What Does the Square Symbolize? Unraveling the Meaning of this Geometric Shape

Have you ever wondered what the square symbolizes? It’s a shape that we encounter in everyday life, and yet, we may not have given much thought to its meaning.

The square has been used as a symbol throughout history and across different cultures. It represents stability, balance, and perfection. In Greek philosophy, the square was considered a symbol of earth, representing its four corners and four elements – earth, air, fire, and water.

The square can also represent security and structure. Think of a house, which is often square-shaped. A square foundation provides a stable base for the building, just as the square symbolizes stability and structure in our lives. Whether conscious or not, the square is a powerful symbol that can give us a sense of grounding and balance.

Symbolism of Square in Different Cultures and Religions

The square, a four-sided polygon with equal sides and angles, has been used as a symbol in various cultures and religions throughout history. As a geometrical shape, the square represents stability and balance. It is often associated with the earth and the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. In this article, we will take a closer look at the symbolism of the square in different cultures and religions.

  • Chinese culture: In Chinese culture, the square represents the earth or the physical world. The Chinese character for square (fang) is considered auspicious, as it is similar to the character for “prosperity” (fú). The square is also associated with the number four, which is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture.
  • Egyptian culture: In ancient Egypt, the concept of Ma’at was represented by a square. Ma’at was the goddess of truth, justice, and harmony, and her symbol was a feather. The square represented the orderly structure of the universe, which was maintained by the balance between opposing forces.
  • Christianity: In Christian symbolism, the square is often used to represent the four evangelists – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – who wrote the four Gospels of the New Testament. The four sides of the square represent these four individuals, while the center represents Christ or the Gospel message.

While the symbolism of the square varies across different cultures and religions, one thing remains consistent – its association with stability and balance. The shape of the square, with its equal sides and angles, is visually pleasing and creates a sense of order and harmony. It is a shape that signifies grounding and a solid foundation.

Below is a table summarizing the symbolism of the square in different cultures and religions:

Culture/ReligionSymbolism of Square
ChineseEarth, prosperity, number four
EgyptianOrderly structure of the universe, Ma’at
ChristianityFour evangelists, stability, balance

As we can see, the square is a powerful symbol that has been used in various ways across different cultures and religions. Whether it represents the physical world, the balance of the universe, or the four evangelists, the square remains a symbol of stability and order.

Mathematical meaning of a square

A square is a fundamental geometric shape in mathematics, defined as a four-sided shape that has four right angles and sides of equal length. It is often represented by the symbol .

A square is a special case of a rectangle, where all sides have the same length. The area of a square is calculated by squaring the length of one of its sides. The formula for the area of a square is:

Area of a square = side length x side length = side²

The number 2

  • The number 2 is a prime number, meaning it is only divisible by 1 and itself.
  • It is the first even number and the only even prime number.
  • In geometry, two coordinates are needed to specify a point in a two-dimensional plane.

Properties of a square

A square has several important properties:

  • All four sides of a square are of equal length.
  • All four angles of a square are right angles.
  • The diagonals of a square are of equal length and bisect each other.
  • The perimeter of a square is equal to the sum of its four sides.

Table of square numbers

A square number is the product of a number multiplied by itself. For example, 4 is a square number because it is equal to 2 x 2. Here is a table of the first 10 square numbers:


The concept of square numbers is important in algebra, where they are used in solving quadratic equations, and in geometry, where they are used in calculating the areas of squares and other shapes.

The Square as a Geometric Shape and Its Properties

The square is a fundamental geometric shape that is defined as a polygon with four equal sides and four right angles. It is classified as a regular quadrilateral since all of its angles are congruent and all of its sides are equal in length. The square is a unique shape with properties that make it significant in various fields, including mathematics, physics, and engineering.

  • Area and Perimeter: The area of a square is given by the formula A = s², where s is the length of one side. The perimeter of a square is calculated as P = 4s. These formulas allow us to compute the area and perimeter of any square, given the length of its sides.
  • Symmetry: The square has four lines of symmetry, which divide it into four congruent parts. These lines bisect the angles and the sides of the square. This symmetry property makes the square an important shape in art, architecture, and design.
  • Diagonal: The diagonal of a square is the line that connects opposite corners. The length of the diagonal is given by d = s√2, where s is the length of one side. The diagonals of a square perpendicular bisect each other, dividing the square into four congruent right triangles.

The properties of the square allow us to perform various mathematical operations with ease. Its symmetry and regularity make it a favorite shape in design and architecture. The diagonal of a square is also an essential concept in physics and engineering, where it is often used to calculate distances and angles.

In conclusion, the square is a versatile and fundamental geometric shape with many unique properties. Its regularity and symmetry make it fascinating in design and art, while its mathematical properties allow us to perform various calculations with ease.

Further Reading

If you are interested in learning more about the properties of the square, check out the following resources:

Math is Fun: Properties of a Squarehttps://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/square.html
Khan Academy: Squares, rectangles, parallelograms, and rhombuseshttps://www.khanacademy.org/math/basic-geo/basic-geo-area-and-perimeter/basic-geo-shapes/v/squares-rectangles-parallelograms-and-rhombuses

These resources provide more in-depth explanations of the properties, formulas, and applications of the square.

Spiritual Significance of the Square in Sacred Architecture

In sacred architecture, the square is an important geometric shape that carries a spiritual significance. The square symbolizes stability, balance, and order, making it a perfect representation of the divine perfect order. It conveys the sense of wholeness and completeness in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of life.

  • The number 4: The square has four sides, representing the number 4, which is significant in many spiritual traditions. In Christianity, it symbolizes the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In Buddhism, it represents the Four Noble Truths and the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. In Hinduism, it symbolizes the four Vedas and the four stages of life: student, householder, hermit, and renunciation.

The number 4 also corresponds to the four directions: north, south, east, and west. The square in sacred architecture is often oriented towards the cardinal points, with the entrance facing east, where the sun rises, and the altar facing west, where the sun sets. This alignment reflects the connection between spiritual and physical dimensions, as well as the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth.

Moreover, the square is often used as a basic module to design buildings, from temples to cathedrals. By repeating the square module, architects create a coherent and harmonious structure that reflects the divine order. This modular approach creates a sense of unity and integrity, connecting the different parts and creating a sacred space that inspires prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

Finally, the square is also used to represent the Earth element, the foundation of all life. In sacred architecture, the square base of a temple or a pyramid symbolizes the stability and strength of the Earth, providing a solid foundation for the structure to reach towards the sky. This connection between the Earth and the heavens reflects the spiritual journey of the human soul, from the material world to the spiritual realm.

SquareStability, balance, and order
Number 4Wholeness, completeness, and interconnectedness
Four directionsConnection between physical and spiritual, cyclical nature of life
Earth elementFoundation, stability, and strength

In conclusion, the square is a powerful symbol of the divine order in sacred architecture. It represents stability, balance, and order, as well as the interconnectedness of all things. The square’s four sides, the four directions, and the use of a modular approach in architectural design create a sense of wholeness and completeness that reflects the divine plan. Ultimately, the square in sacred architecture invites us to connect with the spiritual essence of life and find harmony within ourselves and the universe.

The Square as a Symbol of Stability and Balance

The square has been used as a symbol of stability and balance for centuries. Its four equal sides represent order and symmetry, while its right angles signify rationality and regularity. These qualities, in turn, suggest reliability, security, and balance – all traits that are highly valued in various cultures and societies around the world.

The Number 5

Interestingly, the square can be associated with the number 5. How so? Well, if we take the sum of the integers from 1 to 5, we get 15. Then, we can arrange these digits in a square of five rows and five columns, like this:


As you can see, the center number is 5, and all the other numbers are arranged symmetrically around it. This pattern creates a perfect square, which also happens to have a symbolic meaning. In numerology, the number 5 represents balance and harmony, as well as adventure and freedom. It is believed to be a dynamic and energetic number, capable of bringing about positive changes in one’s life.

The Square as a Symbol of Permanence

Another aspect of the square as a symbol of stability is its association with permanence. In architecture, the use of squares and rectangles in buildings reflects the desire for enduring structures that will last for generations. Square-based shapes such as cubes and pyramids are also considered highly stable and universal, as they occur naturally in crystal structures and other forms of matter.

Moreover, the square can be seen as a metaphor for the cycle of life and death. Just as the four seasons follow one another in a predictable pattern, so do the stages of human life – birth, growth, decline, and death. The square represents this passage of time, while also reminding us of the importance of preserving traditions and maintaining connections with our past.

Square in Art and Design

The square is a ubiquitous shape in both art and design, often symbolizing stability, balance, and symmetry. One of the reasons it is so commonly used is that it is one of the simplest and most fundamental shapes, making it easy to incorporate into a wide range of styles and techniques.

What Does the Square Symbolize?

  • Stability: The square represents a sturdy, grounded foundation, making it a popular choice for logos and architecture.
  • Balance: Its four even sides represent a harmonious balance, often used in composition to create a visually pleasing arrangement.
  • Symmetry: The shape of the square is inherently symmetrical, symbolizing order and perfection.

The Number 6 and the Square

In art and design, the square is often used in combination with the number 6. This is because a square can be divided into six equal parts, making it a versatile shape for creating complex patterns and designs. The hexagon, which is made up of six squares, is also frequently used in geometry and design to create intricate shapes and symbols.

Squares in Graphic Design

Squares are also commonly used in graphic design because of their adaptable and versatile nature. They are often used as a starting point for creating grids and layouts, which can be incredibly useful in creating balanced and organized designs. Squares are also easy to scale and reposition, making them valuable building blocks in creating more complex designs.

Paul RandThe IBM logo, incorporating a square and striped design
Massimo VignelliThe New York City Subway map, featuring a grid of squares and rectangles to represent subway lines and stops

The square is a timeless symbol in both art and design due to its versatility and simplicity. Its significance lies in its ability to represent balance, stability, and symmetry, while also being a fundamental building block in creating more complex designs.

Mystical meaning of the square in esotericism

The square is one of the most fundamental shapes in esotericism, representing the material world and stability. It is a symbol that has been used since ancient times, from the Egyptian pyramids to the Greek philosophers. In esoteric teachings, the square is associated with the element of Earth and the number four, which symbolizes stability, order, and balance. The square is also linked to the concept of perfection, as it is a shape with equal sides and angles.

The number seven

  • The number seven is considered a mystical and sacred number in many esoteric traditions, including astrology, numerology, and religion.
  • In astrology, there are seven planets, and each one is associated with a different aspect of life.
  • Similarly, in numerology, the number seven is considered a powerful and spiritual number, associated with introspection, intuition, and wisdom.

But what does the number seven mean in relation to the square? In esotericism, the number seven is linked to the concept of perfection and completion. The square, with its four equal sides and angles, represents the material world and stability. When the number seven is added to the square, it becomes a symbol of spiritual perfection and completion.

In some esoteric teachings, the number seven is associated with the seven chakras of the body, representing the journey towards spiritual enlightenment and self-realization. In this context, the square symbolizes the foundation and stability necessary to embark on this journey.

The square and sacred geometry

Sacred geometry is the study of geometric patterns and shapes that are believed to hold spiritual and mystical significance. The square, with its equal sides and angles, is considered one of the most important shapes in sacred geometry.

In some esoteric teachings, the square is associated with the concept of harmony and balance, as it represents the perfect symmetry of the material world. In sacred geometry, the square is often used as a building block for more complex shapes, such as the hexagon and the octagon.

SquareMaterial world, stability, balance
HexagonHarmony, balance, integration
OctagonTransition, transformation, regeneration

By combining these shapes, intricate and meaningful patterns can be created that are believed to hold spiritual significance. These patterns can be seen in everything from ancient architecture to modern art, and are often used in meditation and sacred rituals.

The Four Cardinal Directions Represented by a Square

The square is a powerful and versatile symbol that has been used for centuries in literature, art, and religion. One of its most important representations is that of the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west – with each direction corresponding to a particular element and set of qualities.

  • North: Water, winter, midnight, and wisdom.
  • South: Fire, summer, noon, and courage.
  • East: Air, spring, dawn, and new beginnings.
  • West: Earth, autumn, dusk, and maturity.

This symbolism has been particularly prominent in Chinese culture, where the square is associated with a bagua, or eight trigrams, that represent the different elements and directions. Each trigram is made up of three lines, with solid lines representing yang (male) energy and broken lines representing yin (female) energy.

The number 8 is also significant in this context, as it represents the balance and harmony of the bagua. In fact, the Chinese word for “eight” sounds similar to the word for “prosperity” or “wealth,” making it a popular number for businesses and other ventures.

The Eight Trigrams and Their Corresponding Qualities
Qian trigramHeaven, creative, father, strength, power
Li trigramFire, clarity, enlightenment, influence, light
Zhen trigramThunder, arousing, movement, initiative, drive
Dui trigramLake, joyousness, satisfaction, beauty, harmony
Gen trigramMountain, stillness, receptivity, meditation, reflection
Kan trigramWater, danger, caution, penetration, determination
Xun trigramWind, gentle, penetration, flexibility, permeability
Kun trigramEarth, docile, devoted, submissiveness, receptivity

Together, the square and the bagua symbolize balance, harmony, and the cyclical nature of life. Whether used in art, religion, or everyday life, they remind us of the importance of finding our own balance and living in harmony with the world around us.

Cultural significance of the square in various ancient civilizations

The square has been a symbol of different meanings for various ancient civilizations. It has been used in religious, cosmological, mathematical, and architectural contexts. Below are some of the cultural significance of the square in different ancient civilizations:

The number 9

In numerology, 9 is a sacred number that symbolizes the completion of a cycle. The square of 9 (3×3) is considered to be a perfect number in ancient Babylonian and Egyptian cultures. The Babylonians believed that the gods had created the world in a 3×3 matrix of the square. In Chinese numerology, 9 is associated with the concept of eternity and longevity. The Forbidden City has a total of 9,999 rooms, which represents the ultimate destination for a Chinese emperor – a place of eternal life and heaven.

  • In Hinduism, the square consists of 9 sections called Matrikas, which represent the nine goddesses of energy and power
  • The number 9 was also significant in Mayan culture, where it was seen as the number of life
  • The ancient Greeks believed that the square of 9 was the number of the Muses, the goddesses of creativity and inspiration

The Square in Architecture

The square has been a fundamental shape in architecture since ancient times. It symbolizes balance, harmony, and stability. The square played a significant role in the construction of many religious buildings in different cultures. In ancient Mesopotamia, ziggurats were built in a square shape to represent the four cardinal points of the compass and the square of the four elements.

In ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in a square base to symbolize stability and strength. The square was also used to design many Greek and Roman buildings, including the Greek Parthenon and the Roman Colosseum. In China, the square played a prominent role in the design of imperial palaces and temples. The Forbidden City in Beijing is designed as a series of interconnected squares, symbolizing the harmony and balance between heaven and earth.

The Square in Symbolism

The square has been used as a symbol in many different cultures and contexts. In alchemy, the square represents the physical world, while the circle represents the spiritual realm. The combination of the square and the circle represents the union of the material and the spiritual. In Freemasonry, the square and compasses represent the tools of the builder, symbolizing wisdom and strength.

Ancient CivilizationSquare Symbolism
ChineseBalance and Harmony
EgyptianStability and Strength
GreekStructural Perfection
RomanStrength and Stability
MayanThe Number of Life

Overall, the square has been a significant symbol for various ancient civilizations, representing different ideas and values. From numerology to architecture to symbolism, the square has been a versatile and enduring symbol.

The Square as a Modern Symbol of Order and Organization

The square is a universally recognized symbol of order and organization in modern society. From architectural design to computer screens, squares and their geometric properties bring a sense of stability and structure to our surroundings.

The Number 10

The number 10 is closely associated with the square and represents completeness and perfection. As an extension of the square’s four sides and four corners, 10 represents the creation of a stable and balanced system.

In the decimal system, 10 is the foundation of mathematical operations and is the basis for counting, measuring, and computing. It is the highest single-digit number, and its completeness marks the beginning of a new cycle of growth and development.

  • 10 commandments: The foundation of Judeo-Christian morality is symbolized by the number 10, representing the completeness of God’s divine law.
  • 10 fingers and 10 toes: The human body is built upon 10 digits, enabling us to manipulate our environment and create complex technologies.
  • 10 provinces in Canada: The Canadian government is organized into 10 provinces, each with its distinct culture and governance structure.

Overall, the number 10 and the square are complimentary symbols that represent order, completion, and perfection. Together, they embody the ideals of modern organization and structure that have come to define our world.

The Square in Design

The square’s geometric properties make it ideal for use in architectural design. It represents stability, rationality, and efficiency, making it a popular choice for building designers and engineers.

In modern design, squares are often used to create the illusion of space and depth, and their symmetrical properties align with the principles of balance and harmony.

For example, the iconic glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris is made up of numerous square panels, creating a unique and stunning structure that is both aesthetically pleasing and efficient.

The Square in Technology

The square’s geometrical properties are also widely used in technology. Computer screens, for example, are made up of numerous square pixels, allowing for the precise control and organization of digital information.

In addition, the square’s symmetrical properties have long been used in printing, allowing for the creation of organized and structured documents. From newspapers to books, the square’s properties provide order and clarity to written communication.

TechnologyUse of Squares
ManufacturingSquares are used to align machinery and create precision parts.
Graphic DesignSquares are often used to create structured layouts and balanced compositions.
MathematicsThe square is a fundamental shape in geometry, and its properties are studied to understand symmetry, congruence, and proportion.

The use of squares in technology highlights their importance in modern society. Their properties provide stability, organization, and balance, making them a valuable asset in many different fields.

What Does the Square Symbolize? FAQs

1. What does the square represent in geometry?

In geometry, the square represents a shape with four equal sides and four right angles. It is a two-dimensional geometric figure that forms the basis for many other shapes.

2. What does the square represent in Masonry?

In Masonry, the square symbolizes morality, integrity, and the importance of being honest and fair in all dealings. It reminds Masons to be just in their actions and treat those around them with respect.

3. What does the square symbolize in astrology?

In astrology, the square represents a challenging aspect between planets. It is considered to be an aspect of tension and conflict that requires careful handling to avoid negative consequences.

4. What does the square represent in art?

In art, the square can symbolize a variety of things depending on the context. It can represent balance, stability, and order, or it can be used to create visual interest in a composition.

5. What does the square symbolize in religion?

In many religions, the square is considered a sacred shape representing order and stability. It is often used in religious art and architecture as a symbol of divine structure and balance.

6. What does the square represent in culture?

In some cultures, the square can symbolize the earth or worldly existence. It can also represent stability, order, and balance, and is often used as a graphic element in design.

7. What does the square symbolize in psychology?

In psychology, the square can represent the need for structure and security. It can also be used as a tool for visualization and meditation, helping to bring a sense of focus and calmness to the mind.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to learn about what the square symbolizes in various fields of study and culture. Whether it’s in geometry, Masonry, astrology, art, religion, culture, or psychology, the square is a symbol that represents balance, stability, and order. We hope this article has been informative and interesting. Don’t forget to come back later for more content!