its way onto the Bronx Zoo’s Lion House!

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The Caduceus symbol evolved from the Egyptian aten during an era when the
Church and Inquisition were focused on stamping out all ancient wisdom.

Thus, the twin serpents running up the Middle Pillar design on the facade of the Lion’s House parallel the Ida and Pingala channels that run up the Sushumna in Hinduism’s Third Eye Yoga. The Third Eye existed in Egypt, similar to the bindi dot in India. Later it became stylized into the Aten with serpents and wings. Still later, as Christianity’s Inquisition stamped out Paganism, the Aten needed to be camouflaged and disguised, hence the birth of the Caduceus. To this day, few people realize the Caduceus symbolizes the ancient Pagan art of awakening of our Third Eye to see the soul within.

Interestingly, the Lion House has a “rear entrance” and its design is almost identical to the design on the building’s facade.

The Lion House ― The Rear Entrance

The Lion House is rectangular with two openings, like a tunnel. Having identical entrances plays well into the themes of “duality and “balance.” As we can see in the image below, the similarities the twin facades share include:

·    Massive Stone Pediment (Triangle)
·    Male/Female Lions (In Same Position As Entrance)
·    Single Pillar or Middle Pillar (Between The Lions)

The difference is that here there is neither a Caduceus, nor twin serpents ascending it. There is simply a single pillar between the male / female lions:

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The “rear entrance” to the Lion House is almost perfectly identical to its facade.

Knowing all we’ve discussed regarding the symbolism of the front entrance of the Lion’s House, can you read the message here, written in stone?

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We have:

·    Massive Triangle
·    Twin Male / Female Lions Inside The Triangle
·    Twin Male / Female Lions Facing Center, Away From Twin Lower “Points” Of The Triangle
·    Middle Pillar In The Center
·    Lions Face Middle Pillar
·    Middle Pillar is Aligned With The Apex of the Triangle
·    Lions Face Apex Of Triangle

The message is pretty clear―it’s the same message on the front of the building. Obviously this design was very important to the builders. But what’s not immediately apparent to anyone who visits the Bronx Zoo (or to anyone reading this article) is that this design is a memorial, if not a generalized replica, of a very famous ancient gateway that once lay at a cultural center of the ancient world.

It has long been called the “Lion’s Gate” by archaeologists:

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The Lions Gate of Mycenae formed the entrance to the city,
erected in the 13th Century B.C. Note the Middle Pillar between
the lions―similar to the design inside the pediment of the Lion House.

The Lions Gate is a massive and imposing construction, standing 10 feet wide by 10 feet high at the threshold. It narrows as it rises, forming what is clearly a Triangular shape, measuring 9 feet below the lintel. All of the features present above the main doorway of Lion House at the Bronx Zoo are also present here.

Note the massive pillar between the lions, a clear symbol of the Middle Pillar:

“A number of archaeologists suggested that the pillar was a sacred object and a symbol of power for the Mycenaeans…”


On the rear entrance to the Lion House, the female lioness has her paw on top of the male lion’s paw; the reverse is true on the main entrance of the building―again, opposites.

Another things that is different is that on this side a pair of twin lions flank the main doorway:

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Lion’s House exit facade is similar to entrance.

The lion at right (as you walk out of the building) has right paw facing forward, and the lion on the left has left paw facing forward:

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The lion on the right’s “right” paw faces forward. The lion on
the left’s “left” paw faces forward. To have a “center” one needs
opposites, like right/left. These lions are serving to “align” the building.

The lions are centering the main doorway by nature of the fact that they are “paired opposites”; having their paws aligned right/left further does the trick. At once, the building is transformed into a sacred structure, a temple of the highest degree of initiation.

Interestingly, twin lions flanking a temple entrance is an ancient practice found worldwide. Called “foo dogs” by Westerners, twin lions often flank the main entrance to temples throughout the East, like those in Beijing, China. The following exquisite pair of Chinese bronze foo dogs are cast after those guarding the gates of Yangxin Hall in the Forbidden City:

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Chinese foo dogs. The “male” is on the “right” (facing us) and “female” on the “left.”

As tradition dictates, the male lion stands with his right paw atop the globe or pearl of wisdom and the female stands with her left paw resting on a lion cub.

“The lions are always presented in pairs, a manifestation of yin and yang, the female representing yin and the male yang. The male lion has one paw…on an embroidered ball…which is sometimes carved with a geometric pattern known in the West as the “Flower of life.” The female is essentially identical, but has a cub under the other paw to the male, representing the cycle of life. Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside, while the male guards the structure. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open. This symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word “om”. However, Japanese adaptions state that the male is inhaling, representing life, while the female exhales, representing death. Other styles have both lions with a single large pearl in each of their partially opened mouths. The pearl is carved so that it can roll about in the lion’s mouth but sized just large enough so that it can never be removed.”


The “foo dogs” represent this pairs of opposites teaching, and the twin lions in front of Masonic architecture signify this teaching as well.

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Top Row: Twin Lions guard the front entrance of the New York Public Library,
which has a three-door trinity facade (like the Bronx Zoo’s Education Building).

It is interesting to note that in various Western depictions the twin lions are shown as “alert” and “sleepy”—evidence that they esoterically denote the “pairs of opposites” teaching, just as in China. Famous examples of this can be seen at the Chatsworth House in England and on the tomb of Pope Clement III in the Vatican, as well as on the Bournemouth War Memorial, built in 1921, located in Bournemouth, England:

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Bournemouth War Memorial, Bournemouth, England.
The lion on the left is the “sleepy” lion and the lion on the
right is the “alert” lion; a perfect example of how these twin
animals signify the “pairs of opposites,” just as China’s foo dogs.

This evidence shows that the twin lions are not merely decorative; they are in fact a reinforcement of the pairs of opposites imagery ensconced in Masonic architecture. This information was well known to the architects who designed the Bronx Zoo.

The master plan and most of the buildings that makeup Astor Court were designed by New York-based architectural firm Heins & La Farge. The species portrayed on the court’s facades―including reptiles, monkeys, pachyderms and big cats―once lived in cages along the court, and millions of visitors annually strolled the balustraded paths.

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The court originally was a place where the privileged―socialites, politicians and other celebrities―liked to be seen on balmy afternoons. The New York Times would cover their visits and report on the arrivals, births, escapes, surgeries and deaths of popular animals.

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Did the elite understand the wisdom encoded in Astor Court’s architecture?

Probably a few did; those who were tuned into the esoteric, for example (and there were many more tuned in than today). They must have noticed the same patterns explained here. They must have seen that throughout Astor Court reverberates a strange and very particular “Three” pattern or “Three-in-One” pattern or “Trinity” pattern.

We’ve seen it in the Lion’s House, where a giant Tri-angular pediment (Tri = Three) is decorated with “balance of opposites” art in the form of male/female lions flanking a Caduceus.

With this in mind, there’s a second animal building at Astor Court, the facade of which is decorated by a massive Tri-angular pediment (Tri = Three) directly over the entranceway. As with the Lion House, this building too has been esoterically encoded with deep Trinity symbolism. It’s called the Monkey House.

The Monkey House

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The Monkey House.

As with the Lion House, the Monkey House looks like an ancient temple. The massive Triangle pediment here, like the Triangle pediment on the Lion’s House, signifies “Three,” “Three-in-One,” “Trinity,” all of which point to the “balance of opposites” philosophy.

This is important. The Triangle’s shape is known in the occult to symbolize “balance of opposites.” A Triangle is two lower points reconciled by a higher third point centered between them:

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A Triangle is formed by two parallel points united by a third higher
point centered between them. The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm
Friedrich Hegel used the terms “thesis” and “antithesis” united by
their “synthesis” or “balance” point to explain this.

The Triangle thus denotes more than just balancing life’s dualities; it stands for the awakened Mind’s Eye that occurs when life’s dualities are balanced. For centuries, Western mystics symbolized this additional concept by the enigmatic drawing of not just a Triangle, but an Eye inside the Triangle. The Founding Fathers sketched this precise design on The Great Seal of the United States.

Incredibly, the three central monkeys sculpted inside the pediment are expressing these same ideas:

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Closeup of the trinity of monkeys―a powerful male in the center
flanked by a “pair of opposites” (male & female) on either side.

Depicted with long hair―giving them an almost human quality―three wise monkeys are sculpted inside the pediment; their appearance is like those three mystical monkeys from ancient Japan, and this is perhaps no accident. The monkey in the middle faces forward, embodying the same vertical/spiritual “now” principle as the Caduceus on the Lion’s House. His head and body are perfectly aligned with the apex of the Triangle directly above him, as with the Caduceus on the Lion’s House. He’s living in the “now” moment, you might say, a center sitting between opposites.

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What opposites?

Twin monkeys, a male monkey at his right (note the man-like beard) and a female monkey at his left (note the female-like long hair). The male monkey at his right faces out toward the right. The female monkey at his left faces outward toward the left.

Thus, not only is this a “trinity” of monkeys, but the “opposites” of left/right and male/female are expressed! The monkey in the middle―aligned with the apex of the triangle and sitting in the center between opposites―looks straight ahead, not at the opposites of past/future, male/female, left/right, and so on.

These are nothing short of spiritual and metaphysical instructions that we all must follow in life!

We must be the monkey in the middle! We must align ourselves with the apex of the Triangle. We must center ourselves to find our real Self between our false opposites self (the solar “right” and lunar “left” halves of our body) remembering that the Tri-angle shape (Tri = Three) where the three monkeys sit relates this “reconciliation of opposites” exactly!

We must live life not just with our two eyes open, but with all three eyes open―hence the “three eyes open” image depicted on the “three-in-one” doorway of the Education Building, located directly in front of the Monkey House.

Education Building

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A three-in-one doorway depicting three eyes wide open―a single Eye above each doorway.

Note the three Eye symbols, a single eye above each doorway. Also note the “three-in-one” and the concept of “three eyes” and “three-eyes-in-one.” The message seems to be a declaration: “keep your three eyes open” or “live life with three eyes open”―our two normal eyes plus our single centered “Third Eye” of spiritual insight. Why else depict three eyes like this?

When looking at the Education Building face-on, an eagle statue appears aligned with the center door. This alignment hints at the spiritual nature of the building, and relates information that our deepest spiritual essence is at our center, our deepest core:

“Eagle. A symbol of…the spiritual principle in general.”

― Juan Eduardo Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols

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Three doors forming the entrance is symbolic enough of the Masonic “three” and “three-in-one,” while the three Eye symbols above the doors further fleshes out the secret doctrine.

Here is a brief video of the building:

Below are similar examples of three-in-one “trinity” entrances from Washington D.C., all federal architecture. Considering the importance of number “three” in Freemasonry (a builders Craft), and seeing how America’s Founding Fathers were Freemasons, the link between these federal “three-in-one” symbols and Freemasonry seems clear:

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“Three” and “Three-In-One” Trinity symbols form the facades of
these important Washington D.C. buildings. This is not a random
pattern, nor is it related to the Christian Trinity.

It should come as no surprise that similar three-in-one facades grace the entrances to Secret Society headquarters like the Freemasons, Knights of Pythias, and Oddfellows:

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Similar three-door facades decorated with Eye symbols can be found all over Europe and the Americas. Here’s another example from New York City, not too far from the Bronx Zoo:

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Three Eye symbols forming a three-in-one pattern. Bronx, New York City. This building is Masonic.

Some may argue that this is not an Eye. But there is persuasive evidence that this symbol is indeed the stylized architectural expression of an Eye, and the Third Eye at that. Here’s an example from Manhattan, N.Y.C.  of a similarly-stylized single Eye symbol―the Third Eye―sitting above the middle door of a tripartite main entrance:

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The Museum of Television & Radio. A giant single Eye symbol can be seen above a
three-in-one entrance. Note the beams of light coming from the Eye.

Twin pillars flank the entrance, the Masonic Jachin & Boaz. Their presence creates a three-in-one entrance (“Triptych”) as we’ll look at in a moment. Here, instead of three Eye symbols there’s a single giant Eye above the center door―a cryptic memorial to our Third Eye. Light radiates from the Eye, very similar to how light radiates from the Eye-in-the-Triangle on the Great Seal of the U.S.

Note the similarities that this Manhattan, New York building has with the following 1800s Masonic temple in Canada. Here, a single Eye―the Third Eye―appears inside the center of three massive Triangles. Together the three triangles form a “Triptych” architectural pattern:

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Masonic “Triptych Temple” in Canada. A single Eye symbol―the Third Eye―graces
the center Triangle, directly above the main doorway. It’s the same basic pattern
on Manhattan’s Museum of Television & Radio.

Many Secret Society buildings use this same “Triptych” format, with a giant Eye decorating the Triptych’s “center” door. This did not escape the attention of famous artist Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. In one episode a fictional Order called the Stonecutters is a clear parody of the Freemasons. Look below at the Triptych Groening drew on the facade of the Stonecutter headquarters. Note how the Eye graces the center door, which is taller and wider than—yet similar to—the outer twin doors:

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Facade of the Stonecutters headquarters on an episode of “The Simpsons.”
Note the Triptych formed by the three pyramidal triangles. A
giant Eye―the Third Eye―is inscribed on the temple’s center door!

“Homer the Great” is the twelfth television episode of The Simpsons’ sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 8, 1995. In the episode, Homer discovers that Lenny and Carl are members of the ancient secret society known as the Stonecutters. Gaining membership through Grampa, Homer takes great pleasure in the society’s many privileges and events. It features cultural references to freemasonry.”


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Another Masonic Triptych―with a Third Eye decorating the center door―is visible on the entrance of the Old City Hall building in, Toronto, Canada, built in 1899 by architect E. J. Lennox:

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Triptych entrance to the Old City Hall building in Toronto, Canada.

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A single highly-stylized “Eye”―the Third Eye―symbol
perfectly centered above a single Middle Pillar! Old
City Hall building. Toronto, Canada.

Here, a giant Eye symbol decorates the center door of the Triptych. A single pillar, the Middle Pillar, directly below it, arises along the same vertical line or axis mundi as the Eye―a combination we’ve seen on Secret Society documents, stemming from Egyptian designs.

Incredibly, this same concept―an Eye decorating the center door of a Triptych―appears on a building at the Bronx Zoo. It’s called the Zoo Center, and it’s not just any building; it’s the tallest and most prominent building on Astor Court.

Zoo Center – The Third Eye

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The Zoo Center, formerly known as the Elephant House, was one
of six heavily ornamented beaux-arts style structures built by
Heins & Lafarge for the opening of the Bronx Zoo in 1899.

The importance of the Zoo Center, formerly known as the Elephant House (because it once housed elephants), is revealed by the building’s massive dome crown. What’s more, the building is part of a grand “alignment” as we’ll see in a moment. Note in the image above the massive Triangle pediment pointing upward toward a Triptych pattern on the dome. In the close-up image below, we can clearly see (1) the Eye symbol, (2) a Triptych. These designs decorate both sides of the building. (i.e., only one side is visible in the photo because the other facade is on the other side of the building). All play an important role in the alignment:

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Zoo Center facade. Eye symbol above a Triptych. The
Zoo Center is the only domed building at the zoo.

As with the Old City Hall building in Canada, an Eye―the Third Eye―crowns a massive Triptych. As explained in my book Written In Stone, the middle window symbolizes the unification of the twin outer “windows of opposites.” The eyeball itself sits upon the “keystone,” the wedge-shaped stone at the apex of the arch, which is the final stone placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. If you look closely, the Eye almost looks like a sun “rising” upward. What’s more, the semicircular stone curvature above it gives it a definite “solar/rising” effect. This was done on purpose! Why?

In Egypt, the sun god “Ra” was often depicted as an “Eye,” the so-called “Eye of Ra.” This Eye is actually the Third Eye that sees the inner soul, and the inner soul is our sun (i.e., our “sol” is luminous, circular, centered just like the sun). This is why Egypt’s glyph for “sun” is a circle with a dot in the center―the same symbol as a human eye:

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Left: Human eye symbol is a circle with a dot in the center. Right:
Egyptian hieroglyph for “sun” (Ra) is a circle with a dot in the center.

The Egyptians knew―as most ancient cultures knew―that our “soul” and the “sol” in the sky (the “sun” in the sky) share the same qualities; so much so that the sun symbolizes our souls. The sun was a symbol of the human soul in all ancient religions. Bar none.

One example is the Aztecs of Mexico. Just like their ancient Egyptian counterparts, the Aztecs used this very same symbol for the sun―a circle with a dot in the center:

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The Aztec “Sun Stone” is a circle with a dot in the center. The Egyptian hieroglyph for sun is the very same symbol―a circle with a dot in the center. What’s more, there is hidden in the Aztec Sun Stone a giant Eye symbol called “Ollin” by the Aztecs:

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The image at the center of the Aztec Sun Stone is actually an
Aztec glyph called Ollin, which is the symbol of a single
giant Eye―the “centered” Eye or Third Eye.

Thus, just as the Egyptians used a circle with a dot at the center to symbolize Ra, the sun god, and the Eye of Ra, so did the Aztecs! And just as the Egyptians knew this symbol as an “Eye” (the Eye of Ra) so did the Aztecs (Ollin)! Instead of calling him Ra, however, the Aztecs called him Tonatiuh. The names change but the idea is the same: the sun (sol) is a symbol of our soul. And the soul is shaped like an Eye―the Third Eye―a circle with a dot at its center.

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As a brief aside to this, it should be noted that the Aztec Sun Stone depicts twin serpents adorning the sun―just as the Egyptian Aten symbol depicts twin serpents adorning a circular sun!

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Thus, not only did the Aztecs and Egyptians both depict the sun as a circle with a dot in the center, associated with an Eye; but both also created images of the sun as circular with twin serpents adorning it!

It should come as no surprise, then, that the Zoo Center is a replica of an ancient Egyptian Triptych Temple. The Egyptians placed an Aten (Eye) above the center door―which parallels the Eye above the center window at the Bronx Zoo:

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op: Egyptian “Triptych” Temple of Hathor (Philae, Egypt) with Third Eye above
center doorway. Bottom: Zoo Center with Third Eye above center doorway.

This is clearly a memorial to Egypt; specifically, it’s a memorial to the Egyptian idea of balancing opposites, awakening our Third Eye, remembering who we are inside, and liberating our sol. This single teaching, which teaching is the pinnacle of ancient and occult wisdom, permeates every aspect of the architecture of Astor Court.

It is interesting that the location of this Triptych is perhaps the pinnacle location not only of Astor Court, but of the entire Bronx Zoo. As we can see in the following minute video (which I took in October 2011) the Masonic designers and builders of the zoo knew exactly what they were doing:

Here’s what the Zoo Center building looks like as you approach it. Again, a massive Triangle frames the main entrance. Same Triangle depicted on the Lion’s House and Monkey House:

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The Zoo Center was formerly called the Elephant House.

Here the twin lower points of the Triangle are marked by twin elephant heads. The higher point of the Triangle is marked by the head of a rhinoceros. The elephants each have two tusks pointing downward, indicating the world of “duality,” positioned as they are at the twin lower points of the Triangle. But the rhino at the Triangle’s apex has a single horn pointing upward, indicating “unity” or “wholeness,” because he has found the balance point between opposites, positioned as he is at the apex of the Triangle.

On many Masonic manuscripts and sketches, the apex of the Triangle is crowned with a Third Eye symbol.

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Third Eye crowns the apex of a Triangle on this Masonic Tracing Board.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the twin lower points of this Triangle on the Zoo Center each have an eye symbol—signifying a human beings right and left eyes:

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An eye symbol (lowercase “e”) appears at the two lower points of
this Triangle. These two eyes symbolize the two eyes of every human
being. The apex of the Triangle symbolizes the Third Eye, which is
awakened when the two eyes are put in balance, as shown here.

Putting the twin lower eyes in balance, as expressed architecturally in the image above, allows the Triangle to form and the Third Eye pinnacle to be reached.

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It should be noted that the rhino simultaneously sits upon the keystone of the arch that forms the central doorway―a vitally important position, because it is the point at which the arch is being held up.

Seeing these twin elephants and a single rhino in their positions on the Triangle, a biblical image comes to mind. Two men, both thieves, were crucified at the same time as Jesus, one on his right hand and one on his left―forming a perfect Triptych/Triangle pattern complete with the “balance of opposites” theme!

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Duccio di Buoninsegna Crucifixion Scene from the Maestà Altarpiece.

“The Penitent thief, also known as the Thief on the Cross or the Good Thief…was crucified alongside Jesus and asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, unlike his companion the Impenitent thief.”

According to tradition, the Good Thief was crucified to Jesus’ right hand and the other thief was crucified to his left. For this reason, depictions of the crucifixion often show Jesus’ head inclined to his right, showing his acceptance of the Good Thief.”


The twin elephants match the twin thieves, on the lower point of the Triangle. The rhino matches the position of Jesus, aligned with the middle and apex of the Triangle.

If you continue to stay “centered,” as we pan out and look at more of this building, you’ll see that all the middle “stuff” is being balanced by both the left and right hand “stuff.” For example, look at how the Triptych (on top) and Triangle (on the bottom) align perfectly. Specifically, the Triptych’s center door aligns with the Triangle’s apex. The centered “middle Eye” crowns the entire facade:

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All the key elements―those expressing balance, eternity and spirituality―are aligned along the axis mundi vertical line, which runs straight up the middle. From top to bottom we have (1) the single Eye symbol, (2) the middle door of the Triptych, (3) the balance/apex point of the Triangle, and (4) the head of the rhino, which forms (5) the keystone of the arch.

All sit on the axis mundi, the eternal axis, the line of power and spirituality. This architecture is amazing. It is teaching us deep and profound spiritual concepts that are light-years in advance of the basic “do not kill” and “do not steal” ideas taught in the three Western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These ideas are much more Eastern in their tone, and much more ancient and spiritual.

A similar “Triptych” and “Triangle” pattern is visible on many New York City buildings:

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Old City Hall Post office and Courthouse in New York City.
Note the Eagle atop the Triptych, which crowns a Triangle.
Also note the three-windows beneath the Triangle.

Completed in 1880 and later demolished in 1939, the City Hall Post office and Courthouse no longer exists. But in this old photo we can still see the balance of opposites in the form of a massive Triangle pediment. Above the Triangle, a giant Triptych is clearly visible. Above the “opposites” windows of the Triptych we see twin ladies sitting in a symmetrical pose, as an eagle with outstretched wings crowns the center door above them.

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Returning to the Bronx Zoo…To drive home the “balancing-opposites-will-lead-to-your-center” idea there is something else about the Bronx Zoo that is devastatingly powerful, mysteriously magical, and absolutely eerie.  There exists a strange and unexplained “alignment” that is literally “built into” Astor Court but that has no officially “explained” purpose.


Sorcerer’s Alignment

I call it the “Sorcerer’s Alignment,” and I’ve been calling it that for years. Why? Because it has to do with sorcery―in the sense that “those who live from the Source,” as Carlos Castaneda describes it, are able to use this alignment to center themselves spiritually.

I also recognize that there are indeed purposes to the alignment that I have not yet even begun to understand―magical, mystical, technological and more. I believe it’s that special.

The reason I’m talking about it at this particular point in the article, immediately after discussing the Triptych with the Eye over it on Zoo Center, is because this mysterious alignment is directly related to that Triptych and Eye.

As briefly touched upon earlier, Astor Court is divided into two symmetrical “halves” you might say. These two halves both run along the same axis mundi, visible below. The axis extends from the Rockefeller Fountain to about 100 yards beyond the Zoo Center:

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The axis mundi or Sorcerer’s Alignment at Astor Court.

The alignment is visible to all who walk on Astor Court. It is literally the “axis” along which all the buildings sit. The buildings on both sides are not exactly mirror images of each other, but the balance is close enough.

Incredibly, at certain points on the ground along the alignment, there are design patterns to help you to align and to orient yourself to the Sorcerer’s Alignment!

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We can best see these very intentional design patterns in the image below. Note the straight line running down the middle of the photo:

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Sorcerer’s alignment, a close-up view.

As a child I remember enjoying school field trips to the Bronx Zoo. When we came to Astor Court I vividly remember myself and all the children in my class walking along the “middle” line of this floor pattern alignment, which is the axis mundi, with our two arms outstretched as if trying to balance on it, not wanting to fall over to the right or the left side. We all did it, all the kids.

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Note how the alignment runs right through the main doorway of the Zoo Center, which is the main doorway of the Triptych:

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The center line of the Sorcerer’s Alignment runs up to and through
the middle door of the Triptych facade of the Zoo Center.

The term “hidden in plain sight” certainly applies here. To the uninitiated this ground pattern is simply a cute design made of stones. However, the designers of the Sorcerers Alignment have established a clear message to the initiated. Follow the center path, balance your left and right sides, take the middle door.

Here is a brief video of the Sorcerer’s Alignment and how it correlates to the Zoo Center building:

Alignments are important. When we align ourselves with nature and the natural forces of the earth it helps to align us spiritually.

Did you know that there is a grand alignment that links Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington?

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A mysteriously accurate alignment links the key cities of New England.

Other alignments are found around the world, very similar to the two alignments depicted above. Perhaps the most famous is found in Paris, France, the so-called “Axe Historique”:

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The Axe Historique, a grand alignment in Paris, France.

The Axe Historique…is a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the centre of Paris, France, to the west. It is also known as the “Voie Triomphale” (triumphal way).”


Earlier we touched upon the axis mundi idea. These alignments speaks to the axis mundi doctrine. The alignment can be used to tap into your axis mundi, and “open it up” per se; it serves as a tool one can use to link up with the higher Self.

Returning to the Zoo Center, the inside of the building depicts further evidence of the number “three” and “three-in-one” trinity pattern. The following Triptych arches were used as a kind of logo for the Bronx Zoo for many years (depicted in TV commercials, flyers, print designs, zoo events, etc.):

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Triptych pattern, mirrored in the architecture behind it, inside the Zoo Center.

Note how the Triptych gateway is echoed in the actual Triptych architecture behind this gateway. This is no random pattern. It has a deeper meaning, and this meaning reverberates throughout all of Astor Court.


Bronx Zoo “Triptych” Patterns

Triptych three-in-one architectural patterns are etched in stone throughout Astor Court. As discussed, these Triptychs express the “balance-the-opposites-to-find-your-center” theme:

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This same Triptych pattern is expressed over and over again throughout the Bronx Zoo. All of these “Triptychs” and “Triangles” and “Three-In-One” symbols speak to the same doctrine of balancing the opposites to find the soul, our center or axis mundi.


Tree Of Life – Axis Mundi, Three-In-One

Our axis mundi concept is often equated with the mythological Tree of Life symbol. This is because the twain can be said to represent the same or a similar idea, namely, one’s connection to the higher Self or one’s spirit in heaven (soul in heaven, body on earth). The Tree of Life symbol is etched onto the stone wall outside the Zoo Center:

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Tree of Life symbol etched in stone on the Zoo Center.

Clearly, the vertical principle is being expressed here in this Tree of Life diagram. As explained earlier, the vertical is the spiritual principle. Note the torch on top, a symbol of intellectual illumination and spiritual liberation. Now compare this to the urn at the bottom, a symbol of death. Everything in between this top and bottom, which composes the Tree of Life itself, is a combination of urns and foliage. Urns symbolize death, while flowers symbolize life. This speaks to duality and the unity of opposites. This theme of duality is echoed in the twin dragon-like beings that face outward away from the axis mundi or “vertical line” of the Tree of Life:

The Occult Symbolism of the Bronx Zoo 207The Occult Symbolism of the Bronx Zoo 208
There are twin sides, a right and a left, along with
a center “line,” kind of like a Caduceus symbol.

Facing outward, these creatures symbolize duality, as much as the twin serpents flanking the central “rod” of the caduceus symbolize the same idea. When viewed as a whole, this Tree of Life is saying basically the same thing as the caduceus symbol.

All of this is “occult” or “hidden” wisdom. An orthodox Christian or Jew or Muslim won’t understand this wisdom, because it does not “synch up” with what they’ve learned in their religions about a God called Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah who visited the ancient Hebrews with laws and commandments.

However, the follower of this wisdom―the spiritual seeker or stone Mason of old―can understand and appreciate this wisdom, while at the same time also be a practicing Christian or Jew or Muslim. The reason is because the principles of “three-in-one” and “balance-of-opposites-to-find-the-center” represent a Perennial Philosophy that is timeless and applicable to all humans all the time.

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This idea of the existence of “hidden wisdom” or Perennial Philosophy has for many centuries been expressed by operative Freemasons using the symbol of an Owl.


Owls Hidden In Architecture

The sun (eagle) and moon (owl) are both used by man to see―one during the day, one at night. As the sun (eagle) rules the day, the moon (owl) rules the night. Both heavenly bodies (birds) contain vast wisdom and purpose. So it is with the eagle and the owl. We’ve already seen the Eagle depicted in front of the Education Building. The owl is also present everywhere on Astor Court―only in hidden places:

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Owl symbols hidden in the architecture. Note the decorative
three-in-one details in the architecture above the owls.

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You won’t read about these hidden owls in any official architectural textbooks, but they are there if you take the time to look for them. In many cases they are “stylized,” which means they are not meant to look like owls to the untrained eye. But owls indeed they are:

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Here is a brief video of how owls are encoded in the architecture of the Bronx Zoo:

This is one of the great secrets of esoteric architecture; owls can be found encoded into buildings worldwide. The spirit of the owl, which is the spirit of mystery, and the spirit of the occult, or, the spirit of that which is hidden, is captured in a mysterious megalithic boulder that existed on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo long before this tract of land ever even became the Bronx Zoo.

The Rocking Stone

The pink granite stone, which stands over 7 feet high, more than 10 feet wide and weighs over 30 tons, is said to be a remnant of the last Ice Age―but this mainstream explanation is extremely unlikely, given the presence of Indians on the land for thousands of years.

Why is it named the Rocking Stone? It turns out that if pressure was applied at a specific point, the rock would move.  The Rocking Stone was an attraction way before the Zoo came to be in 1899; it served as a property marker when the Bronx was tract land and farms.

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Young women playing on and enjoying the Rocking Stone
during an era before the modern. Local legend tells of a
team of 24 oxen that once tried and failed to dislodge it.

Sometime in the early 1900’s, the “Rocking Stone” restaurant was opened at the Zoo. It quickly became one of the zoo’s most popular hang-out spots, depicted on postcards and innumerable family photographs showing people putting their shoulders into it.

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Photo Archival Postcard from the NY Zoological Park (the Bronx Zoo)
depicting the Rocking Stone and the restaurant that once stood near it.

“There are a wide variety of beliefs associated with rocking stones. Because of their strange nature, rocking stones were sometimes associated with witchcraft…Stones which were balanced so that the wind could move them were used sometimes in trials to determine guilt or innocence of the accused. It was said that the rocking stone near Nancledrea in Cornwall in could only be moved at midnight when witches were out…The Brimham rocking stone in Yorkshire is said to rock only for the efforts of an honest man. The rocking stone at Land’s End was said to have been placed there by a giant who used it to rock himself to sleep. It was claimed that the Logan Stone in Treen could cure childhood diseases. The children were rocked on the Logan Stone in certain seasons. People say that the charm was broken when Lieutenant Goldsmith dislodged the Logan Stone. It is a Cornish tradition to make a vow and then attempt to move a rocking stone, or logan rock. It was said that no one with treachery in their heart could make a rocking stone move.”


The Rocking Stone still stands today, but it won’t rock anymore as it is now cemented to the ground. It is said that zoo officials feared that one day someone was going to rock the Rocking Stone a bit too far, and so they shored up its base.

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The Rocking Stone today. Lonely. Desolate. Cemented to the ground, emasculated
of its magic and mystery―which is the way the powers that be want it.

Unfortunately, we can only catch a glimpse of it. It stands directly in front of the entrance to the exhibit World of Darkness, which once featured bats, porcupines, and night monkeys. But the exhibit was closed in 2009 due to budget cuts, and the area has remained off-limits to Zoo visitors.

Is there any truth to the idea that “magic” and “mystery” and perhaps even “occult knowledge” is associated with rocking stones?

“Thither, youths,
Turn your astonish’d eyes; behold yon huge
And unhewn sphere of living adamant,
Which, poised by magic, rests its central weight
On yonder pointed rock: firm as it seems,
Such is the strange and virtuous property,
It moves obsequious to the gentlest touch
Of him whose breast is pure; but to a traitor,
Tho’ ev’n a giant’s prowess nerv’d his arm,
It stands as fixt as Snowdon.”

―William Mason, Caractacus


Few if any of the Bronx Zoo’s annual visitors realize that hidden within the zoo’s unique architecture is an immensely profound secret doctrine of spiritual illumination; a doctrine encoded in stone by the “operative” Freemasons who designed and built the zoo’s central structures. As detailed as this article has been, it really only scratches the surface. There is more information that exists to support the conclusions set forth in the present inquiry.



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