Then as man becomes more "civilized" he begins to grow his own food instead of depending entirely on that provided by unassisted Nature, and the Spirit of Life tends to become identified with the Corn. As a Corn-God, he is often represented on the monuments as a mummy from which corn is sprouting when awakened by a stream of water. Some rituals make the blows correspond to the penal s. striking him across the t., and the second across the b.. I would hazard a suggestion, also, that the penalty of the third is of modern invention, and that the earlier one is the, - shall we say capital one, of at least two higher degrees; this would be more in keeping also with the ritual as it stands. The injunction to observe incidents at the opening of the g. is seen on Egyptian monuments and in the vignettes, in association with a S.n now belonging to a higher masonic degree, and made with the r.. S.n is also found in Egyptian pictures where it is used by those saluting Osiris in his coffin. S.n is found in India where it is used by Shiva (51): the navel is frequently regarded as symbolical of the centre in Eastern and African thought; in some Bantu (Central African) languages it is the only word for "centre." There may also be an esoteric meaning having reference to rebirth, which is a common rite, especially in secret societies, in all parts of the world.
The planting of the seed, by association of ideas, implies the annual d. of the God, while the sprouting ears indicate his r.. (12) His funeral rites were observed annually in December, and in the early part of these the performance of ploughing and sowing was enacted by his priests; an image of the god, made of earth and containing corn, was buried, which on sprouting would cause the crops of the people to do the same, - a magical ceremony persisting in a religious cult. If any alteration be desirable this version has something to recommend it as bringing the three degrees together, and supplying a reason for the pp. bears a strong resemblance to a superstition frequently observed even nowadays, - that of opening a sacred book at random and taking an omen from the first words to meet the eye. S.n is identical with the final position of the same h.
Only the spirits of Chiefs, and especially Magician-Chiefs, are, however, appealed to, and, further, living man also claims to be able to influence the elements without their assistance: it is essentially a coercive process. In India (47) and many parts of Africa (48) its wood is essential for the ceremonial making of fire by friction, and it is the Shittim wood of the Old Testament, of which the Ark and Tabernacle were made. As we shall see, many of these are found outside Freemasonry and it is probable, therefore, that the details of this part of the legend were invented to explain S., T. in a secular, is almost certainly that used in Scotland, Ireland and U. A.: it is found in the initiation ceremonies of the Wa Yao to which reference has already been made, (53) with a religious meaning, and in Ceylon (54) and Arabia (55) at least as an appeal for assistance. It cannot be too strongly insisted upon that these Sns.
On the other hand in some tribes the prayers addressed to the ghosts merely ask their intercession with a great Spirit of Life: here the scattered spirits imminent in all forms of life or movement are becoming centralized into a kind of vague Pan-Theism, and coercion is giving way to solicitation. B., would appear to have evolved on these lines, whether the god himself was identified with a deified king or hero or not, is immaterial. K.s is pointed by recalling the attitude of the cand. and possibly W.s the meaning of which has been lost. of the English Constitution is, I think, misinterpreted; it should be a p. (52) The continental S.n appears in some of our "Higher Degrees" with quite a different, and, in my view, more correct interpretation. were not intended to be mere means of "proof," but were formerly expressive of inarticulate feelings.
(5) They were, we know, characteristic of the mysteries taught by the Ancient Egyptians, (6) by the Aztecs of South America, (7) by the Greeks and Romans, (8) and by the Druids. Frazer, "Balder the Beautiful," 11, 267 sqq., "Totemism and Exogamy," III, 462 sqq., 487 sqq.; 505, 542, 546.