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masonic square and compasses emblem on table and masonic ring

Freemasons have used symbols and allegory to represent the principles and teachings of our Craft for centuries. We’ve compiled a list of resources to help further your understanding of Masonic symbolism.

For centuries, Freemasons have used symbols to represent and teach the principles of our beloved Craft. From the square and compasses to the Eye of Providence, these symbols have stood the test of time and continue to hold deep meaning in our fraternity today.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of resources for those looking to further their knowledge and understanding of Masonic history and symbolism. Read on to discover the origin and significance of popular Masonic symbols. This list will be continuously kept up to date as more resources become available, so check back soon!

The Square and Compasses

Masonic Square and Compasses
Masonic Square and Compasses

The square and compasses symbol is arguably the most recognizable symbol of Freemasonry and has been so for hundreds of years. Derived from the working tools of the stonemasons’ guilds of the Middle Ages, the square and compasses serve as a metaphor for how the teachings of Freemasonry “build” better men.

Masonic Letter “G”

Commonly nestled within the square and compasses is the Masonic letter “G”. In Freemasonry, this letter holds many meanings, with one of them being “geometry,” another nod to our fraternity’s ancestral beginnings as Stonemasons. Read our article to uncover the many meanings of the Masonic letter “G”.

The Double-Headed Eagle

Scottish Rite Double-Headed Eagle
The Scottish Rite's Double-Headed Eagle emblem

The double-headed eagle is one of the most recognizable motifs of 32° Scottish Rite Freemasonry, serving as our fraternity’s emblem since our inception in 1813. However, the origins of the double-headed eagle exceed our brotherhood – some theorists argue that the symbol was found as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. Learn more about the emblem’s history and significance in our article.

The Masonic Apron

Masonic Apron and other Masonic items
A Masonic Apron, among other items

The Masonic apron is one of the greatest symbols of Masonic tradition and history. Masonic aprons originated from stonemasons, who would wear aprons made of leather to protect themselves while working. When Freemasonry was founded, these aprons were adopted by the fraternity and soon transformed into a symbol of the labor Freemasons pursue in building their spiritual temples. Read more about the significance of Masonic aprons today in our article!

If you’re looking to delve deeper into the history of Masonic aprons, visit the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library’s online exhibition, Rooted in Tradition: Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.

The Eye of Providence

Eye of Providence on a Dollar Bill
Eye of Providence on a Dollar Bill

A symbolic reminder of our devotion to Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, the Eye of Providence was originally popularized by artists and scholars during the Renaissance era before it was adopted by Freemasons. Read our article to discover the many interpretations of the Eye of Providence and its meaning in Freemasonry today.

Rough Ashlar

Stone wall representing Rough Ashlar
A stone wall representing our Rough Ashlar

Every man who enters our fraternity begins with a “rough ashlar,” a symbol for visualizing the moral and behavioral improvements we seek to make when we first enter the lodge as an Entered Apprentice. Just as the stonemasons must perfect their craftsmanship over years of practice, Masons, too, must continue to abide by the teachings of the Craft to perfect their “rough ashlar.” Dive into the rich allegory of the rough ashlar and its significance in every man’s Masonic journey when you read our article.

Masonic Tracing Boards and Trestle Boards

Masonic Trestle Board
Depiction of Masonic Trestle Board

Some of Freemasonry’s oldest symbols were first found on Masonic trestle and tracing boards. Originally used to present construction plans to apprentice stonemasons in the Middle Ages, these ancient practices were adopted in early Freemasonry to securely share the “blueprint” of our Craft with candidates. Read about all of them in our article.

Scottish Rite Rings

Scottish Rite 33rd Degree Ring
Scottish Rite 33rd Degree Ring

As Scottish Rite Masons, we often show off our pride in our fraternity by wearing Masonic symbols. Scottish Rite rings are the perfect way to do so, with each ring symbolizing unique lessons from our Scottish Rite degrees. Learn what it means to wear each of our sacred Scottish Rite rings in our article.

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