The Tau And Triple Tau Symbol In Royal Arch Masonry

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

The Tau is one of the most important Symbols in Royal Arch Masonry. It is the Greek Letter “T” a letter that takes the same form in many alphabets - Including the English. It is an extremely early form of Cross - often called St. Anthony’s cross because the Saint was martyred on a cross of similar form.

The Tau has been used throughout History by many civilizations as a Symbol: Hebrews who were illiterate used it for signing their name to a document.

- Pagans used the Tau as an attachment to the names of those who survived a battle.

- The Egyptians used it as the sign of life - and as a result considered the Scarab Beetle sacred because it had the “T” on its Thorax. Peasantry in some parts of England call this Battle the TOR or DOR Battle.

- Indians in the US who participate in the Snake Dance sometimes put on Head - Dresses which have incisions in the shape of the Letter “T”. Black-Feet Indians also arranged Boulders in the form of a cross Symbolizing, “Old Man in the sun who Rules the Winds.”.

Masonic Historians refer to original Hebrew Writings and to the Holy Bible in the Old Testament of Ezekiel Chapter 9 VERSE 4  which is quoted in the Mystical Lecture of our ritual. - “QUOTE FROM RITUAL”- page -

The mark referred to is generally acknowledged to be the TAU - Not the Triple TAU.

It has been said that three Taus came together to form the Triple Tau. but this extraordinary device was NOT originally produced by the conjunction of Three Taus- it was developed from “T” over “H” and originally meant Templum Hieroslymoe - “The Temple of Jerusalem,”

The early symbol has been given other meanings:
  • Clavis Ad Thesaurum=  A key to the treasure.
  • Res Ipsa Pretiosa  =  The precious Thing Itself (Sacred Name ).
  • Theca Ubi Res Pretiosa Deponitur = The Depository in which the sacred thing is hidden.
  • ome Christian Interpretations define it as “Holiness Supporting Trinity.”*