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Gönderen Konu: Masonic Symbols and Emblems  (Okunma sayısı 11535 defa)

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Aralık 20, 2010, 10:38:58 ös
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To more fully understand Masonic Symbols, it is necessary to learn a bit of the history behind them as well as the difference between a symbol and an emblem. 

If you're pressed for time, you can go directly to Freemason Symbols , however for a truer understanding of why Freemasons use symbols, please read on. 

Many Freemason symbols teach moral lessons through the use of allegory.  (Allegory is when you liken one thing to another thing). 

Learning the allegorical meanings of Freemasonry's many symbols is not difficult, but it can be easy to confuse the difference between a symbol and an
emblem.  Some writers use these two words somewhat interchangeably and it is easy to see why. 


Symbols represent a more complex idea by use of the "face value" of a graphical image.

A symbol compares one thing with another using a graphical, visual object as a memory aid.   A symbol has both a visual "face value" and a secondary more complex meaning which has been ascribed to it.   In other words, a symbol brings to mind a "story" behind it.

Masonic symbols usually have a secondary or higher religious or spiritual meaning ascribed to them.


   The Masonic setting maul symbol has the face value of its basic use to an operative Mason as that of a tool to set stones.  To speculative Masons,
it has a secondary meaning which represents a more complex idea or concept such as the manner in which Hiram Abif met his death.


Emblems represent a specific group, quality or type.

Emblems have a "face value" only.  Most of the time, you can remember the difference if you think:  Emblem = Group.

An emblem is an insignia, crest, patch,...a trademark or logo.  It is a special design or visual object representing a quality, type or group.

The Masonic square and compasses emblem represents Freemasonry as a group.  It is their logo.  It should also be noted that the Masonic square and
compasses logo is copyrighted.

The Eastern Star emblem, represents a group known as the Eastern Star or the Order of the Eastern Star.

The easiest way to remember the difference between Masonic symbols and Masonic emblems in Freemasonry is that Masonic emblems are most often used as a
representation or logo for a group.  It represents the group as a whole.Other appendant bodies within Freemasonry have their own emblems, such as Rainbow
Girls, Scottish Rite,  DeMolay, etc.

Therefore, if you always have trouble remembering the difference between an emblem and a symbol, the easiest way to remember this is to just remember that
(for the most part), emblems are logos.

Ancient Symbols

While we don't usually take the time to think about it, we begin learning symbols from the time we are a child.  This is just as true for people of every
culture around the world, today as it was thousands of years ago for the ancient Egyptians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Hebrews and all the other people of
the world.
Egyptian hieroglyphic symbols are famed for their antiquity.  Scholars and historians are still attempting to decipher many of these symbols, some of which,
in similar formats are used within Freemasonry, today, such as the Point Within a Circle, the Sun, Moon, etc.  Some believe that Moses brought the knowledge
of these symbols with him after the Hebrews left Egypt.

Roman Symbols:  The Romans developed a numbering system we call "Roman numerals", which is still in use, even today.

Greek Alphabet:  The Greek alphabet descends from the Phoenician alphabet.  These alphabetic symbols are used today in mathematics and science.  The names
of college fraternity and sorority houses are often named using the symbols of the Greek alphabet.  The Greek alphabet was the forerunner to other
alphabets such as Latin, Gothic and Cyrillic alphabets. 

Why are ancient symbols important to Freemasons, today?

The Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures was written first in Hebrew, (plus 8 chapters which were written in Aramaic).  In approximately 250-50 B.C., the
Hebrew text was translated to Greek (called the Septuagint Bible).   In approximately 400 A.D., the Greek translation was translated into Latin
(called St. Jerome's Vulgate Bible). 

Phoenicia is the ancient name for the country we now know as Lebanon.  The city of Tyre, Lebanon is best known to Freemasons as the city in which Hiram Abif
resided before he was called into the employ of King Solomon.

Q:  Why is that of any importance, today?
A:  Many Masonic symbols are a part of the shared history of the world. 

Some Masonic symbols originated in the Holy Scriptures, which was originally written in Hebrew.

Acacia:  The Holy Scriptures tell us that acacia was used to construct most of the sacred furniture and the tabernacle within King Solomon's temple. 
(Exodus 25:10 and Ezekial 27:19)

King Solomon and his Master Masons (1Kings 5:15-17)

The Altar of Incense (1 Kings 6:22)
Others are of unknown origin and date.

Masonic Symbols in History

Masonic symbols such as the double-headed eagle used by the Scottish Rite are steeped in antiquity.  The double-headed eagle appears on the Coat of Arms of
many different countries, as well as several national flags. 

The double-headed eagle symbol may also be seen on the flag of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, too, both used the
double-headed eagle as an emblem of their rulership.

Q:  Does that mean that Masonic symbols such as the
     double-headed eagle are emblematic of rulership
     within Freemasonry? 

A:  No.

Q:  Does that mean that Freemasonry's double-headed
     eagle has anything to do with the Greek Orthodox Church?   

A:  No.

Q:  Does that mean that the Greek Orthodox Church's
     double-headed eagle has anything to do with

A:  No.

The symbolism for each entity using the double-headed eagle is quite different,... just as different as each entity is from one another.

It is important to realize that most Masonic symbols did not suddenly appear with the advent of speculative Freemasonry  in 1717. As you can see, above,
many (not all) of the Masonic symbols we learn, today, go back thousands of years, quite literally into the mists of time. 

This is where for many people, Freemasonry becomes erroneously confused with ancient secrets, evil and other convoluted beliefs.

Hebrew Symbols From The Holy Scriptures

The first 5 books of the Holy Scriptures (Old Testament) were originally written in Hebrew (in the Torah).  As a percentage of the world's population, few
people around the world speak the Hebrew language, today.  Therefore, because of this lack of knowledge, many people fear the meaning of symbols with which
they are not familiar.

Unfortunately, this fear sometimes translates quite quickly from a fear of the unknown to an unfounded fear of evil.  Evil has no part within Freemasonry.

Scottish Rite Freemasonry degrees are advanced Freemason degrees (in the United States) which a Freemason may choose to attain once he has obtained his Master
Mason degree. 
Therefore, God has always been, is now, and will always be

The Supreme Being was, is and will always be at the heart of Freemasonry and a part of our Masonic symbolism.
Q:  Does this mean I would have to learn or
     understand the Hebrew language to be a

A:  No. Most Freemasons do not know Hebrew.

Q:  Does this mean that only those of the Hebrew or
     Jewish faith can be Freemasons? 

A:  No.  Freemasonry extends its hand of friendship to
     men from all religions around the world. 

Q:  Does this mean that mostly Hebrew or Jewish people
     are Freemasons? 

A:  No.  The fraternity of Freemasonry has members from
     all faiths.

Most Freemason symbols do not require any knowledge of the Hebrew language.  The reason I discuss this Masonic symbol is because Freemasonry has its roots
in the Holy Scripture.  The Holy Scripture was originally written in Hebrew.

Q:  Why do you call it the Holy Scriptures instead of the Bible?

A:  The Holy Scripture encompasses not only Christian
     Freemasons, but members of other religions.

Q:  If I want to become a Freemason, what do I need to do?

A:  In most jurisdictions, you need to believe in a Supreme
     Being, be a male and be over 21 years of age.  In most
     jurisdictions in the United States, you must request to
     become a member. 

     In other parts of the world, a member or members of a
     lodge may ask a prospective member if he would like to
     join their lodge.  (Click on the link at the bottom of this
     page if you are interested in more information about how
     to become a Freemason.)

Q:  Why do Freemasons call God the "Supreme Being" or the
     "Supreme Architect" of the Universe?

A:  Freemasonry is not a religion.  The fraternity of Freemasonry
     embraces men from all religions.  Different religions call
     the Supreme Being by different names, such as God,
     Allah, Jehovah, I Am That I Am (as God spoke to
     (Moses) and many others.  All men understand the words
     "Supreme Being" as a word representing deity.

Ancient Symbols in History 

Some of the symbols that we know, today, as Masonic symbols are to be found in ancient cultures and in some schools of thought in more recent times,
notably those of the Rosicrucians, the Hermeticists, the Kabalists, as well as the mystic and occult schools of thought such as the Gnostics, the
Pythagoreans and the Neo-Platomists.

It is within these ancient mystic and occult schools of thought that mystical beliefs and alchemy also become confused with Freemasonry. 

Many of these ancient symbols are interwoven through the ages into the history of Man and therefore, due to Freemasonry's antiquity, by default, they have
also been woven into the history of Freemasonry. 

Masonic Light Begins With Masonic Symbols

Your quest for Masonic light (knowledge) is a journey which will take you on many fascinating paths back through history.  Like any traveler, it is just as
important that we learn about different cultures throughout different eras as it is to learn about and visit other jurisdictions within Freemasonry.   
While on the journey, it is also important that we do not lose our way.

While all knowledge is good;... just as the North Star has been used for milleniums (thousands of years) to guide travelers home, we must also remember
that as a traveler, w must not get so caught up in any one of these ancient schools of thought so deeply that we forget to look up and let the star's light
chart our way home. 

One of the take-home lessons of Freemasonry is that the Masonic student should not only learn the meanings of Masonic symbols, but also remember that we are
simply visitors to the historical information we read. 

In that sense, we must remember that different Masonic authors may sometimes imply slightly different meanings gleaned from their own perception and understanding
of that ancient body of knowledge which may not perfectly agree with meanings gleaned from other authors throughout history.  This holds equally true for
different jurisdictions around the world.

Masonic Symbols Usage:

It is also important to know that an earlier usage (within history) of the same symbol is not necessarily the source of its Masonic symbolism interpretation.
..even when the earlier explanation of what we recognize as one of our Masonic symbols is similar to our known Masonic interpretation. 

It is also necessary for all Masons to know that there are slight deviations in Masonic symbol meanings across different Masonic jurisdictions around the
world.  One example of this is that Freemasons in the United States speak of the trestle board. Freemasons in England and Canada speak of it as a "tracing
board".  Neither are wrong, (depending upon the jurisdiction). 

In different jurisdictions around the world, slightly different Masonic working tools (with somewhat different symbolism) are also used.  These tools, too
are correct within their jurisdiction. 

Noted Masonic Symbologists

Each of the authors, below have attempted to personally explain Masonic Symbols.  Since this is a Masonic education website, each of the hyperlinks, below
will take you to an online book seller where, if you would like to acquire a more in depth knowledge about Masonic symbols, you may purchase these books
written by these Masonic scholars. 

•Albert Gallatin Mackey:  The Symbolism of Freemasonry: Illustrating and Explaining its Science and Philosophy, its Legends, Myths and Symbols 
•J.D. Buck: Symbolism of Freemasonry or Mystic Masonry and the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity
•George Steinmetz:  Freemasonry: Its Hidden Meaning

Specialty Symbols

Visual learning has been with us for thousands of years.  The cavemen drew symbols.  The Egyptians created hieroglyphics.  In fact, we are so surrounded by
symbols in our everyday lives and have grown so used to them that we even take them for granted. 

In addition, symbols have been so ingrained in us as a part of our education that we have forgotten when, where or who taught them all to us.

Alphabetic Symbols:  Each letter of the alphabet is the symbol for a certain sound...."A" stands for "apple", "C stands for "cat".  From our earliest
learning as a child, we are instructed that it is easiest to learn a particular sound when we can see the physical symbol which it represents. 

Driving and Transportation Symbols:  A red light means "stop".  Most highway signs, too, are represented by symbols such as the use of arrows and the use of
different colored signs to denote different actions, such as yellow, green and red signs.   

Musical Symbols:  If you play an instrument, you will need to learn musical symbols. 

Computer Symbols:  Every single key on your keyboard and all of the icons on your computer screen's toolbar are also symbols.  They liken one thing with
another...using a graphical, visual object as a memory aid such as this e-mail symbol.  Even web graphics are symbols.

Electrical symbols, construction symbols, cartographer (map makers) symbols; ...we all learn thousands of symbols throughout our lives.  Depending on the
type of career or specialty field we have chosen to embrace, we acquire a new set of special symbols.

The list of specialty symbols is endless.

Q:  Why Do So Many Symbols Abound?

A:  Symbols provide Man with the fastest way to learn.

It is no wonder then, that Freemasonry, like many other organizations throughout history, has its own set of specialty symbols which compare one thing with
another as a memory aid.

Q:  Are Masonic symbols mystical?

A:  No more so than other specialty subsets of symbols.
However, due to the fact that the Supreme Being is central to Freemasonry,
many Masonic symbols such as the Masonic Altar, the Eye of God and others have Deity (the Supreme Being) as their central focus. This is the foundation on
Masonic degrees "Make Good Men Better".


Emblems have one meaning.

Emblems are a visible symbol representing an abstract idea.  (think in terms of a logo)

Emblems do not represent something else that is invisible.  It is what it is. 

That said, many Masonic writers, historians and websites (both now in in the past) use the words "Masonic emblems" and "Masonic symbols", interchangeably. 

This Masonic square and compasses is an emblem of the fraternity.  In fact, the Square and Compasses is trademark protected by the fraternity. 

For centuries, the square and compasses have represented the fraternity of Freemasonry.  It is an emblem because its only meaning is that it represents the

When you view it, you would not confuse it with representing any other entity other than Freemasonry.  It represents an abstract idea, (that of a group of
people who conform to specific beliefs.)

When you see the image of the 2 symbols (the Masonic square and compasses) in this configuration, together, they emblemize the fraternity.  They are a
visible "sign" of the fraternity.
Emblems only have one meaning, however, symbols can have multiple meanings. 

Symbols are something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible.   (has more than one connotation)

There are 2 symbols used within the Masonic square and compasses emblem.

Masonic Square Symbol

The word "square" could be taken to mean:

1.  A carpenter's square, used to create true lines.

2.  A Masonic square, which symbolizes a state of moral rectitude.

Masonic compasses symbol

The word "compass" could be taken to mean:

1.  A compass used by an architect which when a base point is chosen,
     will create a perfect circle around the base point to ensure that the
     work has the correct proportions, thus giving it beauty, stability and

2.  A compass used by a mariner which has a magnetic needle and circular
     dial or card by which he directs his course over the ocean.

3.  A compass used by an aircraft pilot which also has a magnetic needle
     by which he directs his course in the air.

4.  The Masonic compasses symbolize an implement of virtue by which we
     are taught to circumscribe (create a boundary around) our passions
     and keep our desires within due bounds. 

Masonic Emblems of the Fraternity
Here are some of the many Masonic emblems within the fraternity and its appendant bodies:

Order of the Eastern Star Emblem

The Order of the Eastern Star (or O.E.S.) is an appendant body within Freemasonry.  Members are both male and female, but predominantly female. 

It is the largest organization in the world to which both men and women may belong.  It is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values. 
It strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example, build an Order which
is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness. 

The 5 points of the star represent 5 strong women in history, 4 of whom are in the Holy Scriptures.
Scottish Rite

The Scottish Rite is an appendant Masonic organization which continues a Master Mason's education of the first 3 degrees. 

It is believed to have been founded on the European continent in the 1700s.

The Scottish Rite consists of the 4th through the 32nd degree and an honorary 33rd degree, which is awarded for exception service. 

Their charitable work includes Rite Care Childhood Language Program, youth programs, scholarships, and disaster relief.


The Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.O.N.M.S.) commonly known as Shriners was established in 1870.  It is an appendant body of Freemasonry
,based in the United States. 

This social organization is best known for their ongoing charitable work in providing funds for the 22 Shriner's Hospitals for Children. 

Daughters of the Nile

The Daughters of the Nile is an international fraternal appendant sociable and charitable organization. 

Founded in 1913, for women 18 years or older, these women volunteer their time to sew garments for children who are patients in the Shriner's hospitals. 
(Many of these children require special garments due to their massive injuries or burns.)

Job's Daughters

Job's Daughters International is an appendant organization of young women between the ages of 10 and 20.  They perform service projects to help their
community and the less fortunate. 

They actively support the Hearing Impaired Kid's Endowment (HIKE) which purchases hearing assistive devices for hearing impaired children. 

Rainbow Girls

The International Order of the Rainbow Girls is an appendant organization for female members between 11 and 20 years old.   

This organization encourages its members to be strong in spirit and kind in heart, respectful toward nature, and giving toward all humanity.


DeMolay is an international appendant youth fraternity for young men ages 12-21.  Founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919 by Frank S. Land.

DeMolay derives its name from Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. 

DeMolay has several cardinal virtues, which are the sole structure of what they follow. 

These cardinal virtues are:  filial love (love between parent and child), reverence for sacred things, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanliness and patriotism.
The Philalethes Society

("Fiat Lux" is Latin for "Let there be light.")

The word Philalethes (pronounced:  fill-a-lay-thess, with the accent on the 3rd syllable, "lay") is derived from two Greek words, philos and alethes. 
Philos means love.  Alethes means truth.  Together, they mean "lover of truth."

The Philalethes Society was founded in 1928 by a group of Masonic students.  It was designed for Freemasons desirous of seeking and spreading Masonic light. 

The sole purpose of this research society is to act as a clearinghouse for Masonic knowledge.  It exchanges ideas, researches problems confronting
Freemasonry, and passes them along to the Masonic fraternal or appendant bodies.


« Son Düzenleme: Aralık 21, 2010, 04:13:48 ös Gönderen: MASON »

Eylül 11, 2011, 08:09:22 ös
Yanıtla #1
  • Ziyaretçi

Thank you for the informative post.

Our world speaks in the language of symbolism.

May I suggest any members interested in symbolism to also refer to the works of Manly Palmer Hall on the subject. Especially his audio lectures.


Eylül 11, 2011, 10:15:49 ös
Yanıtla #2

thank you for  explanation about  significant  symbols
yenilmek te iyidir, mühim olan her seferinde yenilsende , daha iyi olarak yenildiğini bilmektir


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