The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

The Immovable Jewels

From The Grand Lodge Of Texas

During the Entered Apprentice lecture, the new Mason is introduced to the jewels of the Lodge when he is told there are six such jewels, three immovable and three movable. These "jewels" are not precious stones as one might imagine when first hearing the term jewels, but rather refer to their value to the operative builder in conducting his trade.

In the United States, the Immovable Jewels are the square, level, and plumb. They are deemed immovable because they belong to fixed positions in the lodge, the East, West, and South. The three principal officers of the lodge who sit in these positions wear replicas of these operative tools. The Master wears the square as a symbol of morality. The Senior Warden wears the level as a symbol of equality while the Junior Warden wears the plumb as an emblem of upright living.

One might ask why these emblems are considered immovable when in fact the officers who wear these jewels move about the lodge room and do not remain stationary. Perhaps they are considered immovable in that they are assigned to a specific officer of the lodge and, in that sense, they are permanently assigned to the East, West, and South.

The square, level, and plumb are indeed important and valuable tools for the builder for without them, he cannot carry out his trade. For the Freemason, these tools become symbols related to building our moral selves. This point is brought home in the Fellowcraft degree where the plumb, square and level are introduced as the working tools for the degree.

A plumb is a string or cord with a free-swinging mass attached to the end that when held will come to rest perpendicular to the horizontal due the gravitational forces. This allows the builder to ensure he has erected a beam in the proper manner, that is, perpendicular to the surface. As such, the plumb is a symbol of right, uprightness, and proper social and moral behavior. It is unlikely that a wall can stand for long if it is not erected properly or is not straight. It is also unlikely that a Mason who does not lead an upright life can be of value to his fellow man or to our fraternity. The plumb stands for righteousness before God and man and becomes a standard by which we can test our morality.

A square is an instrument having two arms with straight edges meeting in a right angle. As a symbol the square represents morality and virtue. The concepts of morality and virtue should guide all our actions before God and with our fellow man. We must look into our hearts and ensure our dealings with others are conducted in a virtuous and moral manner. When we "act upon the square" we are telling the truth and dealing honestly with the other person. Morality is very difficult to define yet we should be able to recognize morality, or the lack thereof, based upon the standards of God. Each man must look deep within himself to set those standards and principles by which he lives.

The level is used to prove horizontals in operative masonry. In speculative Masonry the level is a symbol of equality indicating that all men have the same duties to God and the same responsibilities and rights before his fellow man. Equality does not mean that all men are equal in skills or abilities but rather that all men should be treated with respect, dignity, and understanding. We are all individuals, yet we should be a universal brotherhood before God where men can achieve mutual respect and understanding regardless of their differences.

The Entered Apprentice lecture tells us that the square teaches morality, the level equality, and the plumb rectitude of conduct. Symbolically, as Freemasons, we are building a spiritual building that requires hard work and effort throughout our lifetimes. We must build a level foundation based upon an understanding of the equality of man before God. Upon this foundation we build our moral standards that guide our dealings with our fellow man while always striving to walk uprightly before God.
Perhaps the monitorial explanation for the working tools of a Fellowcraft Mason is a fitting way to close this discussion.

"The Plumb is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to raise perpendiculars, the Square to square their work, and the Level to lay horizontals; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of them for more noble and glorious purposes; the Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations before God and man, squaring our actions by the Square of Virtue, and remembering that we are traveling upon the Level of Time, to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne* no traveler returns."

* Bourne = boundary or destination.

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014