The Square & Compasses and the letter "G"

What do the square & compasses, and the letter "G" mean in Masonry?

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Oct 04, 2010
Masonry tools are Freemasonry symbols
by: Tim

Thank you for your excellent question. The study of Freemasonry symbols is an especially interesting field and one that offers insights at every corner.

Freemasonry uses the tools of operative masonry as symbols to teach and remind us of the important lessons of Freemasonry. The square and compasses, and the letter 'G' are the most wellknown and recognized symbols of the Craft. Like most symbols they can have multiple meanings and different people may interpret their meaning in different ways. However, also like most symbols, they do have generally accepted meanings.

The square is an instrument made use of by operative masons to square their work. It's very important in building a masonry wall that the corners, both inside and outside, are square. As speculative Masons we are taught to square our actions by the square of virtue, to act honorably and honestly in all our dealings, and to treat others as we wish to be treated.

Just as the operative mason may use the compasses to circumscribe a circle around a point, speculative Masonry teaches that we should circumscribe, or limit, our desires and passions within proper boundaries.

The letter 'G' has more than one generally accepted meaning. First, it is the initial of geometry. Geometry is the liberal science that enabled early masons to design and construct the magnificent cathedrals and castles of old. By the use of geometry they were able to convert simple drawings into amazing structures. Likewise in speculative Masonry we rely on the elements of geometry to construct an inner cathedral of soaring and amazing design.

But, the letter 'G' also has a much higher and Holier signification in Freemasonry. It is the initial of God. Every man who knocks at the door of Freemasonry must express his unfeigned belief in the one living and true God. No atheist can become a Freemason.

Our Web page: "Freemasonry Symbols: a study in understanding and value" offers more insight into some of the Masonic symbols. Of course, a comprehensive study of the symbols could easily occupy a person for the rest of his days, but if you are so inclined there are many books on the subject.

Thanks again for your most excellent question.

Fraternally yours,


Oct 19, 2012
Should not be told
by: Anonymous

This content should not be told. It should be learned in a regular lodge after petitioning and being accepted. Whoever is doing this site is abandoning their oath and should be ignored. forget what you are reading here!

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