The Ashlars

Do you know what ashlars are?  Most ashlars found in lodge rooms, if not all, ashlars are cubes. The question is, should they be cubes?

The rough ashlar is an axe-trimmed, roughly squared stone as taken from the quarry that approximates the shape of the stone that is needed. To us, as Speculative masons, it represents the new Mason: good quality material that has been closely examined and accepted, but still needs the rough edges removed and a polish applied.


The perfect ashlar is the ultimate stone, perfect in all its parts, its angles and finish. To us it represents the goal of our life, our striving for perfection. Note that the rough ashlar already contains the perfect ashlar within it but an artist is needed to extract it – to remove the knobs and excrescences, and to achieve the desired degree of finish that only education and self discipline can achieve.


Every mason is working on his ashlar – call it his Master’s piece if you will – striving to attain the degree of perfection needed, removing his passions and prejudices along the way. Paradoxically, every mason is both the material and the builder and, ultimately, the High Priest in the Temple that he has created. It is in that Temple that he returns to God. We all seek for that which was lost, the direct interface with God, lost when mankind was expelled from the Garden of Eden.


Is any ashlar truly perfect? Does any mason ever truly attain perfection? In the loneliness of his own mind each man must face that question and truthfully and hon- estly face the reality before he is judged on high. Even if perfection is not attain- able we should never stop striving for it, always trying to improve. No wall ever made was composed of perfect stones, but still they stand as a monument to the builder and an inspiration for future generations. The imperfections of one stone are balanced by the imperfections of another and evened out.

In some jurisdictions the rough ashlar is placed in front of the Junior Warden, or on his pedestal, to represent work at high-noon, or, if you will, work-in- progress. Similarly the perfect ashlar is placed in front of the Senior Warden, or on his pedestal, to represent the work at the close of day, that is, finished or ended and ready for presentation.


Before the advent of the printed bible, it had been said that the operatives had their candidates kneel on a rough ashlar when taking their obligation and placing their hand on the perfect ashlar, the symbol of perfection. Thus it can be seen that the ashlars were always meaningful to masons and were used for moralising upon.


On the question of cubes, one should remember that few, if any, walls are actually made from cubical stones but that should not diminish our interest in their moral application. Actually, in former times, a ‘perpend’ ashlar was used to bind the fabric of a wall together. This was a squared stone but its three dimensions were all different. The stone was laid with its thin dimension uppermost or perpendicular, hence ‘perpend’. It no longer features in our ceremonial or moralising which was a regret to Bernard Jones as the aspect of working with and binding the other stones together is now ignored.


When next you enter a lodge room and take your seat, consider the ashlars. Mark the work that has gone into them and consider the work you need to do. Think of the tools that have been applied to each and consider that each and every working tool has been utilised to achieve the finished stone from the planning and design stage to the final application of smoothing and then the actual measurement and proving of its perfection.


The message from this is that from start to finish, we need the full range of tools if we are to be the stone of perfection, for it to take its place in our Temple. We need to employ them all, if not physically, then morally.


Previous Posts

Operative Freemasons

Operatives In the Middle Ages and until about 1500 the Operative Masons were not organized as Medieval Stonemasons Speculative Freemasons are. The builders as a whole,

First Degree Working Tools of the Freemasons

As soon as we begin to study and meditate upon the working tools of the first degree we perceive almost at a glance that these tools were by no means

The Book of Hiram – Freemasonry, Venus, and the Secret Key to the Life of Jesus

Christopher Knight - The Book of Hiram Christopher Knight - The Book of Hiram - Freemasonry, Venus, and the Secret Key to the Life of Jesus - Full Book in


MORALS and DOGMA by ALBERT PIKE Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree. The council

Local Freemasons help to keep Boys’ Town afloat

THINGS have not been as great lately for Boys' Town, situated in the inner-city Trench Town community of south St Andrew. A bronze statue of well-known cricketer O'Neil Gordon “Collie”

Harrogate & Ripon organisations benefit from Yorkshire Freemasons April grants

Harrogate & Ripon organisations benefit from Yorkshire Freemasons April grants Four community organisations in Harrogate and Ripon have benefited to the tune of £5,040 from grants presented by the freemasons.

Blackall partnership breathes new life into Masonic Lodge

To most people, Freemasonry is shrouded in mystery but part of its heritage is set to be revealed by an enterprise that until now has been western Queensland’s best kept

Does Cryptic Code Hidden in Beale Ciphers Reveal Secrets of the Freemasons?

Editor's Notes: I always enjoy these type of articles. The Beale Ciphers have challenged treasure hunters for almost 200 years. Is the Declaration of Independence the key to finding the

History: Many prominent early Fort Collins settlers were Masons

Freemasonry began centuries ago as a guild of stone workers. Guilds, precursors of unions, were invitational gatherings of skilled workers with a high level of mastery of their craft. Sometime

Telegram Channel Posts Article On Freemasons From Taliban’s ‘Shariat’ Magazine

On Telegram, a channel called Ansar Taliban ("Aiders Of The Taliban") has posted a translated article from the January 2018 issue of the Urdu monthly magazine "Shariat," which is published

Australian Freemasons join fight against domestic violence

DOMESTIC violence victims will soon be able to access more than 2000 free legal appointments each year, after Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) received $340,000 from the state’s Masonic charity.

The Royal Family’s links to Freemasonry

It is often dubbed as one of the world’s most secret societies – the world of Freemasonry. From covert handshakes to Masonic rituals, mystery surrounds the organisation which has connections to

Winston Churchill – Freemason

There are some great Freemasons and then there are some great men who were Freemasons; Winston Churchill belong to the latter. It could be perhaps argued that Winston Churchill was

An Interview with the Russian Grand Master – Andrey Bogdanov

''At times, characters dreaming of world domination come to us" Q. Mr Bodganov, could you tell our readers how you came to Masonry and about your road to the post

Freemasons Revealed – Tercentenary Celebrations

More than 4,000 brethren from all over the world descended on London's Royal Albert Hall for the Tercentenary celebration on Tuesday, and the crowd included Masons from 136 grand lodges

The Ashlars

Do you know what ashlars are?  Most ashlars found in lodge rooms, if not all, ashlars are cubes. The question is, should they be cubes? The rough ashlar is an


A TALE OF MASONIC RESISTANCE Inscribed to R. W. Bro. John Warren Hunt, OF MADISON, WISCONSIN. THE "Morgan Affair," as it was popularly termed, or rather the Antimasonic boil, which came to

Digital Working Tools: The role of Social Media within Freemasonry

Many people are struggling to understand the place for Social Media within a fraternity that has existed for nearly three hundred years and for the last eighty years has been

Brotherhood in the 21st Century

As Freemasons we pride ourselves on the antiquity and history of the Craft, but will our ceremonies and ritual in and of themselves be enough to satisfy future generations? The

The Symbol of the Skull and Crossbones and its Masonic Application

There has been a great deal of controversy of late concerning the symbol of the skull and crossbones and whether or not it should be regarded as a legitimate Masonic

Of My Own Freewill and Accord

I’ve always been curious about the peculiar practice in Freemasonry that no man may be asked, invited, or solicited to enter the fraternity. It is an organizational feature almost unique


Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry is silent on the subject of research lodges, a circumstance easily explained by the fact that its copyrighted first edition dates from 1873, whereas Quatuor Coronati

To Infinity and Beyond – The First Lunar Lodge

On July 20, 1969, two American Astronauts landed on the moon of the planet Earth, in an area known as Mare Tranquilitatis , or “Sea of Tranquility”.  One of those

Fraternalism – The Lost Word in Charity

Any study of the beginnings of Freemasonry will clearly show that fraternalism was the first and most distinguishing characteristic of Masons and Masonry. We are, above everything else, our own

2 thoughts on “The Ashlars”

  1. I came to your The Ashlars – Freemasons Revealed page and noticed you could have a lot more traffic. I have found that the key to running a website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. We can send you targeted traffic and we let you try it for free. Get over 1,000 targeted visitors per day to your website. Check it out here: Unsubscribe here:

Leave a Reply