Symbols of the Craft: The Hourglass and the Scythe

Chances are, if you’re like me you’ve been through the initiation process of Freemasonry and have passed over a bunch of the symbols of the craft without ever really gaining any explanation (or appreciation) of their value.  The symbols of the craft are designed to instill in us the virtues of Masonry and remind us that our time should be used wisely.


The hourglass and the scythe are prime examples of this reminder.  The hourglass is an emblem of human life and the scythe serves as an emblem of time (or rather how fragile life can be and the abrupt end is always near).

From the Grand Lodge of Texas, via The Masonic Trowel:

“The explanation of the hourglass indicates the brevity of life. Time is the only resource men have in equal abundance. Every day is made up of 24 hours, and each week of seven days. We can use this time for fruitful and profitable purposes or we can squander our time in frivolity and waste.”

“The scythe alludes to the end of our earthly time. It is an impressive symbol of the certainty of death, which no man will escape.”

Contributing Author:
Brother L. K. Bray III is the current Worshipful Master for Lodge No. 43, F. & A.M. of Lancaster, PA. He is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason and a Member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge where he is a Level 2 Scholar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.