Decoding the symbolism of Freemasonry

Square and Compasses - The single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry, a compass and square represent the convergence of matter and spirit.

Square and Compasses - As an architect's tools, the square and compass are used in Masonic ritual as emblems to teach symbolic lessons.

Square and Compasses with a "G" -
A compass and square with the letter "G" in the center can stand for Geometry, the "noblest of sciences," or Great Architect of the Universe.

Freemasons' Hall, London -
This hall in London has been a Masonic meeting place since 1775. It features an impressive mosaic ceiling decorated with figures and symbols from Masonic rituals.

The apron - Another iconic symbolic emblem of Freemasonry is the apron. It's the unique badge of a Mason and considered a tool. Pictured is Voltaire's Masonic apron from 1778.

The apron - The Masonic apron was developed from the lambskin apron worn by operative stone masons in the Middle Ages. 

Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie - The French Museum of Freemasonry in Paris chronicles the history of French Freemasonry through its symbols, grades, documents, and objects.

Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie - Pictured is a selection of historic tools exhibited at the museum, just some of the approximately 10,000 items displayed in permanent exhibit space.

King Solomon's Temple -
King Solomon's Temple is a central symbol of Freemasonry.

Eye of Providence - Although originally a Christian symbol, the Eye of Providence is often associated with Freemasonry.

Masonic handshake - For centuries, Masons used various signs (hand gestures), grips, or "tokens" (handshakes) to identify legitimate Masonic visitors from non-Masons.

Masonic handshake - There are several variations of handshakes, including the 'Master Grip,' 'Real Grip of Fellow Craft,' and 'Grip of the Entered Apprentice.'

Masonic jewels - Masonic jewels, or badges, are the earliest surviving objects of Freemasonry. 

Masonic jewels - A Masonic jewel made by a French prisoner of war during the Napoleonic Wars displays Freemasonry's most potent symbols.

A real Masonic jewel -
Pictured is a late 19th-century bejeweled badge made to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

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