From The Grand Lodge Of Texas
There is no more interesting geometric object for Masons than
that of the triangle, a simple plane figure consisting of three points connected
by line intervals. Throughout the ages, the triangle, in various forms, has been
studied and used by men. The 47th Postulate of Euclid, or the Pythagorean
Theorem, was known well before Euclid's "Elements" and was revered by the
Egyptians. Right triangles were used in all constructions and used in Ancient
However, the foremost of the triangles was the equilateral triangle, a triangle
of three equal sides and equal angles. This triangle was used by nearly all of
the ancient civilizations as a symbol of the Deity. To the Egyptians this
triangle hieroglyphically symbolized the trowel and was considered one of the
most perfect of figures. The use of the Hebrew letter "yod" within an
equilateral triangle follows the custom of representing the sacred name of the
Deity. In Symbolic Masonry and in many Masonic ceremonies, the "yod" has been
replaced by the letter G and is seen in our lodge rooms as a symbol for Deity.
Again and again, we see the Light of Wisdom that is found in the center of this
triangle, the source of all Light.
The equilateral triangle is the easiest triangle to construct and is found in
Euclid's Book I as the First Proposition, namely "On a given finite straight
line to construct an equilateral triangle." With three equal sides and three
angles of sixty degrees, we can construct an equilateral triangle. All school
geometry texts for thousands of years describe the construction with a ruler and
compass and the proof of its properties. For each us, these three sides give us
the most stable and strongest of triangles. The three basic degrees equally
connect us to one another as Masons and offer us the strongest of bonds to each
other and to our Deity.
We find the equilateral triangle in our Lodge rooms and the tools we use in the
Degrees, but this simple triangle holds many lessons, both in its operative uses
and its speculative lessons. Holding an equilateral triangle and plumb line at
the upper vertex, the Operative Mason finds the three basic directions required
in construction: The vertical lies along the plumb line, while the horizontal is
obtained when the plumb line rests midway between the other two sides, and the
right angle formed by the plumb line and base gives a visible guide to building.
With such a tool, our ancient brethren were able to construct the great pyramids
of Egypt, Solomon's Temple, and the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages.
For the Speculative Mason the strength and stability of the triangle, united
with the life lessons of the plumb, level, and square, reminds us of our several
duties and obligations to our God, our neighbors, our brethren, and ourselves.
Of all plane figures the triangle is both rigid and strong, but the beauty of
the equilateral triangle reminds us of those lessons necessary to keep our
spiritual building both strong and secure, now and forevermore.
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