Freemason symbolism is based on ancient tools that have changed the world dramatically for the better.
For tens of thousands of years our ancestors studied events in the sky and recorded them: an approximate seven day lunar week, ca. 4200 BC, twelve zodiacal houses (ca. 22,000 BC) emphasizing fire-making, constellations Auriga and Cygnus, 365 sunrises per year, and ca. 20,000 BC - 366 star-rises per year. Information gathered improved their quality of life by creating more and more accurate planter's calendars. According to Duncan-Enzmann simple pillars became accurate set pillars, represented by Tau, when perfectly vertical and horizontal.
Level is achieved with water. Here we could ask: Why did Jack and Jill go up the hill? Dew ponds collecting on top of chalk hills provide clean fresh water, and are also perfectly level – wonderfully reflecting the heavens for observation from a level horizon.
Vertical is found with a plumb-bob, and is mentioned in Christian Scripture: "Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline." (Amos 7:7-8) Nothing has changed. True vertical is still achieved with a plumbline, or plumb-bob.
With near perfect vertical and horizontal, a fundamental tool of masonry developed: the square, the symbol of ethical living "on the square;" living with integrity and sincerity. These tools enabled a more accurate planter's calendar, used ca. 8200 BC by the Green Man, plowing the fertile Danube flood terraces. By 6200 BC a much improved agricultural calendar was in use by very fair Maglamosian Green Girls, who's fair skin and hair developed surviving centuries of fog and overcast weather. (during times of little sun, fair hair and skin absorbs more vitamin D, preventing Rickets) Ca. 5200 BC, Vanir Green Girls, to find north when there was no "north star," bisected the circle made by the stars' rotation, finding its center - true north. They then bisected the north/south axis mundi to find east/west.
Oral tradition, symbols, rituals, games, myths, stories, and fairy tales all play a role in preserving the history and knowledge of humanity. The art of weaving, net making, the string game Cat's Cradle, and the knitting pattern of casting all embody the mathematics of dividing lines and circles, convey the art of stretching the cord, and determine the length of the rod - the Megalithic Yard used to standardize a continental utility of planters' and mariners' observatories such as Carnac, Goseck, Stonehenge, Newgrange, and Externsteine.
Set pillars accurately divided time, making a better planter's calendar which increased the production of food and tools, greatly improving human life, creating wealth through trading. Two pillars, straight and true, became J & B, today symbolized in the world's currency, universally displayed and sadly ignored. Coins and currency made trading easier and swindling more difficult.
Relevant posts: An Ancient Star