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The Relevance of the Square and Compasses Symbol

The Relevance of the Square and Compasses Symbol

A square and a set of compasses linked together, commonly known as the Square and Compasses, is the most identified mark of Freemasonry. The square and compasses on the symbol are representations of the tools used by an architect. The Masonic ritual uses these tools as emblems to educate symbolic lessons to the brotherhood. Most Lodges around the world and Masonic rituals identify these symbols as lessons of conduct. For instance:

·         Square - symbolizes virtue. For every Masonic brother, it means to “square our actions by the square of virtue with all mankind.”

·         Compasses - represents wisdom. For Freemasonry, it means to “circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds.”

There is a belief that when these tools are linked together and centred by God, the connection will result in peace and harmony. It is important to note though that since Freemasonry is non-dogmatic, there isn't any standard decryption for these emblems that is used by the fraternity in general.

The Letter “G”

In most English-speaking places, the Square and Compasses are typically represented with the letter "G" in the middle of the architect's tools. The letter is regarded as a representation of various words or phrases, depending on the jurisdiction of the Lodge. The three most approved and recognized interpretations of the letter are:

·         God - the reminder to all Masons that God is the heart of the brotherhood.

·         Great Architect of the Universe - another reference to God.

·         Geometry - considered as the foundation upon which the structure of Freemasonry is built.

A Bit of History

Traditionally, both the square and compasses are instruments to make accurate lines and flawless angles. Operative stone masons utilized them as the most important tools of their business.  Just like the majority of tradesmen in history, operative stone masons started their profession as an apprentice under the guidance of a Master Mason.

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