What is your favorite Masonic symbol?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by pointwithinacircle2, May 26, 2015.

  1. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    What is your favorite Masonic symbol? Why is it your favorite what does it mean to you? Sometimes I wonder how much time Masons spend actually considering the symbols of the craft. As a new Mason there were so many symbols, and they were all new to me, that I didn't take much time to consider each one individually. In truth there are still a lot of symbols that I haven't spent much time contemplating. However of the few that I think about regularly, I do have a favorite. It is the Plumb.

    The Plumb was one of the first symbols to catch my attention. Originally this was because the first piece of ritual I learned was the EA lecture. The wording in my jurisdiction says that it teaches rectitude of life. I had to get out a dictionary and look up the word rectitude, the definition given was "uprightness of character". It really seemed to me that uprightness of character was a good starting point for everything I wanted to do in Masonry.

    I still think of this today. The idea of measuring my actions by the Plumb has become my simple, shorthand tool to remind myself that I am called upon to be better today than I was yesterday
     
  2. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    For me, it is the one that you use as your screenname. It took me some serious time to fully grasp its meaning, but when I did, I realized that it is at the very heart of Freemasonry.
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Maybe the less we say about a symbol the more I like it? My favorite symbol changes day to day but I'll go with that as an underlying pattern.

    Little is said about the compasses and trestle board (VSL), but what is said is said at the altar not in the lectures. That speaks greatly to their importance.

    Many lodges have a Bible presentation that is not a part of the formal ritual of their jurisdiction. There are several talks and poems that have been posted on this forum over the years.

    The compasses, though. What is said about them is they make circles that should limit our behavior. And then no further explanation. Pythagoras and Archimedes with their interest in mystery schools and secret societies might be pleased that we still value the compasses in this manner. And they would be puzzled that they are taught to every student in every school as well in their literal geometric uses.
     
  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    The blazing double triangle
     
  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Perhaps the compasses are veiled in allegory.

    William Blake knew a bit about the compasses - as used by the Ancient of Days

    http://www.101bananas.com/art/ancient.jpg

    And note how Newton is depicted with the compasses making an equilateral triangle while his left hand makes 2 right angles

    http://www.101bananas.com/art/newton.jpg
     
  6. dalinkou

    dalinkou Premium Member

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    I would have to go with the compasses myself. I learned early on that 99.9% of my troubles in life are a direct result of something I did or my response to something someone else did. What Masonry gave me was a name for this basic truth that I had discovered, along with a symbol that is often conveniently attached to other ideas that ought to inform my actions.
     
  7. Keith D. McKeever Jr.

    Keith D. McKeever Jr. Premium Member

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    The common gavel would be my favorite. I love the fact that it's the beginning of my journey to become a better man and Mason. We all have some rough edges that can be knock off to to be better fitted for the builders use.
     
  8. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar Site Benefactor

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    The Square & Compasses because it's symbol and yet there's a lot of meaning behind them.
     
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  9. Bro. Kenneth Brown

    Bro. Kenneth Brown Premium Member

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    Mines is the 24 inch gage teaches me to divest my time equally.
     
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  10. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Well, I suspect it teaches you to divide your time, and to avoid divesting your time :)
     
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  11. frs225

    frs225 Registered User

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    Hello Brethren - I am a newly raised MM and I am interested in learning more about our fraternity's symbolism. I have been instructed in the working tools of each of the three degrees, but I am not aware of any other symbols that exist. Is there a book or a reference guide that could assist me in learning more about our craft?

    thanks in advance,

    Frank
     
  12. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    There are around 10 000 books on Freemasonry, many of which are freely available on the web and many of those are out of copy right. Try Google Books

    These materials are highly variable in quality, but if you look around this forum you will find a thread giving favorite books
     
  13. MBC

    MBC Twice Registered User Premium Member

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    I will go for the twenty-four inch gauge as well as my time management needs more improvement.
    Also another one in the craft that impressed me as well, the Jacob's ladder, also the same one that appear in the First degree tracing board, the meaning you may know it as F..., H... and C..., so it's also related on one of the great principles in Freemasonry, Relief.
    However as I'm in Mark Masonry, I'm sure the keystone is one of those important symbols for me as the ritual has a very deep impression for me.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Were you given long lectures after the degrees? Anything taught through tracing boards or a series of slides ring a bell?
     
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  15. Brandon Smith

    Brandon Smith Registered User

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    I am particularly fond of the point within the circle.

    The symbol I need to spend more time putting to use is the 24" gauge, especially when considering masonic commitments.
     
  16. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

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    I have been a MM for a little over four years and I have yet to see any slides or Tracing Boards for the lectures. I have learned the lectures the same as I learned the proficiency, mouth to ear, without any help. Some of us just get lucky, I guess.
     
  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I notice that you were raised about a month ago so maybe you have not yet attended many degrees other than your own. The nights that I was Initiated and Raised I remember the brothers who gave the lectures but by that point so much new had happened that very little of the lectures sank in. The first time I heard them it was like pouring water into a glass already full it just passed over the surface and out over the edges.

    Each time I have been to a degree since I get a little bit more from each lecture. Even after I memorized the California versions of all of them. There are a lot of symbols mentioned in the lectures. Some jurisdictions have shorter versions of the lectures with the rest printed in a book called the Monitor. The third degree lecture in particular has many minutes of symbol after symbol being explained in the long version.

    The starting points are the Monitor and the ritual book if your jurisdiction has one. Also as you visit lodges look on the walls. Nearly all lodges have plenty of decorations on the walls and nearly all of these decorations have plenty of symbols. There pictures called "tracing boards" that have symbol after symbol in the order mentioned in the lecture of one of the degrees and I have seen these pictures on the walls in very many lodges I have visited. So I bet you've seen plenty of symbols and didn't even notice.
     
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  18. Levelhead

    Levelhead Premium Member

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    T.B.C. (Only Master Masons will be able to figure this out)
    Because you can put it on your vehicle and ONLY A MASON will recognize it. Unlike the S&C which most people recognize and some people are judgmental.


    Sent from Mossy Oak Swamp Bottom.
     
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  19. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    A lot of beer/ale brands have grain sprigs on their labels, some even a sheaf of grain. There's a bottle in my fridge at home with a picture of grain on the label. Why just have a craft beer when you can see it as a Fellowcraft beer? ;^)
     
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  20. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Same here.
     

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