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John the Baptist

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

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