Masonic Star

The Masonic Star, often referred to as the Eastern Star within the context of Freemasonry, is a symbol rich in meaning and tradition. Its origins and use within Masonic rites illuminate the depth of symbolic language that Freemasonry employs to communicate its teachings and values.

masonic star

This emblem, while not as universally recognized as the square and compasses, holds a significant place in Masonic lore and practice, particularly in the Order of the Eastern Star, which is a Masonic appendant body open to both men and women.

Historical Context

The Masonic Star, or Eastern Star, is a five-pointed star, sometimes with a central pentagon or other times with the points directly touching. Each point of the star traditionally represents different but complementary biblical and virtuous qualities, often tied to figures from the Bible who are exemplary of these virtues.

The origins of the Eastern Star as a symbol within Freemasonry are intertwined with the broader development of Masonic symbols, which draw from a variety of sources, including biblical narratives, ancient architecture, and medieval craft guilds.

Symbolic Meanings

The Eastern Star’s points are commonly associated with five biblical figures, each representing a particular moral virtue:

  1. Adah (Jephthah’s daughter from the Book of Judges) – represents the virtue of obedience to duty.
  2. Ruth (the Moabitess from the Book of Ruth) – symbolizes devotion and loyalty.
  3. Esther (the queen from the Book of Esther) – embodies fidelity and courage.
  4. Martha (sister of Lazarus from the Gospel of John) – signifies patience in suffering.
  5. Electa (the “elect lady” from 2 John) – represents endurance of persecution.

These emblematic associations are meant to inspire members of the Order of the Eastern Star to embody these virtues in their own lives.

The Order of the Eastern Star

The Order of the Eastern Star (OES) itself, where the Masonic Star is most prominently featured, was established as an organization that allows both men and women to participate in Masonic-related activities. Founded in the United States in the 19th century, it sought to extend the moral teachings and philanthropic work of Freemasonry to a broader audience, including the female relatives of Masons. The OES uses the star symbol as a central emblem in its teachings and rituals, emphasizing the universal nature of its moral and ethical lessons.

The Star’s Place in Freemasonry

While the Eastern Star is specifically associated with the OES, the five-pointed star itself has been used in various Masonic contexts to symbolize light, guidance, and knowledge. In broader Masonic symbolism, stars are often seen as beacons that guide the way in the darkness, representing truth, enlightenment, and the divine guidance that Masons seek in their personal and collective journeys.

The Masonic Star, particularly in its form as the Eastern Star, encapsulates a unique blend of biblical allegory, moral virtue, and the inclusive spirit of Freemasonry’s extended community. Its origins reflect the rich tapestry of symbols that Freemasonry employs to teach and inspire, bridging ancient wisdom with contemporary ethical challenges. Through the Order of the Eastern Star, this symbol serves as a reminder of the virtues that can guide one’s life towards fulfillment, service, and fraternal unity.

Leave a Comment