Order of the Temple
Grand Commander: “Pilgrim, the fifth libation is taken in a very solemn way. It is emblematical of the bitter cup of death, of which we must all, sooner or later, taste; and even the Saviour of the world was not exempted, notwithstanding his repeated prayers and supplications. It is taken of pure wine and from this cup. (Exhibiting a human skull), he pours the wine into it and says, – To show you that we here practice no imposition, I give you this pledge. (drinks from the skull.) He then pours more wine into the skull, and presents it to the candidate, telling him that the fifth libation is called the sealed obligation, as it is to seal all his former engagements in Masonry. …”This is a reminder of the temporary nature of human life, and the inevitability of death. Thoughts of death remind us of the transient nature of earthly pleasures, which are fleeting; this contemplation opens the door to the soul within, which is the eternal life within each of us.
From Wikipedia Memento mori (Latin: “remember that you have to die”) is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. It is related to the ars moriendi(“The Art of Dying”) and related literature. Memento mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and by turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.
In Hinduism as well as in Buddhism contemplation upon death is an important spiritual practice to overcome desires and attachment and cultivate detachment and dispassion. Contemplation upon death helps you overcome your fear of death, and your longing for life. It also changes your attitude and approach to worldly life and relationships.
Skull and Crossbones
The skull consists of 22 bones – 8 cranial bones and 14 facial bones. The bones of the skull provide protection for the brain and the organs of vision, taste, hearing, equilibrium, and smell.
In numerology, the number 22 is often called the Master Builder. The underlying occult scientific significance of the number 22 in science would represent the bones of the skull, The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet created to compose the Word of God is our 22 boned skull, and the place where we receive the light to become illuminated, or enlightened beings.