Framed with Good and Evil

Post 7 of 109

Signs and symbols of Masonic character are present almost everywhere, in advertising,fashion, TV, film, music videos, and one of them is the checkered floor

The brother Ladislas de Malczovich writing in the year 1892, under the title “Outline of the early history of Freemasonry in Austria and Hungary”, describes the process that will culminate in the temples as we know them today:

“The room where the brothers of Austria and Hungary gathered at that time (referred in the mid-18th century) not was adorned by any symbol. In any room that you could meet the lodge, they drew with chalk or coal a rectangle on the floor, within which all members were taking their place. Years later, they drew a smaller rectangle, around which the brothers gathered. Later, began the custom of spreading sand in this rectangle and enter temporary symbols and finally were put fashionable drawn and painted mosaics”

As the portable mosaics of the degree became popular, the need to draw on the floor disappeared and gave way to the pavement of mosaics of the lodges or placed mats with black and white squares that, in modern times, became part of the equipment of the lodge in many parts of the world.

Black and white checkered floor has existed in temples since the times of the ancient Egypt. More than a simple decoration, this mosaic pavement has a profound esoteric meaning. Today it is one of the most recognizable symbols of Freemasonry. The black and white have been easily and properly interpreted as symbols of evil and good in human life, this is just one of the many meanings that this floor represents


Apprentice grade, mosaic pavement represents the ground floor of the Temple ofKing Solomon. In the description of the Temple of Solomon in the Bible, the groundfloor is said to be from wood of pine or fir, depending on the translation of the Bible (1 Kings 6:15).

While most of the lodges pavement consists of black and white checkered pattern,colors may vary. Diamonds can also be used instead of squares.

In his book Morals and Dogma ( 1871) Albert Pike writes

“The pavement, alternately in black and white, symbolizes the principles of good andevil of the Egyptian and Persian religion. It is the war of Michael and Satan, the godsand the Titans, Balder and Lok, between light and shadow, which is the dark, day andnight, freedom and despotism, religious freedom and arbitrary dogmas of a churchthat believes in his devotees and the Pontiff believes to be infallible and the decreesof the councils constitute a Gospel”.

The checkered floor, is an esoteric area in which is situated the ceremonial altar in the center of most of the rituals. At the ceremony of initiation of apprentice is here where the degree is symbolically recognized. Meanwhile in other grades the symbolic significance of the chequered floor acquired other meanings for example according to the ritual of the ritual of the third degree, the square floor is for this to be walked by the a high priest.

Also the checkered floor is representative of the Earth, the material world, while the contrasts of the roof are built to represent heaven and the spiritual realm.

The juxtaposition of colors opposite on the mosaic pavement is a visualrepresentation of an important principle of the hermetic teachings:  “Principle of Polarity”

“Everything is dual; everything has its pair of opposites; the like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, differing only in degree; the extremes touch; all truths are but half truths and every truth is half false, all paradoxes may be reconciled.”        The Kybalion

Mosaic also symbolizes being able to walk on both favorable and unfavorable,experiences like the shadows that Plato described in the allegory of the cave, and knowing that all experiences are illusory, experiencing both without being exalt by which they consider good or folded down by which they consider bad, keeping aconstant and serene mood. In other words, the equanimity that taught us the Buddha.Within the macrocosm that represents the Masonic Temple, black-and-white pictures floor leads us to the microcosm, to that duality of everyday experiences to which human beings must face, both in his Masonic life and in their everyday lives.

Because all mason is destined to be the high priest of his own Temple and make it a place where he and deity may meet. By the mere fact of being in this dual world, all be living, Mason or not, walks on the square pavement of the good and evil in all the actions of your life, so that this soil is the symbol of a basic philosophy of the common truth in all of us. But for Mason, the words “walk upon” means much more than that. They mean that for the Mason who aspires to be master of his destiny and captain of his soul, he must walk on these opposites in the sense of transcending them and master them, stomp on their lower sensual nature and keep it under his feet with the submission and control

The deeper meaning of the mosaic is therefore transcend the limits of the material Kingdom

This article was written by Psalm Triginta