Freemason Symbolism in Literature
Freemasons as symbolism have various symbols that are traced back to Ancient Egyptians as well as Judeo-Christianity. A freemason was a member of a guild, a group of skilled stonemasons or builders during the Middle Ages. Currently, Freemasonry is one of the ancient organizations known to be secretive, also known as a fraternal organization. Freemasons focus on supporting and guiding each other through mutual assistance. Freemasonry requires men to go through initiation rituals for membership. The word freemason came into use in the late 1300s from the French word frère means brother, and from the word, frèremaçon means brother mason.
The All-Seeing Eye
The all-seeing eye is one of the most prominent symbols of freemasons. It is also known as the masonic eye and eye of providence. The Freemasons believe that the all-seeing eye symbolizes the eye of god to remind the freemasons of how god is always watching, seeing their actions. The all-seeing eye also represents surrounded by all areas.
The Letter G
The letter G is symbolism for god as well as geometry. However, it also represents the knowledge of spiritual mysteries. The letter G is placed in the center of the Square and Compass. In modern Freemasonry, the letter G is symbolic of stonemasonry, which started in the late 14th century and has continued to represent the modern version of freemasons.
The Square is a symbol of unity. However, in Freemasonry, a square that is designed with a compass is a symbol of morality. It means a person must check their actions by comparing their choices with the square of virtue and also with other people. The masonic square is a symbol of Masonry and is a prominent symbol of freemasons around the world.
The compass in freemasonry symbolizes spirituality, existence, and the life cycle. In Masonry, the compass also represents the freemasons and masonic lodges in the world and as well as symbolizes the relationship between the individual and society. The compass is one of the architect’s tools and is a sacred symbol along with the ‘Square’ in the teachings of Freemasonry. The compasses are symbolically used to draw a boundary line around our desires to avoid excessiveness and maintain restraint, which is the foundation of freemasonry’s morality and wisdom.
Aprons are typically worn during traditional events and public events. The apron is a unique badge of a Manson. In the late 14th century, stonemasons wore aprons for protection while they were working. Hence, freemasons wear aprons when they live in lodges symbolizing unity.
The Anchor and the Ark
In Freemasonry, the anchor and ark symbolize the well-spent life. The anchor represents hope, and the ark is a symbol of faith, which is borrowed from the Bible and the Torah detailing the account of Noah’s flood. According to Roman history, the same symbol was inspired by Saint Paul. The ark of the covenant is also an inspiration for the masonic ark, which was given to King David.
In Freemasonry, the blazing star is a symbol of expressing enlightenment or the importance of knowledge. It also includes guidance on the journey to improving culture and spiritual movements. The blazing star is a five-pointed star. A blazing star was used in the early 18th century. The blazing star is also attributed to the star of Bethlehem to symbolize redemption as it guided the Magis to see baby Jesus.
The gavel symbolizes two things in Freemasonry. The first symbol is the authority of the member, who is a more senior member of the lodge, also addressed as the Grand Master. Gavel, as the second symbolism of freemasons, represents a tool used to remove the rough edges from a stone. Though the gavel is one of the lesser-known symbols in freemasonry, it represents executive power and performance by the actions of the members, depending on their ranks.
Sheaf of Corn
The sheaf of corn represents the coin of the realm according to the ancient brethren, also the people of Israel. The sheaf of corn symbolizes the kingdom of Solomon. The masonic sheaf of corn is also a symbol of the fruit of a member’s labors, their sacrifices, and all they had done during that period. As per the legend, freemasons were required to provide the king with corn as part of their tax.
A masonic altar is a symbol of a commune spot where the members talk to their supreme architect of the universe. In ancient periods an altar represented a holy place that people used for sacrifice and prayer. The masonic altar was borrowed and inspired by all major religions, such as Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism.
Cable tow is a symbol of promise. In freemason ceremonies and cultural meetings, wearing cable tow represents the promise they made to help others at any given time. The length must be precious if a freemason wears the cable row. For instance, the length decides how much he is capable as a member in offering help to the other members. The cable tow is also a major part of the dressing among freemasons.
The beehive is a symbol of unity. Also, freemasons believe the beehive represents the value of working together to maintain a functioning, moral and stable society. In masonic freemasons, the beehive is also a symbol of attention in the masonic ritual.
Examples of Freemason as Symbolism in Literature
PRS Journal Archive: The All-Seeing Eye by Manly P. Hall, The Secret Destiny of America
The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen who, having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in divers ways for peoples whose ideals differ but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals. North, east, south and west stretch the diversities of human thought, and while the ideals of man apparently differ, when all is said and the crystallization of form with its false concepts is swept away, one basic truth remains: all existing things are Temple Builders, laboring for a single end. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness. There is no place for little minds in a great work.
In the above example, freemason, as well as their symbols, represent universalism, enlightenment, and morality
Letter to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, January 1793 by George Washington, Writings
To enlarge the sphere of social happiness is worthy of the benevolent design of a Masonic institution; and it is most fervently to be wished, that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications, that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind that the grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.
According to the author, George Washington, the freemasons are symbols of happiness, community, divinity, and morality.