The original word for “chess” is Sanskrit chaturanga “four members of an army” This is preserved in Spanish ajedrez, from Arabic (al) shat-ranj, from Persian chatrang, from the Sanskrit word.
The origin of chess belongs to an unmemorable, so different traditions have placed it in its distant past. Games with small stones and boards were played in China and Japan more than four thousand years ago, the Chinese took him to india, where this game was evolving and called it Chaturanga (4 forces), by four forces of former Indian Army: elephants, Chariots, Cavalry, and infantry. This word was deforming tailored to different cultures were taken by this game. The Persians called it shantraj. The word Persian Sha means “King”. The word “Jaque mate” (checkmate), then means “kill the King” comes from Shah Mat.
But the version most widely on the birth of this game, has that is originally from the India and not from China and that it was transmitted to the medieval West by the Persians and the Arabs. However, this modern theory forgets that hermetic tradition we find in the “Phaedrus or of love”, as by the mouth of Socrates, Plato, places the birth of the chess in Egypt, the God Thoth as its inventor. The game of chess is the representation of a cosmogony, where two players face using two separate armies, updating the cosmic drama of duality, on a square and paved, formed by alternately black and white tile floor.
But the version most widely on the birth of this game, has that is originally from the India and not from China and that it was transmitted to the medieval West by the Persians and the Arabs. However, this modern theory forgets that hermetic tradition we find in the “Phaedrus “(is a dialogue between Plato’s main protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues.) , as by the mouth of Socrates, Plato, places the birth of the chess in Egypt, the God Thoth as its inventor. The game of chess is the representation of a cosmogony, where two players face using two separate armies, updating the cosmic drama of duality, on a square and paved, formed by alternately black and white tile floor
The Board, where the game takes place is a square, geometric figure of four equal sides that are expression of the Quaternary, and that conveys the idea of harmony, order and balance, which is why which is associated with the symbol of the Earth. Thus, man is registered within the vertical and horizontal sides bounded by the coordinates that represent the space and time
In the traditional civilizations square figure was considered sacred, and possessed an inherent magical charge. To trace the cosmogonic map where the chess game unfolds, square is symmetrically multiplied up to a grid of eight columns of basic number which inspired a symbolism middleman, or transition, between the square (Earth) and circle (sky), with consequent priests charge that entails. So the Board is divided into a grid of 64 squares, within a layout eight by eight squares, same construction that possesses the alchemical magic square of Hermes Mercury, whose function is in addition to a instructor and educator, initiation, and therefore of transition and an intermediary between gods and men.
That in the hermetic tradition, Hermes, initiator into the mysteries, relates to “Hod”, the number eight from the tree of life sephirah, and his magic square is a grid of 64 squares, is in perfect harmony with other traditions such as china, where the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching is derived from the initial eight trigrams, which in turn become the original binomial, the duality. In addition, the Board has an inherent cyclicality, fact that manifests itself in that 64 is a submultiple integer 25.920, the number of years of equinoctial precession, and that for Hindus corresponds to the duration of the golden age of a Manvantara (the hindu progenitor of mankind).
Chess relationship with Freemasonry, we can see it in the paved floor of the masonic lodges, analogous to the of the chess board, has its equivalent in the symbol of Yin-Yang, which clearly illustrates the idea of duality and complementarity of opposites, where the interpretation of the two aspects, is analogous to the symbolism of the checkered floor
For masonry the white represents the color of Jupiter, parents of the day, that of Pluto, King of darkness dark black. the tiles reflect the duality of life: day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and Vice, cold and heat, birth and death, love and hate, the honors and slander. These contrasts will accompany man along the paths of its existence, and Mason in his initiation is shown by two sips of the symbolic Cup.
The wheel. Arcane n ° 10 of the Tarot of Marseilles (the deck of cards best known Tarot and which derived all the later.) If we observe that the Board squares are divided into 32 white squares and 32 black squares, yque are 32 figures that starts the game, the relationship with the Kabbalah Jewish becomes more evident, where we find that the first words of the Sefer Yetsirah are:
“He recorded with 32 mystical paths of wisdom, Yah, Lord of hosts, God of Israel”.
This in connection with the 32 times in the first chapter of the Torah the name of God Elohim, and manifested as the ten sephirot and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which are manifestations of understanding, thus configuring the 32 paths of wisdom that must be opened for each individual, as personal pathways to knowledge, discovering each one his own and unique journey towards freedom. Freedom, inherent in the unique principle, metaphysical unity, whose first emanation is the duality. God one and dual, as the two halves of the egg of the world for the Indian, and Egyptian traditions as the primordial androgyne Platonic, the Yin-Yang of the tradition end East, the juxtaposition of black and white colors of the symbolism of the chessboard. Thus, in chess, we learn that light and darkness, day and night, good and evil, are opposed, but also complement each other, because one does not exist without the other, as it is the case with all pairs of opposite and complementary of this universe.
This article was written by Psalm Triginta