The HO Stone was found by Gilbert Hedden in the late 1930s when he had his short tenure on the island. The stone was discovered a bit off the shore in Jourdey’s Cove, north of the island. Hedden was told there was once a large stone located on the beach that was too large to move by “locals”. So, instead of moving the stone to look under it for treasure, these local treasure hunters decided to blow it up with dynamite was a good idea. After its discovery, the stone stayed on the island for decades until the 1980s when it was taken from the island. To this day the HO stone is still missing.
The stone has a few symbols carved into its surface. One of the symbols appears to be a capital “H”. However, the top and bottom points of the vertical aspects of the “H” are different. The top points have horizontal lines as we would expect, but the bottom points are missing these vertical lines. The bottom points just end with no apparent mark at all or just a dot. There are several meanings to the “H” symbol the Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic, and Alchemical Sigils by Fred Gettings; however, one, in particular, caught my eye. The symbol represents the Constellation Gemini from the 2nd Century. The top points of the “H” symbol are different from the bottom points to reference the two major stars in the constellation currently known as Castor and Pollux.
When Ptolemy cataloged the Constellation Gemini in the Almagest, he didn’t provide a specific name to each of the twins. Early on, the Greeks named the twins Apollo and Hercules. Only later did the names Castor (Apollo) and Pollux (Hercules/Heracles) become the current names for the twins. This not only links Hercules to the Constellation Gemini but possibly to the “H” symbol on the stone.
Hercules was a son of Zeus and was known for his strength, a key member of the Argonauts that sailed Jason to retrieve the Golden Fleece, and the twelve labors he had to perform for the king of Mycenae, Eurystheus. In the myth concerning the labors, Hercules was driven mad by Hera, the wife of Zeus, and he killed his wife and children. Distraught and confused, Hercules sought the advice of the god Apollo at the Oracle at Delphi. Hercules was told to serve Eurystheus for twelve years. During the twelve years, Eurystheus promised him immortality if he performs the labors. Some believe that the Zodiac constellations each represent one of Hercules’s labors. In this case, Gemini would be associated with his third labor, retrieving the Golden Apples of Hesperides.
According to Atlantis Rising Magazine, the apples, “grew on a sacred tree under the care of three maidens and were guarded by a dragon or serpent. On his way to the Garden of the Hesperides, Heracles offered to hold up the burden of the heavens for a time so Atlas could rest. Atlas was then able to get the apples as he was the father or otherwise related to the Hesperides. The stories vary but Heracles gained the apples as a result of his service to Atlas and the world. Apples are the domain of the goddess and represent knowledge being transformed into wisdom through experience. In Gemini, we realize our dual nature of spirit and matter, and in this sign, instinct is finally overcome by intuition.” Another example is Eve is given an apple from the Tree of Knowledge by the serpent in the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. The serpent and the apple are both associated with knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps this is a hint to what is located under the island.
Adjacent to the “H” symbol is a plus sign with four dots each positioned in one of the four quadrants. One of the meanings concerns alchemy. It means “distilled Vinegar”. Distilled vinegar is thought to be used in many alchemical processes used by alchemists from the 1500 and 1600s, including the making of the Philosopher’s Stone, the pinnacle of alchemy. The Philosopher’s Stone was known to be the “Elixir of Life” and change base metals into gold.
Another meaning could be the Jerusalem Cross. The symbol was used by the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the 11th -13th centuries. This would’ve been the time the Knights Templar occupied Solomon’s Temple. However, the symbol on the stone found by Hedden doesn’t have the four separate crosses in the four quadrants of the symbol. This comes down to the skill and the symbol’s importance to the carver. It’s my feeling that the smaller crosses would’ve been present in the quadrants if the Cross of Jerusalem was the intended symbol. Nevertheless, the cross is a Christian symbol and could very well represent Christianity. The symbol is known to also represent the spread of Christianity to the four corners of the World.
The plus sign, in general, has many meanings, but one of them involves the four cardinal points (North, South, East, and West). If this was the meaning of the symbol used on the stone then the four dots could represent the directions for the rising and setting sun on the solstices.
The longest and shortest days of the year were important to ancient cultures. The HO stone could very well be some kind of marker for setting sun on the summer solstice considering the location it was discovered and the sun has been in Gemini on the summer solstice for the last 2000 years.
The next symbol is the circumpunct, a circle with a dot in the middle, is an ancient symbol used by many cultures and groups in the past. Some say it is one of the oldest symbols known to humans, and it has many meanings across many groups. In Gnosticism, it’s the most primal aspect of God, and to Greek philosophers and the Pythagoreans, the circumpunct represents God, or the Monad, which John Dee honored; the point of the beginning of creation, and eternity. It’s the sun to astrologers and astronomers; the alchemical gold of the alchemist, and the Keter of the Kabbalah. Manly P. Hall, a 33rd Degree Mason and one of Masonry’s foremost scholars said this about the circumpunct:
The keys to all knowledge are contained in the dot, the line, and the circle. The dot is universal consciousness, the line is universal intelligence, and the circle is a universal force – the threefold, unknowable Cause of all knowable existence (the three hypostases of Atma). In man, the spirit is represented by the dot and conscious activity or intelligence by the line. Conscious activity is the key to intelligence because consciousness belongs to the sphere of the dot and activity to the sphere of the circle.
The center and the circumference are thus blended in the connecting line – conscious activity or intelligence. The circle is the symbol of body and body is the limit of the radius of the activity of mind power pouring out of the substance of consciousness.
Considering the symbol represents God and the sun, separately, then it must represent the Sun God, together. There are many characterizations of the Sun God depending on which time period and geographical area. The HO Stone already has some connections to the Constellation Gemini and Hercules as I’ve shown previously, so the God Apollo seems the logical choice for the circumpunct symbol.
Apollo was another son of Zeus and one of the twelve Olympians on Mt. Olympus to the Greeks and Romans. Apollo is the only god that used the same name in Greek and Roman. He has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, swans, dolphins, and many more. Apollo’s symbols are the Lyre, Laurel Tree, and the bow and arrow. He was known to pull the sun across the sky each day with his chariot lead by four white horses. However, more importantly, he is linked to the Constellation Gemini as Castor. As I mentioned, the sun has been in Gemini on the summer solstice for almost 2000 years and the sun sets to the NW of the island on the solstice at an azimuth bearing of 304 degrees.
Another celestial explanation involving Gemini and the setting sun on the summer solstice uses the Constellation Auriga in conjunction with Gemini. Auriga is adjacent to Gemini to the north. The shape of the Auriga constellation is circular and could represent the circumpunct symbol on the HO stone. When Fred Nolan investigated the center of Nolan’s Cross he found a large stone with a face carved into the side of it, like a profile of a face. On this face stone, there were glyphs carved into it. One of the glyphs looks very similar to the Constellation Auriga. Auriga is a five-sided pentagon similar to a home plate in baseball. So, that would mean the “H” symbol and circumpunct would represent Gemini (H) with the Solstice (+ sign) and Auriga (Circumpunct).
The last symbol is only partially visible and appears to be an “R” and represents Orion. In Helen Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, she claims the “R” symbol means “the moving man”, but she makes no reference to the Constellation Orion. However, Orion is a male figure and he appears to be walking or moving forward with one leg in front of the other. Furthermore, the constellation can be recognized with the letter by its overall shape, because the stars of Orion form the letter “R”. If any other constellation was in that location under Gemini, the theory would fall short. Orion is the only constellation that could form the “R” on the stone and it just so happens to be in the right position.
We know that the HO Stone found by Hedden was in the water in Jourdey’s Cove north of the island and early accounts of the stone placed it on the shoreline prior to its destruction. If the summer solstice is connected to the stone then there has to be some alignment on the island with the sun setting on that day and the location of the stone. The only place one could use as a reference or vantage point using the setting Sun and the stone is the center of Nolan’s Cross. The gold line from the center of Nolan’s Cross represents the setting sun on the summer solstice, which is 304 degrees. The gold line travels along the beach at Jourdey’s Cove and to the possible original location of the HO Stone. The blue line to the SE is the rising Sun on the winter solstice at 124 degrees and passes through the famous Money Pit area. This single straight solstice line connects the Money Pit area, Nolan’s Cross, and a section of shoreline at Jourdey’s Cove thought to be the original location of the HO Stone.
This evidence leads to a group that used Pagan sun worship and followed the solstices, not a Christian group. Although Christ has characteristics typical of sun deities, such as being born at the time of the winter solstice, Christianity tried to avoid any association with Pagan rituals. One group walked the fine line between both. That organization was the Knights Templar. They followed Pagan rituals and yet, were known to be Christ’s warriors. Many Templar buildings all over Europe have windows oriented toward the rising and setting sun on the solstices, which shows evidence of Pagan ideals. Furthermore, there is no denying Nolan’s Cross could very well be a Christian cross. So, maybe the Templars combined the two beliefs when planning the workings on the island.