Freemasonry is one of the oldest and most widely recognized fraternal organizations in the world. Though membership is not open to just anyone, millions of people have joined over the years.
If you are a Mason, or know someone who is, you may be interested in learning more about the meaning behind Masonic rings.
In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most common symbols found on Masonic rings and what they represent, as well as explore the history behind Freemasonry itself.
The History of Freemasonry
Freemasonry can be traced back to the late 1300s, when stonemasons (highly skilled trade workers who were responsible for the construction of castles, cathedrals, and other stone structures) began to form guilds in order to regulate their qualifications and interactions with authorities and clients.
These guilds eventually became known as Freemasons, and the skills and knowledge they developed over the years came to be known as Masonic.
The original Freemasons were probably influenced by the Knights Templar, a Christian military order known for their secretive rituals and strange symbols, many of which are still found today. We will discuss them more later in this post.
In 1717, the first Grand Lodge of England was formed, and Freemasonry soon spread throughout the world. Today there are Masonic lodges in almost every country.
Let's now take a look at the history behind the rings themselves and explore some of the most common symbols.
There are many different masonic symbols that can be found on Masonic jewelry, but some of the most common symbols that a Masonic ring features are:
- The Masonic square and compass
- The letter "G"
- The all-seeing eye
- The sunburst
- The urn and dove
- The Square and Compass
The Square and Compass
The square and compass is one of the most iconic symbols associated with Freemasonry. It is said to represent the tools that were used by stonemasons in the construction of buildings and castles. Today, it is a symbol of strength, integrity, and honor.
The Letter "G"
The letter "G" is another common symbol found on Masonic rings. It stands for the word "geometry", which is one of the seven liberal arts and sciences taught in Freemasonry. Geometry is said to be the foundation of all other sciences, and thus, the letter "G" represents knowledge and enlightenment.
The All-Seeing Eye
The all-seeing eye is another iconic symbol associated with Freemasonry. It is said to represent the "Great Architect of the Universe" and is a reminder that God is always watching over us. It is often shown within a pyramid or an equilateral triangle enclosing the eye.
The sunburst is another symbol that can be found on Masonic rings. This symbol on a Masonic ring symbolizes the light of knowledge and enlightenment, and is often used as a symbol of Freemasonry itself.
The Urn and Dove
The urn and dove is a symbol of mourning and loss. It is said to represent the moment when Moses saw the burning bush, which was interpreted as a sign from God. This symbol can often be found on rings that are given to Masons who have lost a loved one.
Degrees of Masonry
There are three degrees of Masonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.
In order to progress through the degrees, a Mason must demonstrate their understanding of the lessons taught in each degree.
Some of the most common ranks are:
- Fellow Craft
- Master Mason
The Apprentice degree is the first degree in Masonry. It is the entry-level degree for new members, and it teaches basic skills and knowledge needed to be a Mason.
The Apprentice degree introduces candidates to the Masonic philosophy, history, and symbols.
It also teaches important moral values that are essential to being a good Mason.
The Fellow Craft degree is the second degree in Masonry. It builds on the knowledge and skills learned in the Apprentice degree, and teaches candidates about the tools and symbols of Freemasonry.
The Master Mason degree is the highest degree in Masonry. It teaches candidates about the history and philosophy of Freemasonry, and provides them with a deeper understanding of Masonic symbols and allegories.
Master Masons are also eligible to join the Scottish Rite and the York Rite, two additional Masonic orders that offer further opportunities for growth and development.
The Knights Templar
We can't discuss Freemasonry without a section dedicated to the Knights Templar. Masonic rites often contain references to the Templars, and many of the symbols used in Freemasonry can be traced back to them.
The Templars were a military order made up of Christian crusaders formed in the early 12th century. They were known for their impressive architecture, and many Masons may have been members.
The Templars were also skilled in fighting during the Crusades. They were known for their bravery and discipline on the battlefield. They were eventually disbanded, but their legacy lives on in Freemasonry.
Today, Masons often honor the Knights Templar with special ceremonies and rituals to honor their strength and courage. The Knights Templar are an important part of Masonic history, and their influence can be seen in many aspects of the craft.
How to Wear a Mason Ring
There are many different ways to wear a Mason ring, but the most common is on the index finger of your right hand. However, there is typically no right or wrong finger, unless you are married, in which you would not wear your mason ring on your left index finger which is reserved for your wedding ring.
If you are a member of the Knights Templar, you may want to wear your ring on your left hand instead. This is because the Knights Templar use their left hand to swear an oath of allegiance.
If you are not a member of the Knights Templar, then it is best to wear your Masonic ring on your right hand.
When wearing a Masonic ring, new members should wear the ring facing inward. This position of the ring demonstrates that they are new, and once they have been inducted into the Masonic order, they should then wear the ring facing outward, symbolizing the outward commitment to the fraternity.
Some members choose to not wear their rings at all, as it is not a requirement to do so. But for those who choose to wear one, these are the guidelines on how to do so correctly.
In closing, a Freemason ring is a powerful symbol of the fraternity. It is a way to show your commitment to the organization, and it also serves as a reminder of the values that you have pledged to uphold.
Masonic rings are available in a variety of styles, so you can find one that fits your personal taste. Whether you choose to wear one or not, remember that the Masonic fraternity is a brotherhood that upholds the values of honesty, integrity, and brotherly love.
If you are interested in joining the fraternity, or if you are already a member, consider purchasing a ring to show your dedication to the Masonic values.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you know someone who might find this article interesting, please share it with them! Thanks for reading!