Limitless Nexus
Search site

exhibition Info
Wheel of Fortune - Ancient Freemason Symbol

Type: Image (jpg)

Submitter: [anonymous]

Category: Objects

Exhibition Date: 2018-04-09 16:43:46 MST

Views: 62

This exhibition has not been rated yet.

Rate this exhibition




Submitter's Comment
It has been pointed-out that Freemasonry is chameleon-like. It veils itself in a religion and culture until it can safely reveal its mysteries, and restore order out of the chaos that blinded men to the truth. The veiling in Judeo-Christian allegories (the building of Solomon’s Temple and Noah) during the early period is an example of this behavior.

Pompeii ‘Freemasonry’ is a relatively modern term in the grand scheme of things. The mysteries hidden within its symbols date back to the beginning of civilization. It has been known by many names, but its meaning and purpose have remained consistent throughout the ages. Many of its symbols can be found on ancient buildings dating back over 2000 years. This Roman mosaic discovered at Pompeii is an excellent example of the antiquity of the symbols. (It now resides in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.)

“Constituting the emblema of the flooring in a triclinium, this mosaic, with its naturalistic depiction of a skull and the tools of a mason, expresses allegorically the transience of life and the impending nature of death. It is the libella (the level), from which hangs the plumb-line -the instrument that serves to control the leveling of a construction that symbolizes all equality: from its ends hang in perfect equilibrium the symbols of power (the scepter and the royal purple) and on the right, the sack and the stick, symbols of poverty. The skull -with a line of darker tesserae outlining the sutures of the cranium- and the level -an instrument that we know only through depictions from the Roman period….” – Institute and Museum of the History of Science

In addition to this, the skull is precariously balanced on Fortuna’s Wheel (Wheel of Fortune) which can turn at any moment in favor of either wealth or poverty.

These same symbols appear in the Emulation Ritual used by the United Grand Lodge of England.

“I now present to you the working tools of a Fellowcraft Freemason. They are the Square, Level and Plumb-rule…”

“The Level demonstrates that we are all sprung from the same stock, partakers of the same nature and sharers in the same hope; and although distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet ought no eminence of situation make us forget that we are Brothers, for he who is placed on the lowest spoke of Fortune’s Wheel is equally entitled to our regard, as a time will come – and the wisest of us knows not how soon – when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue shall cease and death, the Grand Leveller of all human greatness, reduce us to the same state.“

The present three degree system, created by John Theophilus Desaugliers during the 1720s, was an attempt at putting together pieces from various ancient symbolic systems to form a greater whole.

As we begin our quest for the lost symbols it’s important to realize that not all of the symbols we will be covering are lost to all Masons. Some of these symbols are still in use in different parts of the world. What may be a lost symbol to one form of Freemasonry is still in use elsewhere. Other symbols are entirely lost to the modern Craft, and their relevance obscured. Knowledge of them will aid in your understanding of Freemasonry.


Dr David Harrison

Keywords: Pompeii Freemasonary Symbol

Most Recent User Comments
There are no comments for this exhibition yet.

Leave a comment
Please log in or create an account to post a comment.
Related sponsor

Related Images

Other related exhibitions

Related links