THE POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE

By: Byron E. Hams A Lifetime Apprentice

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most of the original esoteric meaning has been overlooked and the identities of the two grand parallels have been changed. it also expressed many aspects of time and the seasons. while the two grand parallels represent two human paragons of integrity. However. clearly has its origin in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph and its interpretation.In freemasonry the interpretation that is given for the point within a circle. In that context the circle represents the boundary line of the individual's duty to God and to his fellow man. which is not the same as the union of emotion and wisdom by the encircling power of the Deity that was represented in the Egyptian hieroglyph. insofar as the point is said to be that position which. bounded by two erect parallel lines. including the light of wisdom that comes from above. in some respects the ancient symbolism has been reversed. Used with appropriate determinatives. presumably in an endeavor to establish a setting that reflects the traditions of freemasonry. the point within a circle signified the sun and represented light. I will try to detail “The Point Within A Circle” from the Entered Apprentice Degree through the Master 2 . As a written hieroglyph. Moreover. is one from which he cannot err. if occupied by the individual freemason. Keeping the above definitions in mind.

each of us is a point in the circle of Masonry. he is first instructed on the mental and the physical. 3 . He is conducted to the Alter where the V. The Entered Apprentice Degree Upon our first entrance we are received by a point of a compass.S. Now if we take those two lessons and make them lines we would have one line being the mind and the other being the flesh. next he is introduced to the Spiritual. is opened. Also please keep in mind that I am writing this from the standpoint of how “The Point Within A Circle” relates to us as Masons and not how it relates to history. Now that we have the parallel lines. Just what is the point? We the individual members are the points that make up Masonry. Upon his first entrance into the Lodge the Entered Apprentice is the point of attention.Mason Degree. As you will see. lets go back and find the point.L. more on that at a later time. I will be taking a little bit from each of the above as we travel through the Degrees. which is to teach us two things.

L. and the Volume of the Sacred Law on the top. St.Figure 1 We have St.S. above the Alter. John the Baptist on the left. Figure 2 4 . John the Evangelist on the right. The mental and physical as the parallel lines. The V.

And we have the Entered Apprentice as the “Point” All that is left is to find the “Circle”. and the Mental Body. which is what you have just stepped off into. The 3 sides of the triangle representing the Life Spirit. the Emotional Body. Figure 3 5 . the Vital Body. the Human Spirit. and the “Circle” is Entered Apprentice Masonry.Here I have the Entered Apprentice Apron depicted as a triangle above the square. The 4 sides of the square representing the Physical Body. and the Divine Spirit.

the one on the right representing the World of Masonry. and the overlapping section representing you. I hope that I have done a good enough job of laying it out for you to see that the foundation for “The Point Within A Circle” to come is already being laid out. Even though “The Point Within A Circle” is not mentioned at this time in the Degree Work. Figure 4 Here I have 2 overlapping circles.Here I have the circle representing Entered Apprentice Masonry and you the individual as the point. the one on the left representing the Profane World. You have just left the Circle of the profane world and entered into the circle of Masonry and at this point in time the two circles are overlapping each other. 6 .

The Fellow Craft Degree As in the Entered Apprentice Degree. You should have now left the circle of the profane world and entered all the way into the Entered Apprentice Circle and are now moving into the Fellow Craft Circle. 7 . the one inside of that being the Masonic World (green). which you are just entering and the one the right being the world of Entered Apprentice Masonry (black). which you should have filled by now. Fellow Craft Masonry is now the “Circle” you have entered into. the one on the left being the world of Fellowcraft Masonry (pink). the Fellow Craft is now the “Point” In the Fellow Craft Degree. then 2 overlapping circles. the largest one being the Profane World (blue). Figure 5 Here I have 4 circles.

is above watching over you and only he knows if your travels through the Middle Chamber are straight down the center getting a equal helping of both Wisdom and Strength.U.O. or down one side or the other. by now you have some knowledge of the God that is a part of you. As always you are the circle. Here the G.T..Here the two columns are your parallel lines and they represent Wisdom and Strength. and I have the triangle with the all seeing eye inside of it representing the G. 8 .A.T.U. As you pass through the Middle Chamber you have Wisdom on one side to guide you and Strength on the other side to aid you in your Travels. the line on the right represents Jachin or Establishment.O.A. Figure 6 This time the line on the left represents Boaz or Strength.

The Master Mason Degree As it was in the beginning so shall it be in the ending. The World of Free Masonry is now the “Circle”. 9 .Figure 7 Here I have the Fellowcraft Apron represented as a square with the flap turned down inside of the square. You should now have the Wisdom of the Ages to guide you through life and the Strength of Free Masonry to carry you through the hard times. because it represents the descent of the Spiritual into the Material as you can see the Triangle is now within the Square. These are the parallel lines that should keep you within bounds with all Mankind and Nature. The Fellowcraft Apron should be worn with the flap turned down. the Master Mason is now the ”Point”.

U. you should have a steadfast resolution that the G.T. Figure 8 Here I have Mankind or Birth representing the line on the left.Now last and most of all.A. As always you are the circle. and the Tree of Life above representing Self or Life. will always be above you and will protect you at all times. 10 . Nature or Death representing the line on the right.O.

that becomes the Strength of Free Masonry. It symbolizes the triumph of the Spiritual Man from the tomb of his material self.U. In Conclusion: 11 .A.Figure 9 Here I have the triangle representing the Master Mason Apron. My mission in Masonry is to try to grown from “A Point Within A Circle” into “A Circle” that will make me all that Masonry meant for me to be. It is hoped that every Master Mason will someday grow from “A Point Within A Circle” into “A Circle” that always Touches upon the Wisdom of the Ages. The Master Mason Apron when properly worn is but a triangle.O.”. which should be the objective of every Fellowcraft by the time he gets to be a Master Mason. and becomes one with the “G.T.

Figure 10 Here I have the triangle above the square inside of the circle. In freemasonry the interpretation that is given for the point within a circle. The triangle has 3 sides and the square has 4 sides which gives you 7. we have the interpretations of the symbols.We will go back full circle to the beginning and take it apart sentence by sentence. bounded by two erect parallel lines. clearly has its origin in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph and its interpretation. 12 . but I believe that over time the interpretations of the allegory have become lost to most. Masonry is a beautiful system of allegory illustrated by symbols.

If you count the sides on the inside of the square and triangle you get 6. 13 . As you move from one degree to another your knowledge and understanding would grow and thereby change the way you see things. presumably in an endeavor to establish a setting that reflects the traditions of freemasonry.If you put the triangle and square together you get 5. I believe that the esoteric meanings were left out because of the fact the meanings would change from degree to degree. most of the original esoteric meaning has been overlooked and the identities of the two grand parallels have been changed. However. Figure 11 Here I have the triangle within the square inside of the circle.

insofar as the point is said to be that position which. Moreover. Figure 12 Here I have the triangle inside of the circle. In the Apron I have found the numbers 3. and 7. is one from which he cannot err. if occupied by the individual freemason. The point is the position that must be occupied by the individual Freemason in order for him to grown into the circle in such a way that he would not be able to err. 5. and also the numbers 4 and 6 by the laws of math I need to come up with a 1 and a 2. the 1 being the Physical Being and 2 being the Spiritual Being. which has 3 sides. 14 .If you count the sides on the outside of the square you get 4. in some respects the ancient symbolism has been reversed. You are the 1 and 2.

Figure 13 15 .In that context the circle represents the boundary line of the individual's duty to God and to his fellow man. As I see it the two grand parallel lines represent Wisdom and Strength under the guidance of the G.O. while the two grand parallels represent two human paragons of integrity.T.U. which is not the same as the union of emotion and wisdom by the encircling power of the Deity that was represented in the Egyptian hieroglyph.A.

T. but it is our symbol of the lives that we live. is my light. including the light of wisdom that comes from above. meaning that the Tree of Life is not a symbol of something else.A.Here I have the Tree of Life. As a written hieroglyph.U. and for every one of us that will be a different symbol. and the center of the circle is where I need to be position in order to receive all His Light. 16 . the point within a circle signified the sun and represented light. For me the G. as each of us is the Tree of Life that we live.O.

I have no lines on this one because at this point we should be complete within ourselves and receive our guidance from within and not someone else’s guidance from without. As we are the Tree of Life.Figure 14 Here I have the Tree of Life inside of the Circle. it also expressed many aspects of time and the seasons. 17 . Manhood. Used with appropriate determinatives. and Old Age are the aspects of time and the seasons that we live through. the Circle is the World in which we live. Youth.

Hams A Lifetime Apprentice 18 .In the end. Byron E. the Circle represents the World we live in and the lives we live represents the Tree of Life that we have lived.

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