The numbers 3, 5, and 7 in Freemasonry, collectively known as “357,” are not random figures. They hold a mysterious significance within this ancient fraternity. What does “357” mean, and why is it important in Freemasonry?
What is the Meaning of 357 in Freemasonry?
In Freemasonry, numbers hold significant symbolic meanings. One such number is 357, which has been the subject of much speculation and interpretation. Freemasons see the number 357 as symbolic of their journey towards knowledge and self-improvement.
The Symbolism of 357
The symbolism of 357 stems from the individual digits that comprise the number. Freemasonry has three levels: Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. The number 3 represents them. These degrees symbolize different stages of initiation and learning within the fraternity.
Freemasons use the number 5 to represent the five points of fellowship. These points are physical gestures used in their rituals. These gestures symbolize the unity and brotherhood that Freemasonry aims to foster among its members.
The number 7 means completion and perfection. Freemasonry represents seven important subjects called the liberal arts and sciences. These subjects are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. People in the past thought these subjects were key to a good education and becoming a well-rounded person.
Interpretations of the Numbers 3, 5, and 7
Each digit in 357 carries its symbolism, but when combined, they create a deeper meaning. The number 357 represents the Masonic journey. It starts as an Entered Apprentice (3). Then, it goes through learning and fellowship (5). Finally, it achieves mastery and perfection (7).
Some think 357 stands for the three main officers in a Masonic lodge. They are the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden. These three positions are crucial in the governance and operation of a lodge.
Significance of 357 in Freemasonic Rituals
Within Freemasonic rituals, the number 357 is often referenced as a reminder of the core principles and values of the fraternity. Freemasons use it as a guide to gain knowledge, grow morally, and find spiritual enlightenment.
How are the Numbers 3, 5, and 7 Used in Freemasonry?
Numerology plays a significant role in Freemasonry. The numbers 3, 5, and 7 are symbolic and appear in various aspects of Masonic rituals, teachings, and symbolism.
Numerology in Freemasonry
Freemasonry places a lot of value on numbers and what they mean. This study of numbers, called numerology, helps members understand the deeper meanings behind symbols, gestures, and rituals in Freemasonry.
- The number 3 stands for harmony and unity. It reflects the three main levels of Freemasonry and symbolizes the three parts of a person: mind, body, and soul.
- The number 5 is about the five senses we use to experience the world: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Freemasonry symbolizes the five ways members should connect with the world and do good in society.
- The number 7 is special in many cultures. In Freemasonry, it means completion and perfection. It refers to the seven subjects known as the liberal arts and sciences, and the seven steps of the Masonic ladder, all of which are important in Masonic teachings.
Masonic Symbols Representing the Numbers 3, 5, and 7
Freemasonry utilizes a variety of symbols in its teachings and rituals. Some symbols directly represent the numbers 3, 5, and 7, while others embody their underlying concepts.
For example, the three degrees of Freemasonry are symbolized by the square, the level, and the plumb. These tools represent equality, morality, and self-reflection.
The five points of fellowship are symbolized by clasping hands and embracing fingers. This gesture represents the unity and brotherhood shared among Freemasons.
The seven liberal arts and sciences are symbolized by various symbols such as the compass, the square, the gavel, and the trowel. These symbols represent knowledge, discipline, and craftsmanship.
References to 357 in Masonic Literature
Masonic literature often references the number 357, highlighting its significance and symbolism. Books and writings on Freemasonry may delve into the hidden meanings behind this number, offering different interpretations and perspectives.
Is there a Masonic Lodge Named 357?
While individual lodges may have different numerical names, no specific Masonic lodge is universally recognized as Lodge 357. The naming of lodges varies across different jurisdictions and follows certain conventions.
Famous Masonic Lodges with Numerical Names
There are several well-known Masonic lodges with numerical names. For example, in New York City, Lodge No. 1 in the United States is St. John’s Lodge No. 1. Lodge No. 3 in England is known as Lodge of Antiquity, located in London.
Meaning Behind Lodge Names
The names of Masonic lodges often have historical or symbolic significance. They may be named after influential Freemasons, significant events, or prominent landmarks. The naming process reflects the rich history and traditions of Freemasonry.
The Story of Lodge 357 in Freemasonry
While there is no specific lodge named 357, it is not uncommon for Masonic lodges to have different names and numbers in different jurisdictions. The story behind Lodge 357 would depend on the specific Lodge and its history, which may involve local customs and traditions.
How Can I Learn More about Freemasonry and its Symbolism?
Various resources are available if you want to learn more about Freemasonry and its symbolism.
Books on Freemasonry
You can find many books about Freemasonry. They cover its history, teachings, and symbols. Some good ones are “The Freemasons: A History of the World’s Most Powerful Secret Society” by Jasper Ridley and “Freemasonry for Beginners” by Robert Lomas.
Online Resources for Learning about Freemasonry
The internet provides a wealth of information on Freemasonry. Masonic organizations have websites. You can find resources, educational materials, and discussion forums on them.
Joining a Freemasonry Community
If you are serious about learning about Freemasonry, consider contacting your local Masonic Lodge. Freemasons offer educational programs and events. You can engage with them, ask questions, and gain knowledge and experience.