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Historic Graveyards: What Does a Cube Symbolize on a Headstone?

Cubes are not merely decorative

It’s easy to overlook the meaning behind simple shapes on historic headstones, and even to assume they are merely decorative. Sometimes, of course, that is the case. After all, a cube is not all that complex or particularly exciting to look at. Even so, when featured at a gravesite, there is often a symbolic meaning behind it.

I recently came across this particular cube while exploring the historic graveyard up in Aurora, Texas and decided this week’s cemetery symbols post would answer the question, “What does a cube symbolize on a headstone?”

What does a cube symbolize on a headstone? (photo by Tui Snider)
What does a cube symbolize on a headstone? (photo by Tui Snider)

What does a cube symbolize?

Many ancient symbols, including the cube, have roots in geometry and math. That might seem a bit weird in this day and age, but at one time, math, science and religion were not considered separate pursuits. Even Sir Isaac Newton, the scientific genius most famous for his theory of gravity, had a fascination with sacred geometry.

Possible Masonic link

In fact, Newton poured countless hours into figuring out the exact dimension of the Temple of Solomon. I mention this because if you read my post entitled “The Acronym HTWSSTKS and its Meaning” then you know the Temple of Solomon features prominently in the teachings of the Royal Arch Masons. And while it has not been proven conclusively, many people suspect that Sir Isaac Newton was a mason. So keep in mind that when you see a cube on a historic headstone, there is a chance the deceased was a freemason.

Cubes and sacred geometry

A cube is one of many different symbols associated with sacred geometry. Since it can sit flat on the ground, a cube is associated with the earth. For this reason, as a cemetery symbol a cube represents earth and our earthly existence. Even the orientation of the cube has a symbolic meaning. As you can see in the photos, the corners of the cube point up and down. This is to indicated the directions of Heaven and earth.

What does a cube symbolize on a headstone? (photo by Tui Snider)
What does a cube symbolize on a headstone? (photo by Tui Snider)

Next week’s historic cemetery post

If you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for next week’s post in which I’ll share the meaning behind a different cemetery symbol, and/or an interesting historic graveyard monument or story.  If you’d like to read more now, click here for: more historic cemetery symbols articles. [Please note; I’m traveling for the month of February, so the next article will appear when I return. I’ll be visiting several historic graveyards for research on my trip!]

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Tui Snider
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Published inBlog on Writing & LifeBlog PostsCemeteries & SymbolismHistoric CemeteriesTravel Photo Essays


  1. Wayne Cash Wayne Cash

    The child below this stone was two when called home so not a Mason.

    • Yeah, it’s not super common, but some graveyards will have a bunch of them – as if it was popular, or the local monument builder did a really good job of promoting them!

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