Point in Circle (Solstices, circumpunct)

The point within the circle is another of the many geometric symbols used in Freemasonry. It is also one of the more complex and interesting. The emblem is a very old one, a solar-phallic symbol used in ancient Egypt to represent the eternal nature of the sun god Ra. The lines which enclose the circle call to mind the akhet, the ancient ‘gate’ of the sun, a symol of rebirth and resurrection.

In the Masonic Lodge, the emblem is associated with St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, whose feast days fall on the summer and winter solstices.

To the Pythagoreans, the point and circle represented eternity, whose “centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.” The point and the circle can be expressed as the same substance as potential (the point or monad) and as fully manifest (the circle.)

Alchemically, the point in the circle represents the sun and philosophic gold.


The point and circle as the monad, from Achilles Bocchius’ illustration of Hermetic Silence

See also:

 

The Point in the Circle

The language of symbols

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris R. September 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

The point represents an axis running through the center of the earth, which is not the polar axis (Axis Mundi). If the earth spun without a wobble, this would be the axis it spun on. The circle represents the precession of of the polar axis (axis that runs pole to pole), which makes a circle around the Axis Mundi. The earth’s polar axis sits at an angle, not straight up and down. It takes 25,920 years for the polar axis to complete this cycle (according to the ancient Egyptian calendar of 360 days).

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J Tom Miller III May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

Way cool Jack!
Are you F.R.C.?

JTM

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Jack March 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

@Anjier, However the circumpunct does not refer to one god in particular. It refers to a higher power, or a sort of great architect of the universe. It also did represent the sun god Ra first and through the decades other religions adopted it. Christianity adopted this symbol, when placed at the center of a cross it is becomes a symbol for the rose cross, more commonly known as the holy grail.

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Mark A. O'Blazney January 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

How can One ‘E-mail” a definition of G-d ?

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Anjier February 7, 2011 at 5:30 am

You left out the most basic of its allusions. The universal symbol for God!

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tj December 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm

The other day there was an alternate definition of a circumpunct as defined by esoteric astronomy. I am looking for that definition. Could you please email that to me?

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