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The Meaning of the Keystone

Author: Ringmaster

KeystoneArticle written by Mike Fox, owner of Fox Jewelry; the leading marketer of Masonic Rings and other fraternal rings.
The Keystone is a significant symbol in the York Rite of Freemasonry. In Masonry, Hiram Abiff is known as the inventor of the keystone, and its significance was lost upon his assassination. The Keystone is known as the “stone the builders refused.” The builders of King Solomon’s Temple, not knowing the purpose of the oddly-shaped stone, cast it into the rubbish heap.
In the Mark Master Degree of Freemasonry much is made of a Keystone. It seems that the “peculiar form and beauty” of the stone allowed it to be passed inspection until the final test when a rigid interpretation of what could be accepted caused it to be thrown among the rubbish. The Keystone was searched for and found and placed in the Arch and thus the Temple was completed and dedicated. The Keystone was only rediscovered when King Solomon inquired of its whereabouts.
The letters inscribed are short for the phrase: “Hiram, The Widows Son Sent to King Solomon,” the meaning of which has since been lost. There are other interpretations of these initials depending upon the order in which you start.
In Masonry, the keystone is the stone that holds together a stone arch. It is the stone that is placed, completing the arch. The Keystone was placed in the center of an arch and keeps the other stones in their respective places. It also secures the firmness and strength of the arch. The unusual shaped keystone is an extraordinary example of early engineering, allowing builders to incorporate windows, doorways, and other building elements to a building without sacrificing strength. The main benefit of the keystone is to allow for much more natural light into a structure. As it was formerly the custom of Operative Masons to place a peculiar mark on each stone of a building to designate the workman by whom it had been adjusted, The Keystone was the one to receive the most prominent mark in the structure. This is very much related to the significance of the Keystone and how it played such an important a part in the legend of the Royal Arch Degree.
There have been objections made, that the arch was unknown in the time of Solomon. But this objection has been completely laid to rest by researchers that have discovered arches with regular keystones in the doorways of the tombs of Thebes the construction of which were made in the year 1540 B.C., or 460 years before the building of the Temple of Solomon
There are layers upon layers in the symbolism of Freemasonry. Each of us must ponder the symbols we use and figure out for ourselves what they each mean. Unlike rigid doctrines of politics and religion each Mason’s truth is his own and he should never stops seeking it. That is why the Keystone is such an important symbol in Freemasonry.
Sometimes the keystone is compared to Jesus as he is often interpreted as the cornerstone in some churches. Both are Masonic symbols. For some Masons Christianity can be found in the ceremonies and lessons of Masonry. What is my personal “Keystone?” – It can be thought of to mean many things. Some believe that their own personal Keystone is the family because most of one’s life is centered around our family. Some believe it to include their friends because their friends have become their true “family.”
The Keystone is a powerful symbol and each of us can have the right to interpret it as we wish.
This article was written by Mike Fox, owner of Fox Jewelry. They are the leading marketer of Masonic Rings and have the largest of selection of Masonic Rings anywhere. We welcome your visit our online store at: Fox Jewelry. Feel free to contact us at 712-239-6155 or email us at: [email protected] or [email protected]. Fox Jewelry 3821 Chippewa Ct Sioux City, IA 51104 712-239-6155 Email address: [email protected] or [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @MasonicRings Join us on Facebook: