Square Symbolism

Symbolism of Square in Literature

Square as a geometric pattern has been significant in maths and physics. However, in literature, a square as a symbol has universal and cultural concepts. Square, with its four equal sides, has been associated with spiritual, religious, and along with logical signs. Among all the geometrical symbols, a square is also unique and a basic symbol that is used widely, such as constructions, cubes, frames, etc. Below are a few examples of squares as symbolism.


In every culture, a square has been combined with the Number 4, especially in numerology. According to the numerologist, 4 is a symbol of humility or being down to earth. In Hindu culture and ancient Greeks, it is strongly believed that the universe and nature are formed from the following four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. These elements are part of divination methods that use numbers and patterns, mostly squares. Apart from the elements, square in numerology is connected to logic, cause-and-effect, practicality, and hard work, which is practical and essential energy to every human being. Hence, the square or number four is also at­tributed to the energy that vibrates in people, also called ‘vibes’ in modern terms. If a person has that energy or frequency, he or she is known to be loyal, balanced, patient, intelligent as well as realistic.


Dreaming of a square is a symbol of balance and stability. However, it can also be meant that a person must prepare himself or herself for a sacrifice. Additionally, with borders on all sides, a square as a symbolism means blocking negative thoughts or people from life experiences. On the other hand, a symbol of the square in dreams ­means a person feels trapped or confined, which is also a bad omen for obstacles that are yet to come. If a person dreams of being trapped in a square, it is perhaps the symbol of fear or limitations, and he or she must avoid logical and realistic solutions to their thoughts. Thus, squares in dreams represent both negative and positive symbolism. Hence, the dreamer can compare his real or waking life incidents to analyze if there are any changes that require in his or her life in terms of career, relationships, or social area.


Colors in the square as symbolism are related to dreams and emotions. Similar to dreams, colors also carry both negative and positive meanings. The white color square is a symbol of a person’s strong connection to their spiritual source and hope or a warning to the person about their selfishness or an act they did out of greed. The blue square symbolizes intelligence and confidence. A red square represents insecurity or a warning sign of a bad situation in a career, finances, and relationships. Green square represents a new venture or project and a reminder of partnerships. The yellow square, also gold, is a symbol of encouragement to use inner strength and ability without fear. Finally, a black square has both good and bad symbolism. While it mostly represents independence, reliance, and freedom, a black square is also a symbol of a person’s dark nature or lack of conscience.

Astrology and Tarot Cards

Similar to numerology, Astrology is also the practice of divination, which is more prominent in India, also known as Vedic culture.  Square, as a symbol in astrology, was also observed and studied in ancient Mayan and Chinese culture. Square in astrology symbolizes the planet Saturn which is also known as the head of the Capricorn Constellation. In astrology, the square is taken as a representation of the distance between each planetary system or zodiac sign. Each planet is 90 degrees apart from the other. These distances can influence a person’s life journey from birth. It includes challenges in health, relationships, and careers, along with the emotional growth of a person as they grow. The placement of Number 4, Saturn, in the circle of astrological houses also determines his or her aspects of life.

The tarot card readers use squares to reveal the person’s nature. Here, the square represents a humble and intelligent person. The square in astrology, when combined with numerology, also represents the elements fire, earth, air, and water, which are part of 12 zodiac signs and are often used to check the compatibility between a couple. Astrologers draw lines to connect the zodiac signs that form a square, and each square is studied to find the main element and the probable relation to the person’s personality and life’s journey.


The Square is one of the two most prominent symbols connected to Freemasonry, while the other one is a compass. The square is called the builder’s square and is a 90-degree angle and 2 equally flat-edged metal or wooden arms. To the freemasons, the square is a symbol of morality, honesty, and being fair in all aspects of life. It is also believed that by using squares in the construction, the buildings stand firm with a strong foundation. The square in freemasonry also symbolizes mastering their actions and emotions.


Square, as a spiritual symbol, also has both negative and positive representations. In ancient Greek culture, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind are shown in a square inside the circle to explain that the mind or essence is trapped inside the square. In Christianity, a square is numerically represented as taken from the book of Revelation 7:1. For example, the presence of four angels on the four corners of the earth holding four winds implies directions. Also, spiritually square means being grounded and well-balanced in life.  In Buddhist culture, the square is a symbol of a strong mind. Also, the square’s corners symbolize human physical existence and their experience of spiritual awareness and awakening.

Examples of Square as Symbolism in Literature

Example #1

Square by A. R. Ammons

The formulation that
save damns:
consequently (unsavable)
a periphery riffler
I thread the
outskirts of mandate,
near enough
to be knowingly aways &
far enough away to
wind and snap throught
riddling underbrush.

In the above poem, the poet used the square as a symbol for solid construction, and yet, he also expresses his doubt about the stability while observing. Here, the square can also be a representation of the negativity of the human mind as the strongest construction can be destroyed by nature or wars.

Example #2

Japanese Proverb

A round egg can be made square according to how you cut it; words would be harsh according to how you speak them.

Here the proverb uses a square as a symbol for boundary and blocking negative thoughts. It also means that harsh words can destroy a person’s life while kind and encouraging words can mold and encourage the person to become better.

Example #3

American Proverb

You can’t fit a round peg in a square hole.

The proverb is mostly used to express when a person is not suitable to do a certain job or an activity. Here the square is a symbol of limitations. For example, a doctor cannot build a bridge, and an engineer cannot perform surgery.

Example #4

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

This is one of the most powerful quotes from the book. In this example, the square represents limitations as given in the above examples. However, here the author uses this symbol for being unique and people who think outside the box, achieving the impossible.

Example #5

The Lost Boy by Thomas Wolfe

It seemed to him that the Square, itself the accidental masonry of many years, the chance agglomeration of time and of disrupted strivings, was the center of the universe. It was for him, in his soul’s picture, the earth’s pivot, the granite core of changelessness, the eternal place where all things came and passed, and yet abode forever and would never change.

In this example, the square is one of the symbols of freemasons. Here the square represents stability and a strong foundation. There is also a negative symbolism of the square in the second sentence where it represents limitations.