Over the centuries, Freemasons—the world’s largest and oldest fraternal organization—have developed a variety of hand signals to communicate with each other. Usually these symbols are used to identify one another in public places or during secret meetings. But what do these symbols mean? Let’s take a look at some of the most common Masonic hand signals.

The First Degree Sign (Entered Apprentice) is made by drawing your right thumb across the middle of your waist to your left hip while keeping your palm facing outwards. This gesture is meant to signify that you are an Entered Apprentice Mason, which is the first degree in Freemasonry. As such, it is often used as a greeting among Masons and can be seen as a sign of recognition between members.

The Second Degree Sign (Fellow Craft) is made by raising both hands up to shoulder height with palms facing outward and extending your fingers apart from each other so that they form an inverted V-shape. This symbol signifies that you are a Fellow Craft Mason, which is the second degree in Freemasonry. It is also typically used as a greeting between Masons and can be seen as a sign of recognition between members.

The Third Degree Sign (Master Mason) is made by placing your right thumb against your lower lip with all other fingers extended outward away from your body. This gesture symbolizes silence and secrecy, two important aspects for any Master Mason. It also serves as an identifier for fellow Masons in public places or during secret meetings.


Masonic hand signals are an important part of recognizing fellow Masons in public or during secret meetings. These gestures signify membership levels within Freemasonry, ranging from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason, and serve as signs of recognition between members. Knowing these symbols can help you recognize fellow Masons in any situation and give you an easier way to communicate with them without having to use any words at all!

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