= = = =
The column (Pillars) “J” and “B” are to be distinguished from the three small columns, (Ionic, Doric and Corinthian) placed respectively at the desk of the W. Master, S. and J. Warden. As James mentioned, these small columns are raised or lowered when the lodge is open or closed; particularly, when the lodge is at work, the Master’s and the S. Warden columns are raised, and the J. Warden’s is lowered. On closing, the first two are lowered and the J. Warden’s is raised, meaning the lodge is called from labor to refreshment.
In lodges under the G.R.C. Jurisdiction there are also three columns (Ionic, Doric and Corinthian) placed around the Altar: the Ionic and Doric at the north side, the Corinthian on the south side. These three columns represent, according to the ritual of the G.R.C., “Wisdom” (Ionic – East - W. Master’s and King Solomon), “Strength” (Doric – West - S. Warden and Hiram king of Tyre), and “Beauty” (Corinthian – South – J. Warden and Hiram Abiff).
The Two Great Pillars (J. and B.) in the G.R.C. are depicted on a tapestry hanging behind the S. Warden in the West, and are the subject of the lecture in the Fellowcraft degree. In other Jurisdiction I have visited (Central and South America), these two great Pillars are placed at the entrance of the lodge (West), with various significations. In Europe, these Pillars are in some cases placed to the right and left of the W. Master.
You can find a comprehensive historical-philosophical explanation and description of these Pillars “J” and “B” here: