The Sword and Trowel


Traveling Templar
I hope you all enjoy:

The Sword and Trowel is a prominent symbol of the Cryptic Rite. Though it is not always the case, this symbol can be displayed with the crossed Sword and Trowel within a broken triangle, within a complete equilateral triangle, and within the circle contained within the square. Most of the time it is seen as it is on the right. Let us delve into each of these symbols with the three exterior symbols: the square, the circle, and the triangle.

The Square, the Circle, and the Triangle

These three symbols have many meanings. The square is a symbol of security and protection. According to George L. Marshall, Past Grand Commander: "The hollow square (also known as the infantry square) was a formation assumed by the infantry when threatened with a cavalry attack." As I talked about in the last Royal Arch article, the square's four sides signify completion, balance, stability, order, endurance, and the many quadrants of nature (directions, winds, elements, moon phases, and so forth). The circle has no end and no beginning which represents infinity or eternity. It has been to many generations a representation of the celestial and Heavenly bodies. The circle also represents freedom, unity, completeness, and harmony. The circle is also restrictive though, as we are reminded in the 1st degree of Freemasonry and Point within a Circle whereby we are taught to restrain our passions, our prejudices, and our interests from betraying us if we were to go beyond the bounds of this line. The circle, in some cultures, represents the union between Heaven and Earth as well as the psyche. The triangle signifies divinity, harmony, ascension, illumination, and gender (depending on positioning of the triangle). The triangle and the number 3 represents time: past, present, and future, or the beginning, the middle, and the end. Three is the first number to form a geometric shape -- the triangle. In Christianity, we see the 3 Wise men or Magi; the 3 realms of the afterlife: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory (Catholic doctrine); the Holy Family; and the Holy Trinity. In Masonry this number corresponds in the 3 Great Lights, the 3 Lesser Lights, the 3 Principle Officers, the 3 Great Pillars, the 3 Virtues, the 3 Principle Tenets, and the 3 Principle Stages of Human Life. The Broken Triangle represents mortality and death. This symbol is comparison to Craft Masonry is the Broken Column.