Reading Time: 2 minutes These are seen in the four corners of the indented border of the lodge carpet. We are told they represent the four cardinal virtues, but this is a late gloss, probably invented towards the close of the 18th century, and there seems no particular reason why they should represent the four cardinal virtues any more than the four elements or any other particular four.
Reading Time: 10 minutes Throughout our lives, we have heard of the liberal arts and sciences. But until we were presented with them in The Winding Stair lecture, most of us had only a vague notion of what they consisted. The Fellowcraft Degree commends Freemasons to study the Liberal Arts and Sciences, which are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. When we study the historical background for this list, we will uncover layers of Masonic meanings for us in each of the seven areas of knowledge.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Apart from their practical uses to protect the hands from cold and injury, gloves have symbolic connotations. The old illustrations of operative masons at work do not show them wearing gloves. Their use, then, must have been mostly ceremonial, and their adoption in speculative Freemasonic ritual must be explained by their symbolism. The Italian writer Vanni considers that the origin of the symbolism lies not in their use by certain craftsmen or as protection against the cold, but rather in their military use.