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Archive for September, 2008

20.09.2008

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The square and compasses are pehaps the oldest, the simplest, and the most universal symbols of freemasonry. All the world over, whether as a sign on a building, or a badge worn by a Brother, most everyone knows the compass and square to be emblems of the ancient Craft. 

Nearly everywhere in our ritual, as in the public mind, the square and compasses are seen together. If not interlocked, they are seldom far found apart.

So, among speculative masons, the  try-square has always been a symbol of mortality, portraying the basic rightness which must be the test of every act and the foundation of character and society. From the beginning of the revival in 1717 this was made plain in the teaching of masonry, by the fact that the Holy Bible was placed upon the altar, along with the square and compasses. In one of the earliest catechisms of the Craft,  the question is asked: “How many make a lodge?” The answer is specific and unmistakable: “God and the square, with five or seven right or perfect masons.” God and the square, religion and morality, must be present in every lodge as its ruling lights, or it fails of being a just and truly constituted lodge. In all lands, in all rites where masonry is true to itself, the square is a symbol of righteousness, and is applied in the light of faith in God.

The compass and square are most always found on the 3rd degree Masonic ring, also known as the Blue Lodge Masonic Ring or Master Mason’s Ring.

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There has been much has been made of the symbolic significance of the angle, or distance between the points, of the compasses in masonic iconography, both by freemasons looking for deeper meanings, and anti-masons looking for further proof of occult associations.

Unfortunately for both, a review of the earliest depictions of the compasses, demonstrates a lack of conformity, with a wide variety and range of angles. Although a depiction of the compasses with the points over the edges of a five-pointed star can be found on the west face of the altar in the lodge room of Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, Scotland, this usage is rare. Identifying the compasses with the Star of David and fixing the anle at 60 degrees has no historical validity in masonic iconography. In many jurisdictions, the compasses of the Grand Master are set to thirty-six degrees while those of a Past Grand Master are set to twenty-nine degrees.

Within Freemasonry there is a tendency to embellish and add to the simplicity of masonic teachings, ascribing significance where none was intended.

The most common symbol of the freemason is the masonic ring normally worn on the left hand. Examples of these rings can be found at Fox Jewelry. The most common working tools found on the masonic ring are the compass and square as well as the plumb and trowel.

Freemasonry and the Bee Hive

Author: Ringmaster
20.09.2008

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The bee and the hive have long been symbols of industry and regeneration, wisdom and obedience, with a place Roman and Christian symbolism. The hive is often seen in Masonic illustrations of the 18th and 19th century.  Although “the bee was among the Egyptians the symbol of an obedient people, becaus of all insects, the bee alone had a king.

, The Bee hive’s use in Freemasonry was secondary to any number of other symbols based on the working tools of a stone mason. It is not surprising that a beehive should have been deemed an appropriate emblem of systematized industry when one looks at the regulated labor these insects have when congregated in their hive, Freemasonry has therefore adopted the beehive as a symbol of industry, a virtue taught in the instructions, which says that a Master Mason ‘works that he may receive wages, the better to support himself and family, and contribute to the relief of a worthy, distressed brother, his widow and orphans.

The most common symbol of the freemason is the masonic ring normally worn on the left hand. Examples of these rings can be found at Fox Jewelry. The most common working tools found on the masonic ring are the compass and square as well as the plumb and trowel.

What is a Masonic Bible?

Author: Ringmaster
14.09.2008

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Frequently; when a Mason joins a lodge, he is given a Masonic Bible. Typically it is iven to him by his sponsor. A Masonic Bible is the same Bible anyone thinks of as a Bible. Normally it is the King James vesion with the exception that there is joften a special page in the front on which to write the name of the person who is receiving it and the occasion for which it is given. Sometimes there is a special index or information section that shows the peson where in the Bible to find passages which are quoted in the masonic ritual. The Bible is normally given to the Mason when he becomes a Master Mason. At this time the Mason is entitled to wear the 3rd Degree Master Masonic ring.

02.09.2008

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The All-Seeing Eye is an important symbol of the Supreme Being borrowed by the Freemasons from both the Hebrews and the Egyptians. It appears as though the all-seeing eye was selected as an organ as the symbol of the function which it is intended. Similarly, the foot was often adopted as the symbol of swiftness, the arm of strength, and the hand of fidelity.

The All-Seeing Eye could then be considered as a symbol of God manifested in his omnipresence and preserving character-to which Solomon alludes in the Book of Proverbs (xv, 3), where he says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding (or, as in the Revised Version, keeping watch upon) the evil and the good.” It is a symbol of the Omnipresent Deity.

The use of the eye emblem to represent God was quite common in the Renaissance; often, the eye would be enclosed within a triangle representing the triune godhead. Such an emblem can be found in numerous examples of Christian art.

The Eye of Providence also appears as part of the iconography of the Freemasons. Here it represents the all-seeing eye of God, and is then a reminder that a Mason’s deeds are always observed by God (who is referred to in Masonry as the Grand Architect of the Universe). Typically the Masonic Eye of Providence has a semi-circular glory below the eye — often the lowest rays extend further down. Sometimes the Eye is enclosed by a triangle.

The all-seeiing eye can be found on many Masonic rings; particulary the Past Master’s Ring.