The Templars 2 - Templar Facts and Legends 1. The Templars wore white tunics with red crosses. 2. They were fierce fighting soldiers and protectors of travelers. 3. They cleaned out Solomon’s stables and found underground passages. 4. They are reputed to have brought back to the West: a. the head of John the Baptist (at Amiens Cathedral); b. knowledge of geometry and architecture; c. the Shroud of Turin (possibly the result of the torture of Jacques de Molay). 5. From nine members they grew to hundreds, but they were initiates of some arcane secrets.  Modern Freemasonry traces itself to the Templars. 6. They were widely believed to be the true guardians of the Grail itself because of their patronage of one of the versions (the Perlevaus) of the Grail legend. 7. They had an initiation ritual in which they used a skull and crossed thigh bones and in which an initiate underwent a symbolic death and resurrection. This symbol was used on Templar tombstones and on the Templar flag, which later became the pirate flag.  In Washington, D.C. there is a painting of General Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame with a skull and crossbones on his Masonic apron. 8. They are credited with bringing Tarot to the West; some of the Greater Arcana cards demonstrate Templar influence, e.g., the Fool card is a novice at the beginning of his journey to enlightenment. 9. Like the Jews of the period of Jesus, they believed humans must achieve salvation through their own merit. 10. They are credited with having sailed to the West after de Molay’s death to a land the Mandaeans of Southern Iraq called the land of the star “Merika.” (The Mandaeans believed the souls of the dead inhabited trees, so they are often pictured as trees, with vines coming from them—another source of the Green Man, perhaps?) We know the Templars went also to Portugal and Scotland; Rosslyn Chapel contains sculptures of Indian maize and aloe vera cactus, plants native only to the New World—but the chapel was completed before Columbus supposedly discovered America! Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily