As all brothers will attest, the many ancient symbols that contribute to our understanding of the Craft are multi-layered. They more often than not carry more than one meaning. This is because many of them have been used prominently throughout ancient history, and are not exclusively symbols of Freemasonry.
A symbol that features prominently within the Craft is the Blazing Star. It is actually one of the first symbols that brothers are introduced to when entering the lodge, and then appears regularly within Masonic circles.
Let’s take a look at how the Blazing Star is represented within the Craft and ascertain its significance.
A Masonic conceptualization of the Blazing Star
The Masonic blazing star is generally regarded as the culmination of a Freemason’s path. The blazing star is said to signify God, the creator, as well as the star of Bethlehem, a biblical emblem.
The Bethlehem star is believed to have guided the three wise men across the desert to the birth of Jesus Christ. The blazing star, according to Freemasonry, guides masons on the road of spiritual development, following the example of the three wise men.
Simply put, the flaming star, like a star blazing against a dark night’s sky, serves as a reference for Masons all over the world. It serves as a reminder that if you behave with dignity, God will shine a light on you and lead you through the darkest of times.
The Blazing Star within the Scottish Rite degrees
Albert Mackey noted that the Blazing Star appears ‘extensively’ throughout several degrees of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. From the Masonic Dictionary, we learn:
“In the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the explanation given of the Blazing Star, is, that it is symbolic of a the Freemason, who, by perfecting himself in the way of truth, that is to say, by advancing in knowledge, becomes like a blazing star, shining with brilliancy in the midst of darkness. The star is, therefore, in this degree, a symbol of truth.”
It’s clear, then, that the Blazing Star has meaning beyond that which many of us are able to explore in our Masonic studies. This is perhaps the case with many of the other symbols that we engage with, such is the depth and historical significance of the symbolism of the Craft.
We would love to hear your interpretation of the Blazing Star, as well as any testimonies from brothers that have experienced the symbol in various Masonic degrees.