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One of the most debatable Freemason symbols that you will find is the square and compass that is often depicted with the letter “G” in the center. It is this letter “G” that has garnished the most speculation from outsiders, and even initiated members of this Secret Brotherhood. In this article I would like to focus on what this letter actually symbolizes to help dispel the myths, and let you, the reader decide, if what I write is truth.
The most common explanations that you will find for what the letter “G” represents run the gambit from God, who would also be the Great Architect of the Universe or Geometry since as Pythagoras had said, all is number. In both operative and speculative Masonry the use of math and mathematical symbols has always been at the forefront in the teachings of the craft. Therefore, it would only be natural for people to assume that the G could possibly represent Geometry since it is one of the “most ancient and noblest of sciences.”
The letter “G” in Greek and also in the Semitic tongues is not seven but three. “G” is the third letter of the Hebrew (Phoenician) alphabet in which the builders of King Solomon’s temple, which is also the number three, is among other things they had used; three is the age of an Entered Apprentice. The number three degree (3rd) is the highest degree that you will find in the Blue Lodge, but in Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the honorary highest degree of the Supreme Council is the 33rd degree which is 3×3=9, which is the power of creation and the God of All or Truth.
In the bible, the number three is seen in Genesis 3 that describes “The Fall.”
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The Number 33 is a Master Number (Master Teacher), it is Christ consciousness. Jesus was crucified at Golgotha (place of the skull) at age 33 in the year 33 A.D. 33 is the number of The God Amon (AMEN) which is the numerical equivalent of AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33; Amen is the God of Truth and God corresponds to 1/3 (33.3%) as seen in Revelation 12, where the great red dragon is sweeping 1/3 (3.33) of the stars from heaven.
Hence, when you become an honorary 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason you will have been voted by your fellow Masons as a worthy related Brother who is both a Gnostic and understands the secrets of procreation, the universe, truth, love and immortality.
You will have been deemed by the Supreme Council to have what may be called a “Christ consciousness” or a “Reincarnated Buddha” Astral Body, where you may walk as both Jesus and Buddha had done by knowing THYSELF and also by using the knowledge you have gained for wisdom and reason in order to operate in the current moment of Truth.
This is what being a Gnostic is all about.
Therefore, the letter ‘G’ in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect. Gnosis (Greek for knowledge) in its simplest form is “knowledge of thyself” or the Great Arcanum, Daath (Da’ath – Hebrew for knowledge). Philo also refers to the “knowledge” (gnosis) and “wisdom” (sophia) of God. This fact we find in the biblical passage Proverbs 2.6; “The Lord gives wisdom (sophia), from his face come knowledge (gnosis) and understanding (sunesis).”
Generation (from the Latin generāre, meaning “to beget”), also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring. Hence, it is from the blood that Gnosis or knowledge is transmuted through the act of procreation that then passes the knowledge encrypted within our DNA to our offspring.
33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason, Albert Pike and Master Occultist, Eliphas Levi agree with the Masonic facts I have stated, that the letter ‘G’ in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect.
In the Mysteries of Magic by Eliphas Levi and interpreted by Arthur Edward Waite, it is written; “All these magical theorems, based on the unique dogma of Hermes, and on the analogical inductions of science, have been invariably confirmed by the visions of ecstatics and by the convulsions of cataleptics under the supposed possession of spirits. The G which Freemasons place in the centre of the Burning Star signifies Gnosis and Generation, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabbalah. It also signifies Grand Architect, for the Pentagram, from whatever side it may be looked at, always represents an A. (Also See Eliphas Levi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, vol. II, p. 97.)
Albert Pike had reconfirmed this fact by quoting Levi in his book, Liturgy of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry: IV to XIV; “In the centre of this Blazing Star Freemasons place the letter G. It signifies Gnosis and Generation, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabala; and also the Grand Architect; for the Pentagram, whichever way we view it, presents the letter A.”
It is written in the History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons edited by Henry Leonard Stillson, William James Hughan;
“The G which Freemasons place in the center of the blazing star signifies GNOSIS and GENERATION, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabala. It also means the GRAND ARCHITECT, for the Pentagram, on whatever side we view it, represents an A. All the Mysteries of Magic, all the symbols of the Gnosis, all the figures of Occultism, all the Kabalistic keys of prophecy, are summed up in the sign of the Pentagram, which Paracelsus pronounces the greatest and most potent of all signs.(De la Haute Magic, Vol. II. pp. 55-62.)”
In An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences, Albert Gallatin Mackey claims that many middle age stone masons used Gnostic symbols and the letter G can be traced to a Gnostic source. Mackey writes:
“The architects and stone-masons of the Middle Ages borrowed manv of the principles of ornamentation, by which they decorated the ecclesiastical edifices which they constructed, from the abstruse symbols of the Gnostics.
So, too, we find Gnostic symbols in the Hermetic Philosophy and in the system of Rosicrucianism; and lastly, many of the symbols still used by Freemasonry — such, for instance, as the triangle within a circle, the letter G, and the pentacle of Solomon — have been traced to a Gnostic source.”
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.