The Masonic Moon
The moon is a prominent symbol in Freemasonry, and can be seen in Masonic prints and banners dating back to the eighteenth century.
The moon is mentioned in the ritual as one of the lesser lights; the light in the East is dedicated to the Master of the lodge, as the volume of the sacred law is kept there, the light in the West to the moon, and the light in the South to the sun. The moon, as we know, reflects light from the sun, and this itself was important, as many lodges during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries met on a night as close to the full moon as they could, mainly as there was no street lighting, and the moonlight would help many Masons travel back home.
This practical reason of meeting as close to the full moon as possible, also reminds us of the symbolic nature of the moon within the ritual, hinting not only at the alchemical symbolism but also the Newtonian reasoning that is embedded in Freemasonry. The more mystical symbolism resonates in the importance of both the sun and the moon in alchemical rebirth, reflected in the rebirth of the Master Mason into light, and the Newtonian reasoning displayed in terminology of the meridian and the Mason recognises that the earth constantly revolves on its axis in its orbit around the sun.
As it is fifty years since man first set foot on the moon, and as there have been many astronauts who were Freemasons, such as Buzz Aldrin, we can today remember the importance of the moon in Freemasonry and how it has been an influence to Freemasons for centuries.