The Masonic symbol of the point within a circle has an Ancient and Modern symbolism. Some depictions of the Masonic symbol have a B on the left side of the vertical line which represents John the Baptist and with an E on the right side of the right vertical line. Above the circle, we have the Volume of Sacred Law.
The point within the circle represents St. John the Evangelist whose day is December 27th and St. John the Baptist who is celebrated on June 24th. These two saints are the two Masonic patron saints. A lot of Master Masons know that these two days are celebrated by Masons, but they often do not understand why the days are celebrated.
The primitive Mother Lodge was the Lodge of St. John which was in Jerusalem. That Lodge was first dedicated to St. John the Baptist before it was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist and then to the two of them. This primitive Lodge is called the Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem. All other lodges descended from this Lodge.
St. John the Evangelist: Many called him the disciple that Jesus loved the most. He is known as John the Apostle. He wrote the Gospel book of John in the Bible, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John and the book of revelations in the New Testament.
St. John the Evangelist was one of the few disciples that were with Jesus till his last moment of death. He did not forsake Jesus. He was known as the disciple of love and was one of the last surviving disciples as he lived to his 90s, before he died at Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus is between Rome and Jerusalem. A church was later built over his tomb before a Moslem Mosque was built there.
St. John the Baptist: St. John the Baptist was a moral and fair man who strictly adhered to godly principles. He was a direct descendant of Abraham’s son Ishmael. His mother, Elizabeth was a close relative to Mary the Mother of Jesus. John and Jesus were almost age mates.
St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus and called him the Lamb of God. He was a strict keeper of God’s laws, and he survived in the wild by living off honey and locusts.
It is not certain if any of the two Saints were members of the Stonemason craft, but they have been adopted as patron saints of Freemasonry because of their character and the godly life they lived.
More information on the Symbolism of the Point Within A Circle
The point represents an individual Brother. The circle represents the boundary line of a man’s duty to God and his fellow men. A man should not stray beyond this circle. He should not let his selfish interests, passions and other things make him stray.
The Harvest: The point within the circle also represents the harvest which is the lowest and highest point of the sun. These are the times when the bountiful harvest from the seeds of the earth is celebrated. They signify how one celebrates after harvesting or reaping the fruits of their labor.
Winter and Summer Solstices: The winter and summer solstices represent the cycles of life, and in ancient times, festivals were held on those two days. The Winter Solstice is December 21st, and the Summer Solstice is June 21st. These two festivals celebrate the times of the first fruits of the Fall and the Spring harvest.
Origin of the Point Within A Circle
The point within a circle did not originate in 1717 when the first Grand Lodge was established in England. No, like several Masonry symbols, it existed way before then. It even existed way before the times of the stone masons of the middle age.
It is linked to the time of our Ancestors. It comes from a time when symbols like Blazing Star, the Sun, the Moon and others became a sign of religious symbolism to men. These symbols are not strictly Masonic in nature as they were not invented for Freemasonry. Instead, they were embraced by Freemasonry, and they link us to our ancestors.
The symbols date way before the time of King Solomon and they have continued to be passed on from generation to generation through teaching and other inscribed symbols on monuments, artifacts and other objects. They have been studied by geologists, Egyptologists, archaeologists, and others in a bid to understand the origin of man and our history.
This history is to be taken seriously and not regarded as flimsy in any way. Of course, they may seem too mysterious or deep to several people that have not fully understood them.
Egyptian association of the Point Within A Circle
The two vertical lines on both sides of the Point Within a Circle go way back before the times of St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist or even King Solomon. This symbolism is on ancient Egyptian monuments. In those ancient days, they were used to represent God as the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the end). The center of the circle was bordered by two perpendicular upright and parallel snakes.The uninitiated often see these symbols as Masonic mysteries, secrets or cultism known to Freemasons alone. But this is not true. Anyone that takes time to study these symbols can unravel the history behind them. Masonic symbolism and ritual come from ancient traditions and religions.