I received the question below from Brother Jeff Lichtfuss and it is a fantastic question. It is regarding how to wear the Masonic Ring, the Square facing you or facing away from you.
That debate has been going on for years and years, with no described answer. When I typed in "how to wear a masonic ring" with a Google search, I received 483,000,000 hits. So needless to say "wow", how complicated can it be. The debates can rage forever. One opinion of a purist nature is documented below which goes back to the origin of a wax seal. It is one person's opinion of many.
I have no answer, but these are my personal thoughts. I can find logic in both arguments regarding facing direction, but as a Mason, I believe that you can study all you want, you can become a proficiency Mason and be letter perfectd in Ritual, you can attend every meeting and belong to every Body, but unless the ACTIONS and BEHAVIORS he portrays to the public and the Fraternity, properly portray the teachings, he has learned nothing. One of the purpose of our teachings is to create change within our soul as shown by our ACTIONS.
I myself quite often place my ring on my finger with the points of the compass facing outward so others can read it. Only after PERFORMING an act of Masonic personal integrity that follows our teachings and philosophies, I turn it around to face me as a signal that I have acted in a Masonic fashion during the day. As I go through the day, if the ring is not turned, I have not done my duty as a service to God, defined in the working tool lecture of a 24 inch gauge as a Free and Accepted Mason and I will complete the ACTION before retiring for REST. A phone call, an e-mail, a kind word to a stranger, friend, family member or Brother, whatever it takes, but ACTION is the key.
There is no rule, but it works for me. The reminder to me that I am a Mason overrides the desire for others to know that I am a Mason. It is MY ACTION that I am responsible for and with guidance from above, it is MY ACTION that I must be reminded of.
How to Wear a Masonic Ring:
- Q: Which direction should the Square and Compasses face?... If I lay my hand out flat in front of me, should the 2 "legs" of the
Compasses point toward me or point outward and away from me?
- A: This subject is one on which Grand Lodges have made no regulation. Popular opinion seems to be widely divided.
But, let's look at this more closely. When the emblem of the square and compasses is displayed on a building, or a button, universal custom requires that the points of the compasses point downward. When displayed on the Altar they point away from the Master.
The 2 legs of the compasses should, therefore, face away from you...just as the original signet rings did, which were used to imbed the image of their "seal" into the wax...so that the resulting waxen seal which was created by the ring has both legs of the compasses pointing downward.