Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is the Pyramid a Masonic Symbol?

[Photo by Nina Aldin Thune.]

One gripe about Dan Brown's just-released novel, The Lost Symbol, concerns the way that he associates Freemasons with pyramids in his story. For Brown, the pyramid is a Masonic symbol. And, of course, it's not -- or is it?

Actually, the question is a bit more complicated than it would at first appear. I address this issue at some length in an earlier post today on my Dan Brown-related blog, Discovering The Lost Symbol: The Blog. The specific post is titled, "Pyramids, Freemasonry, and The Lost Symbol."

My conclusion is that, although the pyramid is not a Masonic symbol in the 21st century within regular Freemasonry, there was a connection that was posited between Masonry and the ancient Egyptian pyramids in the first days of Grand Lodge Masonry and earlier. In addition, irregular Rites (such as the clandestine Rite of Memphis) have posited such a connection, as well.

Your comments are welcome, on that blog or this one. Enjoy.

[The image of the Great Pyramid is Copyright 2005 Nina Aldin Thune. The image was obtained from the Wikimedia Commons through Wikipedia, and appears under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.]


  1. Hi

    I'm from South Africa and have always had a passing interest in the Freemasons. At some stages in my life it was more than just a passing interest. I just finished The Lost Symbol and have started doing some more research on The Masons, which left me with more questions than answers, since most of the websites I've found is anti-Masonic, especially the site, which is also anti-Mormons and anti-Roman Catholic, describing them all as cults. I can't seem to find your e-mail address (I'm browsing on my phone). I would like to contact you with some of my questions.

  2. Sorry, that's

  3. I am the webmaster of masonic blog :
    Would accept a link exchange between our blogs ?



  4. gerterasmus: I would be delighted to entertain your questions. You may reach me through e-mail at . However, I would encourage you to submit your questions through the "Freemasonry 101" blog, which is on-line at .

  5. Remember, this a novel, interspersed with facts, observations, conjectures, sayings, allusions, and persona. That Mr. Brown has learned much, in the interims of his works, is certain. Most of what inquirers are asking about simply are not in any of Mr. Brown's works, including his latest. If anything, it should inspire seekers to go off and search from more authentic sources, plenty of which exist, publicly, semi-privately, and of course, privately. The field is rich and a treasure, if the key is held. And there is always a key. The wisdom of the masters cannot be accumulated quickly. Too many barriers must be gotten past. As Mr. Brown asserts, it is always, and only, by Initiation. Take that at face value. He means it. The Order of Freemasons are an authentic initiatic order, but in the category of a speculative fraternity. Very important in the schema of things, looking no further than George Washington and Harry Truman. But not the most esoteric by far. Mr. Brown validly asserts that there are circles within circles. In almost each chapter there seems one thought that stands out and must be put together, aside from the novelistic dramatics. But even then, there are errors. How could there not be?
    One would have had to been fully initiated, and then, still a mind is cluttered with past, and false concepts. The thing to remember on the Path, that one is always, and ever, a student. And must ask the Worshipful Master.

  6. Hi

    I am not highly educated nor intelligent in any given subject but I have always had a keen interest in Egyptology. I read bits and pieces and after some years my interest grew imensely in Masonic symbols. I have no doubts that they are connected the pyramid regardless of speculation has always held knowledge. We know Egyptians were advanced and believed in many things. The problem today is that man has become mechanical and rarely thinks beyond his imagination the other problem is that man is also not capable of stretching his minds eye thus creating conspiracy theories and free masons to protect this knowledge. This is just my own opinion but it is one I believe. Emma

  7. Emma, that's a wide list of considerations, as what did ancient Egyptians know, man thinking 'mechanically' (or linearly), conspiracy suspicions, Free Masonry's place.
    All valid to inquire. The truth, however, is hard to subscribe to by inquirers. It becomes a severe challenge to their way of thinking. So most start, with preconceptions, and thereby eliminate themselves. Take one example.
    Religionists who believe there are miracles. If told there are no miracles, and none available in this ancient Brotherhood's instructions, immediately they are on the defensive and leave with their own preconceptions intact. And never get to know there is an even more astounding and acceptable basis between the Surpreme Being and man. It is so rare for any individual to climb from one level that symbolic pyramid to the next higher level, that when one man or woman does, it is testimony to their own growth and development of Mind in the real Temple, the body. Perfection must be attained, it is not given.

  8. Interesting reading in your comments and reading slightly between the lines I can see where your points are aimed. I have all this interest but little guidence but saying that I believe that man is some what constrained by society, generation and historical changes that they do not think independently as you stated regarding miracles. On the other side some people are not ready for such enlightenment it can be a daunting experience. From reading the one thing I admire and respect about Masonary is that it is apparently passed through generations, so this can be explained etc etc where as when you take the path alone it can be daunting, weird and it is a huge step into the unknown. Can I just add regardless of the critisn Dan Brown receives I fnd his books gripping and I am almost at the end of The lost Symbol, his details may differ slightly but I feel as a reader/person he does open the issue of Masonary and to a degree he could be used a reference point and starting block for people interested in the subject.
    Spirituality is a term used widely and I feel it can only be explained and felt if a person has been in contact with the source and that is an experience they will never forget or talk about frequently to those who are less open minded. Thank you for your reply to last blog and it is nice to read your views, I do tend to ramble and can make no apologies for it as I am fascinated with so much of our thinking process especially my own in relation to life. Emma

  9. The Great Pyramid has always been associated with both Operative and Speculative Masonry. The Great Pyramid quite naturally gives rise to questions about how it was constructed and what its spiritual purpose was - and perhaps remains.

    Because the pyramid was incorporated into the obverse side of the Great Seal of America -- the so-called "Masonic Pyramid" - a strong symbolic link between the Pyramid and Masonry was established. In this sense, Dan Brown used the Pyramid as an inevitable symbolic and literary touchstone to Masonry in his work.

    As a writer and symbologist in my own right, I morphed the Masonic Pyramid into a more primitivist form in the cosmology I created. My work offers an alternative to the standard models of Divine Creation and the Big Bang.

    For me, the Pyramid contains hidden clues about the way in which our Universe suddenly flashed into existence.

    My website is

  10. Hello. No you are wrong. The writers of the Masonic magazine regularly write about their supposed links to the builders of the pyramids.

    Every second or third edition carries stories connecting them to ancient Egypt.

  11. Anonymous (June 5, 2011): What Masonic magazine? There are many, some of which are better, and some worse. Please give me an example, even if you decline to give us your name.

  12. Mr. Augustine: You are confusing two very different things: (1) the reality of Freemasonry, and (2) the popular perception of Freemaosnry.

    The reality, as I have described above, is that the pyramid plays no place whatsoever in Masonic ritual or symbolism.

    The fact that people think the pyramid on the Great Seal has something to do with Freemasonry does not mean that it does. In fact, it does not.

    See my post on the Great Seal from one of my other blogs, here: . You may find it useful also to see what is written about the supposed connection between Freemasonry and the Great Seal in two fine introductions to Freemasonry: S. Brent Morris' "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry," and Chris Hodapp's "Freemasons for Dummies."

    There really is no connection between the Great Seal and Freemasonry. Nor are pyramids really Masonic symbols.

  13. hmm.. even i read dan browns novel lost symbol
    and the way that books tells aii bout the masonic life of peter solomon, and a psycho guy malakh chassing the lost word it all seems to be very true.
    but i go more with what langdon belived in the first place, that this all a myth and nothing else.
    though the books ending suggests something else..

  14. Is the Pyramid a Masonic Symbol?
    yes it is!! it is really interesting thanks for sharing

  15. freemasonary..just a highly refined and complex form of communication to a very powerful spiritual medium at a specific excitation level of consciousness, the method known only to a handful few. astrological times are highly valued in deciding the time of communication and specific symbols serve as comminication channels
    warning: do never attempt in any way to communicate to spirits even if u dont believe them

  16. and one more...
    decode number 13

  17. I am a freemason. Yes we have ties to the great pyramids.

  18. @GodsSon: You're going to have to do better than that! Simply making a bald statement with not a shred of evidence is not acceptable.

    1. I don't know the answer to this, but I do know that my father in law was a free mason and he carried in his pocket (at all times), a pyramid, a little wooden cross and an apparent artifact from Fatima with some rose colored dust in it. All three were on separate chains but tangled together in a wad. He would sometimes take this out and mess with it and he laid it on his night stand while he slept. When he passed, my daughter asked for the stuff and my husband gave it to her, (as he is not a Mason). The pyramid has a screw in the bottom of it but we have never looked inside. My daughter used to ask him about it when she was little, but was met with nothing. He simply wouldn't comment. She knew it was very important to him, hence the request to have the items. In lieu of your statement of proof, I would say that this is some proof at least. As he was a mason for some 50 years and never left home without "The Pyramid".

  19. that is very true bald statement is not acceptable

  20. I can safely say that the great pyramid of Giza was indeed used by the ancients for masonic purposes, beyond that I won't comment further.

  21. Here is some info of interest...

    (All roads lead to Rome - literally!)

    The first king on earth was Nimrod. He was evil and built the tower of babel and was the King of Babylon. He began the evil paganism which began in Babylon.. unheard of rituals and worship of statues, etc. He was named "pontifus Maximus", a title for the supreme Pontiff. Babylon eventually fell after several Kings, defeated by Medo Persia and then Medo Persia by Greece. Then Rome defeated the Greeks and revived the Babylonian Paganism.

    The Romans hated born again Christians and many were tortured and killed. Then one day Roman emperor Constantine put an end to persecution. He set up his own church/religion called Roman Catholicism. He decided to merge paganism with Christianity (which you can't do) renaming the Pagan goddess statue of Semiramis, calling it Mary to keep Christians happy (ridiculous).

    Rome wanted sole authority over the people politically as well as religiously. Having their own religion allowed them that control.

    The paganism spread to other countries. It became popular in Egypt where people worshiped the pagan God Horus, the "all seeing eye" of Horus. Some were afraid of his eye and would keep fake eyes (made of stone) in their pockets as a superstitious way of keeping away evil spirits and feeling protected. Astrology became popular, reading the stars. Freemasonry was formed from this same paganism. Freemasonry came from Babylon, which was revived by the Roman Catholic church.

    The Roman Catholic church began a secret society called the Jesuits. They were a military organization which was set up with political goals of changing the world (a one world system) where they had control over all the people in the world. They also protect the interests of the Vatican. They started to get a bad reputation because they were doing some dark things. They then set up another organization which they called the Illuminati, the same society but operating under a different name to protect themselves.

    The Skull and Bones secret society was later founded by the head Jesuit.

    The goal of the Jesuits was to infiltrate governments and people of high status to become more and more powerful. They are a political organization that wants to control the masses.

    All false religions (Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Freemasonry, etc) came from Babylon. The all seeing eye actually represents Satan/Lucifer. They are all worshiping Satan.

    The Jesuits rule the world currently, using these names like Illuminati and Freemasonry to distract people from what's really going on.

    The Jesuits are the ones pushing for this New world order/one world system. Did you know a lot of people in the whitehouse are Jesuits? This includes VP, Joe Biden. Jesuit Oath here: (their goal to "exterminate" and "mingle with people to deceive them")

    Jesus is returning and He's angry at these evil goings on. The bible says that Rome/the papacy is a beast as well as the US government in the end times. There will be a man that rescues the world from crisis and everyone will give praise to this man. He cannot be trusted though. He will have a kind appearance but his true colors will be shown eventually. Keep an eye on Israel as the final showdown will take place there (a "7 year peace treaty" that will be broken half way through and a horrific tribulation for all left behind in this world when Christ comes to collect his born again believers).

    You've been warned. Turn to God asap because you don't want to be here when all this takes place. Trust me!:


  22. The Great Pyramid is a beautiful symbol. The Egyptians truly understood the power of symbols as do a large portion of Freemasons. The symbol of the Pyramid is one of the most profound of all symbols. From my perspective it represents our Journey home, both individually and collective. God is within and without. We must learn that the source or the Great Architect is experiencing through us for the kingdom of heaven is within. We all are ascending spirits, some are elevated faster than others. We will soon be reunited through the Light and Awakening to the fact of Oneness. The journey has already took place, the Alpha and the Omega is inevitable. We just need to open open our eyes and see the divinity that we are, a direct extension of The Architect. Turn within and find that light, and allow that to shine unto the world. Trust me the light will truly set you free. Remember to research and find your own truths. Don't let anyone tell you what to believe in because its what they have been brainwashed with. Find your own way, your own path. The world will open up for you and you will be illuminated. Knowledge is the light and Ignorance is far from blissfull...its insane. Educated your Self and set your Self free.

  23. These facts are amazing...i am in my way completing the novel....eager to search for these mysteries grew higher, i had no knowledge of free masons earlier but the way Brown explained it makes me believe it. please help me with more info if possible.

  24. Mark, I just found this blog and am intrigued. I have a good friend who is a Mason, and he tells me study and sponsership are necessary for any person to begin a study of the masonic mysteries. He is somewhat secretive about the society. He said something that caught my attention. Wih regard to the discussion here about the pyramid symbol, he says it DOES and DOES NOT apply to Freemasonry. But he said I'd have to apply for and study for initiation before I would even begin to understand his answer. Your take? You can email me if you wish at Will keep reading! :)

    1. Hi, Katherine! Thank you for your comment.

      The whole issue is rather complex, especially when one takes into account alternative forms of Freemasonry such as Cagliostro's Egyptian Rite. However, as far as what we call "regular" Freemasonry is concerned, it is still safe to say that the pyramid is not a Masonic symbol. I have treated this issue in much more detail in the following paper:

      Koltko-Rivera, Mark E. (2011). Is the pyramid a Masonic symbol? Transactions: The American Lodge of Research, Free & Accepted Masons, vol. 38 (for 2010), pp. 41-61.

      Ordering information may be found at this URL:

      (And please let me take this opportunity to give a shout out to my brethren in the American Lodge of Research, the oldest U.S. Lodge of Research, founded in NYC in 1931, where I shall have the honor of serving as Junior Deacon during the 2013-2014 lodge season.)

      The sticky part about your friend's recommendation is that regular Grand Lodge Freemasonry is an all-male organization--a true fraternity-- although there are ancillary organizations (like the Order of the Eastern Star) that are either co-ed or all female.

      There are alternative forms of Freemasonry that do admit women, but I know nothing in any depth about them, or whether they might treat the pyramid differently.

      (See my book, Freemasonry: An Introduction, pp. 93-97 on the complex issue of "Women and Freemasonry." You may order it from Amazon through the icon in the right margin of this blog.)


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