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Masonic symbols

Masonic banner Tracing boards Occult meaning to Masonic symbols

Masonic banner

Photograph of a Masonic banner showing the huge array of symbols used in Freemasonry. A sizeable portion of these are also found in the Orange Order.Photograph_11.jpg (37400 bytes)

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Tracing boards

Tracing boards convey the secrets of the degrees through a gathering of symbols on an oblong board.  

First degree tracing board
1st tracing board.gif (145212 bytes)  'The usage and customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near affinity to those of the Ancient Egyptians. Their philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, couched systems of learning and polity under signs and hieroglyphical figures, which were communicated to their chief priests or magi alone, who were bound by solemn oath to conceal them. The system of Pythagoras was founded on a similar principle, as well as many others of more recent date'  

(Extract from 'Explanation of the first degree tracing board' given in the 'Emulation Ritual')

Second degree tracing board
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Third degree tracing board
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Occult links to symbols

The occult has always used certain symbols to represent, attract or to hold demonic power. ALL masonic symbols come out of long established occultism.

'The signs, symbols and inscriptions date from...the Sumerian civilizations..., Chaldea [Babylon], Assyria, Greece, Rome and even in Mexico and Yucatan... Some rites of the Scottish rite of Freemasonry of our Mother Jurisdiction have been in existence from time immemorial. For we teach the same grand truths, the same sublime those adepts of the ancient mysteries taught in their esoteric rites' - Henry C. Clausen, 'Messages for a Mission' [the Supreme Council 33rd degree, A & ARFM, Mother Jurisdiction of the World, 1971] 5-7

The symbols below represent just a sample from the vast array of Masonic symbols, and the occultic definitions have been kept to a bare minimum.


The square & compass

  • The square & compass are probably the best known symbol of freemasonry  New members are not told initially what this symbol means.

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From 'Morals & Dogma of the Ancient and accepted Rite of Freemasonry' by Albert Pike,1871,1906

In explaining the deeper meaning of symbols in the teaching of the 32nd degree Albert Pike hearkens back to the sculpted images of the ancients.   Unpacking the hermetic symbol of Azoth, Pike says

'Upon it you see a triangle upon a square, both of these contained within a circle, and above this, standing upon a dragon, a human body, with two arms only, but two heads, one male and the other female. By the side of the male head is the Sun, and by that of the female head, the Moon, the crescent within the circle of the full moon. And the hand on the male side holds a compass, and that on the female side, a square..

The hermaphroditic figure is the symbol of the double nature anciently assigned to the deity, as generator and producer, as Brahm and maya among the Aryans, osiris and Isis among the Egyptians. As the Sun was male, so the moon was female; and Isis was both the sister and wife of Osiris. the compass therefore, is the Hermetic symbol of the creative deity, and the square of the productive Earth or Universe'

Pages 850, 851 of 'Morals and Dogma'.

All-Seeing Eye


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This symbol is used -with minor variations - in Nazism, on dollar bills, in New Age, the Orange Order and in many occult based group


The All-Seeing Eye is the emblem of Osiris the Creator' whose 'power was symbolized by an eye over a Sceptre. The Sun was termed by the Greeks the Eye of Jupiter, and the Eye of the world; and his (Osiris') is the All-Seeing Eye in our lodges' - Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma: pages 15-16

Sometimes this symbol is known as 'The Eyes of Horus'  In mytholgy, Horus was born out of the incestuous relationship between Osiris and his sister Isis. 

It features on the sleeve of Alesiter Crowley's infamous book Magick

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Pentagram (circled and un-circled)
  • The pentagram with its unmistakable occult meaning, has for centuries been a preferred among secret societies and mystery groups (including Wicca, Freemasons, the Order of the Eastern Star, Mormon Temple at salt Lake City, Order of the Golden dawn)
  • The wicked occultic pentagram has a long, infamous history. Celtic priests called it the 'witches foot'. In the middle ages it became known as the 'goblin's cross', devil's sign, and the wizard's star. Among the druids of Great Britain, it was the blasphemous sign of the godhead. In ancient times it was a magical charm amongst the people of Babylon.
  • The pentagram is used extensively in black magic..When used in black magic, the pentagram is called the 'sign of the cloven hoof', or the footprints of the devil. The star with two points upward is also called the 'goat of mendes', because the inverted star is the same shape as a goat's head. when the upright star turns and the upper point falls to the bottom, it signifies the fall of the Morning Star.

          From 'Mystery Mark of the New Age' by Texxe Mars.


"Whatever form of occult thought one adheres to it is indisputable that the pentagram is a very powerful tool'

 Winning with witchcraft'  Jean Williams page 76

Hexagram (circled)
  • The hexagram - one of the most powerful symbols of the occult, is used by witches to cast spells.
  • It is not to be confused with the Star of David, which has no circle round it (see below)

           From leaflet explaining 'satanic symbols'

Hexagram (uncircled)

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Known more for being the Israeli symbol - the Star of David - it is important to note that the Zionist organisation adopted it as a symbol for the flag of Israel in 1897 which pre-dates it's use in Freemasonry

  • Some occultists believe this figure, composed of two interlocking triangles, one upside down, is one of the most powerful symbols in the practice of magick. The hexagram when circled increases its power and significance. It is also referred to as the 'Seal of Solomon' in kabbalic mysticism

            From 'When the devil dares your kids'  by  Bob and Gretchen Passantino

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Thaumaturgic Triangle
  • Thaumaturgic Triangle - used for magical purposes such as spell casting or demon summing.

            From leaflet explaining 'satanic symbols'

Triple Tau

The mark known as the 'mysterious triple Tau' is placed on the forehead during the Holy Royal Arch ceremony referring to Ezekiel 9: 4 which reads

..' and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.'

It is also a sign that Masons make with their feet and it appears on Masonic aprons.

The Tau is a powerful sexual occult symbol 

- so much so that it appears on the front cover of Aleister Crowley's book Magick - regarded in serious occult circles as a book of ultimate authority on sexual magic.

It is the emblem of Mercury - referred to as 'the crux Hermis'

Serious Masons understand this. 

On page 241 of his book ' Freemasonry and the ancient gods', Masonic author J.S.M Ward wrote 

.'the tau cross is also a symbol of the male or creative side of deity, and is really a convent ionised form of the phallus (penis)'

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The 33rd degree eagle
  • The double headed eagle alludes to the nature of man. The head that looks to the east is symbolic of man's spiritual vision and the head that looks west west refers to his material vision' (James 1:8 - a double mended man is unstable in all his ways)
  • This divine eagle with two heads facing away from each is linked into the meaning of the black and white floor in all masonic lodges - see below

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Black and white floor
  • "..Yes, lucifer is god, and unfortunately Adonay is also God, for the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods, darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil, as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive..".  

- General Albert Pike, Grand Commander, sovereign pontiff of universal freemasonry, giving instructions to the 23 supreme councils of the world. Recorded by A.C. De La Rive, La Femme et L’enfant dans La Franc-Maconnerie Universelle, Page 588. Cited from ‘The question of freemasonry, ( 2nd edition 1986 by Edward Decker pp12-14)

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The letter 'G'
  • In the blue degrees the new Mason is told that the 'G' stands for 'Geometry' or 'God'. The occultist Eliphas Levi, much quoted by Albert Pike in 'Moral and Dogma' explains "G which Freemasons place in the centre of the Burning Star signifies Gnosis and Generation, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabbalah" 

- Masonic and occult symbols illustrated. Dr. Cathy Burns

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