This was one of the emblems of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The goddess Rhea, according to Bryant, was represented with a beehive beside her, out of the top of which arose corn (wheat) and flowers, denoting the renewal of the seasons and the return of the sun to the vernal equinox.
Q. Whence is the masonic emblem of the hourglass derived?
A. The hourglass was one of the sacred astronomical emblems of the Egyptians. Clement of Alexandria, who gives a description of one of their religious processions, informs us that the singer went first, bearing the symbols of music, and that he was followed by the horoscopus, bearing in his hand an hourglass, as the measure of time, together with a palm-branch, these being the symbols of astrology or astronomy. It was the duty of the horoscopus to be versed in and able to recite the four books of Hermes which treat of that science. One of these books describes the position of the fixed stars; another the conjunctions, eclipses, and illuminations of the sun and moon; and the others their risings and settings. The hourglass is, therefore, peculiarly an astronomical emblem of great antiquity. The moral application of this masonic emblem is beautifully given in the "Monitor."
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