Archive for August, 2009
“On the 4th of July, 1848, under a clear sky in the presence of the President of the United States and virtually every notable of the government including former first lady Dolley Madison, the cornerstone was set with masonic ceremonies by the Grand Lodge of Masons of the District of Columbia. One of the principle addresses of the occasion was given by Benjamin B. French, Grand Master, who wore the masonic apron that Washington wore at the laying of the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. In his address French referred to the masonic master’s chair used by Washington as Worshipful Master of Washington-Alexandria Lodge, and the gavel used by the first President to set the cornerstone of the Capitol, in the custody of Potomac Lodge #5 of Georgetown, D.C.
A curious piece of the Masonic puzzle is the actual street layout for our Capital city, Washington, D.C. The city was laid out in the form of the central Masonic Symbols, the Square, the Compass, the Rule and the Pentagram.
Take any good street map of downtown Washington, D.C. and find the Capitol Building. Facing the Capitol from the Mall and using the Capitol building as the head or top of the Compass, the left leg is represented by Pennsylvania Ave. and the right leg, Maryland Ave. The Square is found in the usual Masonic position with the intersection of Canal St. and Louisiana Ave. The left leg of the Compass stands on the White House and the right leg stands on the Jefferson Memorial. Sitting on top of the White House is an inverted 5 pointed star, or Pentagram. It faces North, with the point down in true occult fashion. It sits within the intersections of Connecticut and Vermont Avenues north to Dupont and Logan Circles, with Rhode Island and Massachusetts going to Washington Circle to the West and Mt. Vernon Square on the East.
Follow us on Twitter: @MasonicRings
Within the Degrees of Masonry there are found references to the plumb and plumb-line as instruments of particular significance to the Mason. One of the earliest and simplest instruments used in construction, the plumb and its line were an essential tool of the stone mason. As the level was to insure evenness of a surface, the plumb was to insure perpendicularity and right angles to that surface.
A simple plumb is an instrument of amazing accuracy. From homes to cathedrals, this simple tool has pointed the way upward and indicated the straightness needed to obtain perfection. And so it is that this tool was taken from the operative mason to the speculative mason as a symbol of the best off conduct, unequivocal uprightness, and constant integrity required to build a spiritual temple reflective of the best of one’s efforts.
So, it is that when you hold a plumb and plumb-line in your hand, you hold a working tool of Masonry.
The plumb line shown on the Masonic Ring above is an example of a Master Mason Ring found at Fox Jewelry.