The symbol of the Master is that of the Square of 90 degrees. I was intrigued by the history or the allusion of the square, not just to Masonry, but to the man as a whole. I was lucky enough to find a passage in Pamphlet No. 15 from the Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research, published in 1922. I want to share it with you.
“The square as an emblem is geometrical and not mechanical in its origin according to authorities, who trace it back to the ancient Egyptians, who in solemn processions carried the cubit of justice, by which perpendiculars, right angles and squares might be laid out, its form being that of one arm of a square, with the inner end cut to an angle of 45 degrees.
“The close analogy between justice and that which is perfectly upright is so obvious as to have become universal. The terms ‘an upright man’ and a ‘just man’ are in nearly all languages synonymous, hence the scriptural phrases: ‘The way of the just is uprightness; thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just;’ ‘He that walketh uprightly’ and the admonition ‘to walk uprightly before God and man.’ Besides this, the square was used in Egypt to predetermine the boundaries of each man’s possessions when, as frequently happened, the landmarks were swept away by the inundation of the Nile, thus recovering to every man his just rights. The Egyptian land-measure itself was an aroura or a square, containing one hundred cubits.
“The square representing the fourth part of a circle, has a direct allusion to division of the ecliptic and celestial equator into four equal parts, indicative of the solstitial and equinoctial points, and the division of the year into four seasons. By it we are also enabled to divide the circle of the horizon into quadrants, and by the aid of the sun in the south to correctly mark out the four cardinal points of the compass. In not only geometry, but astronomy also, the use of the right angle is indispensable.”
Ryan M. Nalty Worshipful Master