The emblem of the female Masonic organization, the Order of the Eastern Star. The symbol is a complex one, and is said to represent the Star of Bethlehem, symbolizing the descent of spirit into matter- the divine in man, or even the presence of God on earth.
Its appellation also implies a relationship with the planet Venus, also called the “eastern star.” Each point on the star has an emblem of a different biblical heroine (Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa) and the qualities they represent- fidelity, constancy, loyalty, faith, and love. The initials “F.A.T.A.L.” found on some are said to stand for the phrase, “Fairest Among Thousands, Altogether Lovely,” a reference from the Song of Songs, although also an apt description, perhaps, of some of the biblical heroines above. OES founder Rob Morris alluded several times to a cabbalistic meaning of the motto, but never fully elaborated it- at least not in any surviving works.
The book and pillar in the center of the star represent the Masonic Lodge’s “volume of sacred law” which is placed in the east. The five implements typically pictured represent the five biblical women and their respective representation of Masonic virtues:
The sword and veil represent Adah, and the virtue of “obedience to duty”
A sheaf of barley represents Ruth, whose virtue is adherence to religious principles.
The crown and scepter represents Esther, who embodies the virtue of loyalty.
The broken column represents Martha, and the virtue of “endurance in trial.”
The “golden cup” represents Electa, and the virtue “endurance of persecution.”