The Three Great Lights Of Freemasonry: All You Need To Know

Are you curious about Freemasonry and its intriguing symbols? One of the central facets of this fraternal organization is the “Three Great Lights” – the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses.

In this enlightening article, we’ll dive deep into how these elements shape Masonic teaching and rituals. Let’s set off on a journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding these iconic emblems in Freemasonry.

Understanding the Concept of the Three Great Lights in Freemasonry

Freemasons use three main emblems called the Three Great Lights. They are the Holy Bible, Square, and Compass. The Holy Bible is known as the Great Light in Freemasonry. It stays open on the Masonic altar during all meetings.

These emblems have unique meanings in Freemasonry. They stand for moral law, personal duty, and man’s connection to God. For example, the Holy Bible leads us towards a good path by teaching divine laws.

Different lodges can also use other sacred books based on their location.

The Square shows our duties to be good humans with high morals or values. Like how builders use actual squares to ensure their work is perfect, Freemasons follow a similar idea using this symbol.

Finally comes the Compasses signifying divinity within ourselves and how we relate morally with others around us.

The Three Great Lights: An In-depth Look

The Three Great Lights of Freemasonry consist of the Holy Bible, the Square, and the Compasses.

The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible is a vital part of Masonry. It stands for the universal law and the sacred bond with the creator. Masons see it as one of their Three Great Lights. You will always find an open Holy Bible in every lodge meeting on the Masonic altar.

Being named The Great Light in Masonry tells us its importance. Only books seen as Volume of Sacred Law (V.S.L) can be put on a lodge’s altar, and here, that V.S.L is our Holy Bible.

This use makes it a landmark in the Order and shows how essential it is to all Masonic lodges.

The Square

In Freemasonry, the Square has deep meaning. It stands for doing what is right. Masons use it as a guide when they act. The Master of the Lodge ties to this symbol because he must show good behavior always.

The Square can also point to tough times or problems we face in life. This tool is one of the Three Great Lights of Masonry that holds much value and meaning for all members.

The Compasses

The Compasses are an important symbol in Freemasonry. They are one of the Three Great Lights and represent the idea of setting boundaries and keeping passions in check. The Compasses also symbolize the feminine energy needed for spiritual creation.

In Freemasonry, they signify the divine or heavenly within each person. The position of the Compasses in Masonic rituals represents the progression from our natural desires to being guided by a higher power.

It reminds us to align ourselves with what is right and just, bringing harmony to our thoughts and actions.

The Symbolism of the Three Great Lights

Discover the deep symbolism behind these Three Great Lights of Freemasonry. The Holy Bible represents the moral law, the Square signifies morality, and the Compasses symbolize boundaries.

The Holy Bible: Symbol of Moral Law

The Holy Bible is an important symbol of moral law in Freemasonry. It represents universal laws and the spiritual heritage shared with the creator. During lodge meetings, the Bible is open on the Masonic altar.

Different lodges may use different holy books based on their religious faith. The Bible symbolizes the mind and will of God and is considered mankind’s divine book. It is an essential part of the lodge’s furniture and provides much inspiration for Masonic rituals.

The Square: Symbol of Morality

The Square is a symbol of morality in Freemasonry. It represents the proper conduct and behavior that members should strive to maintain. The Square is often associated with the Master of the Lodge, who upholds the fraternity’s moral values.

With its right angles and equal sides, the Square reminds Freemasons to act honestly, fairly, and justly in their personal lives and interactions with others. It serves as a constant reminder to keep their actions aligned with principles of integrity and righteousness.

In this way, the Square guides members on their journey towards self-improvement and moral enlightenment.

The Compasses: Symbol of Boundaries

The Compasses are a symbol of boundaries in Freemasonry. They represent the circumscribing of desires and the control of passions. The angle of the Compasses represents ease and opportunity, guiding Masons to walk a righteous path.

Along with the Square and the Holy Bible, they symbolize the boundary of conduct towards others. The Compasses play a crucial role in transforming a profane man into a spiritual Mason by teaching self-control and restraint.

They remind us that we should set boundaries for ourselves and respect the boundaries of others, fostering harmony and balance within our lives.

The Role of the Three Great Lights in Masonic Rituals

The Three Great Lights of Masonry are very important during Masonic rituals. They guide and provide wisdom to the Freemasons throughout their journey in the fraternity. The Holy Bible represents moral law and is placed open on the altar during lodge meetings.

It serves as a reminder of God’s teachings and helps Masons make ethical decisions. The Square symbolizes morality, while the Compasses represent boundaries and self-control. These symbols help Masons shape their thoughts and actions according to universal laws and principles.

By focusing on these lights, Freemasons strive to improve themselves spiritually and fulfill their duty to themselves, their neighbors, and their God.

The Importance of the Three Great Lights in Freemasonry

The Three Great Lights of Freemasonry – the Holy Bible, Square, and Compass – hold immense significance within the Masonic fraternity. These symbols are introduced during the 1st degree initiation process and play a crucial role in transforming a profane man into a spiritual Mason.

The Holy Bible represents universal law and the spiritual heritage that Freemasons share with their creator. It serves as a guide for moral conduct and reveals the will of God. The Square symbolizes morality, reminding Masons to be upright in their actions and interactions with others.

It encourages them to live by ethical principles and square their actions with virtue. The Compasses represent circumscribing desires and keeping passions in check. They teach Masons to set boundaries and maintain balance between their aspirations and personal inclinations.

Together, these Three Great Lights guide Freemasons on their journey toward self-improvement, enlightenment, and brotherly love.


The Three Great Lights of Freemasonry – the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses – hold significant symbolism and play vital roles in Masonic rituals. They represent moral law, morality, and boundaries.

These lights guide Masons on their spiritual journey and encourage deeper study. Through these symbols, Freemasons seek to align themselves with universal laws and foster a sense of brotherly love, relief, and truth within their fraternity.


1. What are the three great lights of Freemasonry?

The three great lights of freemasonry are the Volume of Sacred Law (Bible), Square, and Compass.

2. Why are these three items important in Freemasonry?

These three items symbolize moral and spiritual teachings that guide Freemasons in their pursuit of wisdom, truth, and personal growth.

3. How are the three great lights used in a Masonic lodge?

The Volume of Sacred Law is placed on an altar as a reminder of divine guidance. The Square reminds members to act with fairness and integrity, while the Compass represents boundaries for ethical behavior.

4. Can non-Masons understand the significance of these symbols?

While non-Masons may not fully grasp the deeper meanings associated with these symbols, they can appreciate their representation of universal values such as morality, integrity, and spirituality.