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History of Masonic square and compass

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posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 01:36 AM
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Where did the square and compass emblem originate in Freemasonry?




posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:19 AM
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So let us turn to some examples of Masonic symbolism and what they represent. We will begin with the symbol most commonly associated with Freemasonry. The Square, Compasses and Letter 'G'. Here we encounter the first problem. No individual can speak for Freemasonry, an individual may only express a personal view which may, or may not, be shared by other Freemasons. In the same way 'Freemasonry' does not impose meanings of its' symbols although many have obtained a general acceptance as to what they represent. In Scotland, however, Masonic symbolism is often different from that which pertains furth of the kingdom and the meaning of them several. To return to the Square, Compasses and Letter 'G'. In many countries the Letter 'G' is taken to mean God, the Supreme Being, and whilst it is an interpretation held by many Freemasons it is not a universal view. There are some faiths which have an aversion to depicting the Supreme Being in any physical form whatsoever. For such individuals the Letter 'G' simply cannot stand for the God of their faith. As Scottish Freemasonry does not impose the meaning of symbols (which would smack of dogma) on members, each individual is free to interpret them according to their own views. Thus some take the Letter 'G' to represent GOODNESS, the essential goodness of Freemasonry and of humankind. Others argue that the letter 'G' stands for GEOMETRY the basis of the operative craft that gave birth to modern Freemasonry. There is one Scottish Rosslyn Templar who argues vociferously that the Letter 'G' indicates GREEGRIMENT, an old Scots word meaning harmony or concord, and who are we to argue with such an appropriate interpretation? There are other interpretations but these are, as far as we are aware, the three main ones, four if one includes the latter opinion. There are some countries, notably England, that no longer use the Letter 'G'.



The Square and Compasses (TM)* are more easily explained as they come from the working tools used by the operative Freemasons of centuries ago. The Compasses were an essential implement used for drawing circles, and parts thereof, and many medieval manuscripts show the Master Mason with a Square and Compasses in hand. The Square was used by operative masons to check the accuracy of the 90° angle so essential in buildings. In their Lodges the stone masons did not use these working tools but moralised upon their using the symbol as an aid to a deeper understanding of themselves and their world. The first record of a Lodge of operative masons owning a working tool of this nature is to be found in the records of the Lodge of Dunfermline when in 1701 a member presented the Lodge with a brass square in lieu of his annual fee. Clearly the Lodge would not own a brass square for operative and so most agree that it was used for symbolic and moralistic purposes. Exactly when the combination of elements first came into use is not known. The earliest use of them in this way we can find, at the moment, is during the 1750's.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:16 AM
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if you draw a line between the ends of each masonic tool u get a star of david & G represents Great Architect of the Universe unless I'm mistaken.

edit: also the up & down V shapes represent masculinity & feminity respectively I suppose the 2 being united in the symbol, and the star of david shows a reverance for sacred geometry, which the masons who actually build stuff try to infuse in their works. all my own opinions of course.

[edit on 5-2-2007 by Shar_Chi]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:25 AM
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Shar_Chi stop spreading rumors. There's real research behind this, it has nothing to do with the Star of David (which didn't exist then) and nothing to do with male-female pagan concepts which died out long before Christianity ever was developed.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:30 AM
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The square and compass are some of the most elemental building design tools, dating back thousands of years, and were undoubtedly used for most of the great constructions throughout history. With nothing more than a length of twine and a compass, for instance, a couple of people could lay out a perfect right-angle square the size of the base of the Great Pyramid of Khufu in a matter of minutes.

This is not an indication, however, that the Freemasons had anything to do with the construction of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Rather, the Freemasons were probably formed as a union of builders in the Middle Ages, when they were employed to construct the grand cathedrals of Europe. The skills of stone masons and stone carvers were considered divine gifts back then; these skilled craftsmen knew that they were above the common laborers, and knew that they deserved better, if not the best, treatment and compensation from their employers. Hence, these stone workers formed an elite union, complete with secret words and handshakes to identify each other as they moved from one job site to another.

However, it was during the European Renaissance of the 15th and 16th Centuries that the Freemasons union was elevated to something like an exclusive men's club, when they started accepting unskilled, non-working members (who just happened to be wealthy). This was probably when the the tools of the masons (square, compass, etc) were fashioned into symbolic jewelry and trinkets, which could be used to identify members before they approached and greeted one another.

The other Freemason nonsense — the Freemasons' adoption of the All-Seeing Eye (of Horus), the professed descent from ancient Egyptian builders, the secret and symbolic rituals, et cetera — was fabricated, totally dreamed up, by imaginative and zealous members over the centuries that followed. Freemasonry additionally received a "mystic" reputation during the 19th Century, when spiritualism was sweeping the Western world and aristocrats were dabbling in all sorts of occult and secret societies.

Today, the Freemasons are just a fraternal "good old boy" organization of influential guys and wanna-bees who exchange professional favors — generally one hand washes the other activities.

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 2/5/2007 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by bigred1000
Where did the square and compass emblem originate in Freemasonry?


Same place everything else did in Freemasonry - Hell.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:41 AM
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Originally posted by Phidorez

Originally posted by bigred1000
Where did the square and compass emblem originate in Freemasonry?


Same place everything else did in Freemasonry - Hell.

Really?!?!?
I demand to see your resounding proof that it originated in Hell. That's just a bunch of Anti-Mason rhetoric, and a very good example of one of humanitys greatest shortcomings; the tendency to fear and demonize something they don't understand.

Do some research people!



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 07:01 AM
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According to Albert Pike, from the alchemical drawing featured at the beginning of chapter 32 in "Morals and Dogma', which depicts Hermes-Aphrodite holding a square in one hand, and a compass in the other.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
According to Albert Pike, from the alchemical drawing featured at the beginning of chapter 32 in "Morals and Dogma', which depicts Hermes-Aphrodite holding a square in one hand, and a compass in the other.


Yes, exactly, Albert Pike's Morals & Dogma... which was published at the height of the Spiritualist Movement in the Western world and which contributed mightily to the mystification of Freemasonry at a time when anything mysterious was good business. This is a perfect example of how the original Masonic traditions of a stone workers' union in the Middle Ages had morphed into a bizarre mythology supposedly stretching back to Egypt and the Holy Land and the construction of Solomon's Temple, of all things, populated with all sorts of mythical characters and anachronistic attributions.

This is just the sort of thing that went on during the 19th Century.

Many other dusty old antiques were given a new lease on life in the 19th Century, too: Gothic architecture, Greek and Roman art, opulent and outrageous costumes from earlier centuries, et cetera. Tarot cards, which are of such ancient origin that nobody knows their original meaning or function, enjoyed a lucrative resurrection during the 19th Century, complete with new card meanings and rules for divination. And what would the 19th Century Spiritualist Movement be without the foundation of the Theosophical Society, a hodge-podge of Eastern mysticism and Western capitalism that still makes my head spin. And while all of this metaphysical marketing was going on, seances and mentalism and "apportations" were transpiring in parlors all across the civilized world.

It was at this time, I believe, that Freemasonry really blossomed into an esoteric "religion" (Albert Pike's term, not mine) with its own mystical and utterly fabricated mythology.


— Doc Velocity

[edit on 2/5/2007 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Velocity

Yes, exactly, Albert Pike's Morals & Dogma... which was published at the height of the Spiritualist Movement in the Western world and which contributed mightily to the mystification of Freemasonry at a time when anything mysterious was good business.


It was indeed published during that time, but to suggest that Morals and Dogma was akin to spiritualism would be absurd. Pike warned time and time again to avoid superstition, and use reason instead. In this, as well as in most other things, he was a Platonist.



This is a perfect example of how the original Masonic traditions of a stone workers' union in the Middle Ages had morphed into a bizarre mythology supposedly stretching back to Egypt and the Holy Land and the construction of Solomon's Temple, of all things, populated with all sorts of mythical characters and anachronistic attributions.


Have you read the Gothic Manuscripts? You may interested to know that such "bizarre" mytrhology was used in the medieval stonemasons guilds, as is shown by those documents. They didn't just pop into Masonry in the 19th century.




[edit on 5-2-2007 by Masonic Light]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
It was indeed published during that time, but to suggest that Morals and Dogma was akin to spiritualism would be absurd. Pike warned time and time again to avoid superstition, and use reason instead. In this, as well as in most other things, he was a Platonist.

Well, I don't want to engage in a fist fight — I know that the defenders of the Freemasons are staunch, and you guys have been bludgeoned over the years with everything from Satanism to Ku Klux Klan accusations, which I'm sure are bogus claims. And I know that Pike was a distinguished, noble and learned gentleman. If anything, I believe that Pike published his Morals & Dogma at that day and age to dispel any association between The Craft and popular Spiritualism. While Freemasons are opposed to religious and spiritualistic dogma, it is a prerequisite of membership that you do believe in a higher power (God, if you will) and an afterlife (reincarnation, ascension to heaven, or whatever). And I'm sure that this was part of what Pike was attempting to convey and clarify.

The fact remains that he published it at the virtual boiling point of Spiritualism's popularity in the Western world, and I'm equally sure that it was received by many as yet another mystical treatise of the day. It certainly reads like one in this day. Which is why I said it "blossomed" in the 19th Century... like coming out of the closet, so to speak.


Originally posted by Masonic Light
Have you read the Gothic Manuscripts? You may interested to know that such "bizarre" mytrhology was used in the medieval stonemasons guilds, as is shown by those documents. They didn't just pop into Masonry in the 19th century.

I own actual Gothic manuscripts, hand-lettered and illuminated, from the 13th & 14th Centuries, although I'm not sure if mine are The Gothic Manuscripts to which you refer. I can't read them fluently, as they are in Latin, but my wife can. In any event, I didn't say that the whack-o mythology was abruptly manufactured in the 19th Century; rather, I believe I stated that "The other Freemason nonsense [meaning the 2000+ year-old mythology that Freemasonry professes] was fabricated, totally dreamed up, by imaginative and zealous members over the centuries that followed." And I still stand by that. I think it's accurate.

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 2/5/2007 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by Phidorez

Originally posted by bigred1000
Where did the square and compass emblem originate in Freemasonry?


Same place everything else did in Freemasonry - Hell.


Do you wear buckles on your shoes and burn single women with cats?

Are you proud of the b#llsh!t you've dispersed on this board thus far? Coz everyone else considers it a waste of time, and you - a waste of bandwidth.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 06:23 PM
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The unfortunate truth is that exactly where they come from is lost in time.

Since freemasonry went public in 1717, they (the Square and Compass) have been attributed to the builders working tools.

Prior to that it is open to debate, and depending on which of the therories on the origin of masonry you believe. Many of us beileve that the building trades was a cover story.

For example, if you believe Mr. Robbinson's research and think freemasonry was founded by the Templer Knights who went underground in England, then it derived from the Seal of Solomonn. (It is a good bit more complex than that, see "Born in Blood.) If you believe the theary behind the DiVinci Code, then it represts the union of male and female.

At this point in time we accept that they come from the stone masons, but it could be that we are only seeing the "cover story". There has been a lot of interenting research in the last few years on the origens of masonry. The main point is that prior to 1717 Free Masonry WAS a secret society and very little is documentable.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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I forgot to add that the importat thing about the square and compass is not where they come from but the meaning we give them, and the teaching that go with them.

That and they work very well as a mode of recgnition.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 07:28 PM
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Greetings Masonic Student




Originally posted by Masonic Student
If you believe the theary behind the DiVinci Code, then it represts the union of male and female.





Said "theory" is much older than "The Da Vinci Code".



Link:


Saturn Worship?





The Demiurge Grand Architect of the Universe Creates the entire Macrocosmos with the Sexual Energy, just as the Microcosmic Man is Born of the Sexual Energy.

"As Above, So Below."


Elohim = Goddesses and Gods.



The hypocritical-Pharisees(false-Parsees) hate Sex and say that it is "vulgar", "gross", "unspiritual", etc.; yet they burn in their own lust themselves, because the Sexual Energy cannot be suppressed, it must Create!


The authentic-Parsee Transmutes the Sexual Fire into Christic Energy or Ojas(through Pranayama as a single, or with Sexual Magic(without orgasm) with a spouse).


The Pharisee or false-Parsee, worships the fires of lust whether he or she believes it or not!





Klipoth 2: Mercury


If this humanity continues willfully extracting the Mercury from their bodies, no matter how much they believe, no matter how much they love God in their hearts, God will not like that type of worship. Cain was always rejected. Cain is that mind which, through the brain, is commanding the sexual organs to Fornicate, and justifying that action according to the mechanical laws of nature. Many (nearly all) books in the libraries written by Cain (the animal mind) justify animal fornication...


...In the sphere of Mercury there are a lot of people, angry, talking about how to enjoy sex, and imagining in their Fantasy many ways to extract the sexual energy from their bodies - pornography exists there, and is created by them, the Black Lodge (which is everyone). The Black Lodge teaches the schools and everyone how to have "safe sex" - the intellectuals teach different types of garbage in order that the youth utilizes the mind and enjoys the sexual act, sexual pleasure. Even in the different sects of Christianity, they extract the mercury in their relationships. Lust is the original sin. Cain justifies fornication in many ways, and even expects to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven by fornication - this is what Cain thinks, but the facts are different...





So both the White Parsee and the Black Parsee(not in reference to skin-color of course) Worship the Fire.


The former Worships the Fire of Chastity.

The latter(Pharisees), the fires of lust.






[edit on 5-2-2007 by Tamahu]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 07:37 PM
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Is it like mimicry they use the compass and set of Stone Masons to imply the possession of hidden knowledge?

I know the Guild of Stone Masons was in some way created to keep alive 'the knowledge' of techniques. Such as the keystone and the flying butress, methods that helped them create the amazing architecture of the gothic cathedrals which in turn earned them the reverance of the people.

I doubt seriously that the Guild of Stone Masons transformed into the Freemasons over time, its more like a hijacking of their symbology in an attempt to create mystique about the possession of a secret knowledge.

.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 07:50 PM
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The Master Builders of the past(of the Pyramids, Ancient Temples, Cathedrals, etc.) also had to be Spiritually Enlightened and versed in other Sciences as well, unlike the modern vulgar "Architects".

The external Building process helped with the Internal Building of Solomon's Temple(see the story of Milarepa).

And all Temples(external and internal) should be Built upon the Philosophical Stone, Yesod, Peter-Cephas, etc.





Buddhism, FreeMasonry and Gnosis


All the principle tools of (Free)Masonry serve in order to work with the stone. Every Master Mason must chisel well his Philosophical Stone. This stone is the sex. We must build the temple of the Eternal One upon the Living Stone (and not build on sand).
– The Perfect Matrimony (p.305)









In the view of Tantra, the body’s vital energies are the vehicles of the mind. When the vital energies are pure and subtle, one’s state of mind will be accordingly affected. By transforming these bodily energies we transform the state of consciousness. - The 14th Dalai Lama







So the Masonic Guilds of old must certainly have had members who were passing down the Ancient Universal Gnosis, Alchemy, Kabbalah, etc.



See Manly P. Hall's: "THE RIDDLE OF THE ROSICRUCIANS"


And Fulcanelli's: "The Dwellings of the Philosophers"






Regards





[edit on 5-2-2007 by Tamahu]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:02 PM
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As Masonic Light said:




Originally posted by Masonic Light
According to Albert Pike, from the alchemical drawing featured at the beginning of chapter 32 in "Morals and Dogma', which depicts Hermes-Aphrodite holding a square in one hand, and a compass in the other.






Hermaphrodite:





When you make male and female into a single one... then you will enter into the Kingdom. - Jesus of Nazareth, from The Gospel of Thomas






See also the following by Manly P. Hall:




Moorish Science Temple of America


Melchizedek and the Mystery of Fire

Hermetic Marriage

Initiates of the Flame

Lost Keys of FreeMasonry

The Phoenix

Orders of the Great Work



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:24 PM
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I'm personaly inclined to agree with carslake. I have serious doubts about the stone mason guild transforming into free masonry. I think it is strictly a cover story that is a hold over from the days before masonry went public. Of course that is just my opinion.

My own research has led me to the same conclusions Robinson reached in Born in Blood.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:56 PM
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The older writings of Occult authors (Jorge Adoum, H.P. Blavatsky, J.D. Buck, Albert Churchward, Jocelyn Godwin, Max Heindel, Arnold Krumm-Heller, Godfrey Higgins, Manly P. Hall, Hargrave Jennings, Athanasius Kircher, C.W. Leadbeater, Eliphas Levi, Mario Roso de Luna, Schwaller de Lubicz, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Gerald Massey, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, G.R.S. Mead, H.S. Olcott, Fabre d'Olivet, Albert Pike, Ragon, Rudolph Steiner, Thomas Taylor, William Wynn Westcott, John Yarker, etc.) have much more valuable info in them than many more-recent author's speculations.


Of course the writings of Albert G. Mackey, Robert Macoy and W.L. Wilmshurst are useful as well.



To study together the writings of Samael Aun Weor and Manly P. Hall, really helps to decipher much of the symbolism.


Not say that other more-modern works are totally useless of course...




[edit on 5-2-2007 by Tamahu]



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