Why we use symbols?


Masonic symbology was used in past centuries, not due as much to Masonic secrecy, (as many people believe), but due to the fact that most of the world’s population was illiterate.
During the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and through subsequent centuries, most of the population, being working people, were illiterate or had only a rudimentary (basic) ability to sign their names, make their “mark” to signify their acceptance, or read simple words.
During the Middle Ages, many Lords (wealthy landowners) could read (and some could not), but the Serfs (working class people), almost as a whole, had never been taught to read.
During the Dark Ages and extending throughout the Middle Ages, there was a loss of classical learning due to the many wars, bloodshed and unrest in which most of the old hand-printed scrolls, papyrus paper, books and records were burned by the opposing forces much like King Solomon’s temple was dismantled and carried off, never to return.
Illiteracy did not make these Masons stupid or lesser operative Masons in the craft. They were simply working people, taking care of their families, who, by necessity, had to begin working at a very early age usually from dawn until dusk, 6 days a week and did not have the time nor the teachers to avail themselves of the ability to learn to read or of any higher education.


The Gavel and the Chisel

These two tools are used to impose the worker’s will on a block of stone. Masons strike their chisel with the gavel to create the shape that they imagine for the stone. The gavel is associated with the active will. The fact that the gavel and the chisel are useless unless they are used together, makes the complimentary bnature of the active and the passive quite clear. The gavel is the active element because it hits the chisel, thus giving it a force which the passive chisel directs. The gavel is handed by the Worship Master and the two Wardens, officers that direct the works of the Lodge.
Freemasonry is a school but the possibility of self-education persists. Instead of waiting someone to strike us with gavel to cut our edges we should advance to it and apply our own gavel. To recognize his own wrongdoings is a way of cutting the edges, of humility and intelligence.
Adapted from texts by sabin Iliev and Rizzardo da Camino.

Gavel and Chisel

All-Seing Eye


The ‘All-Seeing Eye’ is an important Masonic symbol. It represents rhe omnipresence and watchfulness of the Supreme Being (or God). ‘The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good’ (Proverbs 15:3). It serves to remind Freemasons that we will be answerable for our actions in this life. Via Robert E. Burtt ‘A Guide to Modern Freemasonry’.

The letter G


The Masonic letter G  reminds us that our every act is done in the sight of the Great Architect of the Universe.  

“By letters four and science five, this “G” aright doth stand, in due Art and Proportion; you have your answer, friend.”

What are the “letters four”?  It is believed that they stand for “YHWH”, the name of the Great Architect of the Universe (pronounced “Yahway”. (sometimes pronounced Jehovah) in the ancient Hebrew language, from which the Bible was translated:  

Which is the 5th science?  Geometry.

The Letter G stands for “Geometry”, which is the mathematical science upon which Architecture and Masonry were founded.

When did the letter G become part of the Square and Compass?  No one knows exactly, but it is believed to be somewhere between 1730 and 1768, here in the United States. The “G” is not used in the center of the square and compasses in all jurisdictions around the world.

Letter G

In Hebrew, the language our Bible was originally written in, it is called Gheemel (or Gimel) and has a numerical value of 3.  

Throughout history, we see reference to the number 3 when we speak of the Supreme Architect of the Universe…no matter which language we speak!  

Gimel (in slightly different forms) is the 3rd letter of many Semitic languages including Phoenician, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Syriac. 

Phonecian:   Gimel (11th century BCE)

Greek:         Gamma  (9th century BCE)

Aramaic:      Gamal  (800 BCE to 600 CE)  (800 years Before Common Era
to 600 years after Common Era)

Hebrew:       Gimel  (3rd century BCE)

Syriac:         Gomal / Gamal  (2nd century BCE)

G Throughout the Centuries

B.C.E. means “Before Common Era”.  The Common Era (C.E.), also known as the Christian Era and sometimes as the Current Era, is the period beginning with the year 1 onwards.

The term is used for a system of reckoning years that is chronologically equivalent to the Anno Domini (A.D.), which is Latin for “In the year of our Lord”.  

Therefore, the 3rd letter of the Phonecian alphabet, “gimel”, was in use 11 centuries Before the Common Era, which is 8 centuries before the Hebrew language…give or take a few hundred years. 

Why give or take a few hundred years?  While scholars who study languages are very thorough; we have to remember that they have very little from which to study.  

Much of our knowledge of ancient languages comes from the study of hieroglyphics carved into stone and the subsequent attempt to determine which time frame they were carved; from mummies and their accompanying sarcophagi (carved wooden coffins), etc.       

Note, however that while the letter G is the 7th letter in the English, Latin and Romanic alphabets, in Russian, and some others, it is  4th; in the Arabic the 5th, and in the Ethiopian language, the 20th.  

These languages are much “younger” than the “ancient” languages and most, therefore, are propagations (changes that occurred) to the ancient languages throughout the centuries due to many factors. 

The letter G in Freemasonry stands for both the Great Architect of the Universe and Geometry….or, to be more technically correct, it stands for Geometry under the Great Architect of the Universe.

Just as the Supreme Architect of the Universe watches the revolutions of the planets and stars in the sky, so does HE, who placed each of us here, watch each of our movements, hears not only our words, but our thoughts, as well …and it is to HIM that we are ultimately responsible.

Sympathy of the Masonic Lodge of Education http://www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com/letter-g.html