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15 Common Freemason Symbols You've Never Noticed Before

Updated September 17, 2019 202.1k views15 items

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  • The Hourglass

    Photo: dno1967b / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Everyone knows what an hourglass means, but they don't get it in the same way that Freemasons do. The foremost meaning behind this symbol is the eternal passage of time, "the sand slipping away until there is no more, and therefore a continual reminder that life is finite, and that therefore we should make the most of it while we can."

    But it also acts as an analogy of the upper and the lower, and the need to turn the hourglass from top to bottom at times to continue the process symbolizes the continuous cycle between life and death and heaven and earth.

  • The Acacia Tree

    A sprig of acacia, considered by Freemasons to be a holy plant because Moses supposedly built his ark, the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the table for the showbread, and the rest of his sacred furniture out of the wood of the acacia. To Masons, a sprig of acacia stands for the immortality of the soul, and it reminds them of such because of the acacia tree's consistent evergreen nature.

    And perhaps another twist on the immortality meaning is the possibility that it also stands for "life rises out of the grave," a lesson that everyone can glean from plant life everywhere. 

  • The Two-Headed Eagle

    The two-headed eagle has taken on many meanings and different forms throughout history, which is to be expected when the ol' double eagle dates back to around 3,000 BCE. But for Freemasons, the double-headed eagle not only symbolizes the dual nature of man and the Masons as a whole, but it also stands for the spiritual regeneration of oneself through the unification of opposites. 

  • Masonic Blazing Star

    Photo: mnd.ctrl / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The blazing star, which isn't just any star, holds multiple meanings within a lodge. The meaning given to the star in the 28th Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is that the star symbolizes the concept of Freemasonry at its highest peak. A man uses knowledge to become like a blazing star, shining with brilliance in the midst of darkness. Throughout the various rites, the star is said to be a beacon of truth.