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Ear of Corn

This was, among all the ancients , an emblem of plenty. Ceres, who was universally worshiped as the goddess of abundance, and even called by the Greeks Dewneter, a manifest corruption of Gemeter, or Mother Earth, was symbolically represented with a garland on her head composed of ears of corn, a lighted torch in one hand, and a cluster of poppies and ears of corn in the other. In the Hebrew, the most significant of all languages, the two words, which signify an ear of corn, are both derived from roots which give the idea of abundance. For shibboleth, pronounced shib-bo-leth which is applicable both to an ear of corn and a flood of water, has its root in pronounced shib-bole, meaning to increase or to flow abundantly; and the other name of corn, pronounced daw-gawn, is derived from the verb, no, pronounced daogaw, signifying to multiply, or to be increased.

Ear of corn, which is a technical expression in Freemasonry, has been sometimes ignorantly displaced by a sheaf of wheat. This was done under the mistaken supposition that corn refers only to Indian maize, which was unknown to the ancients. But corn is a generic word, and includes wheat and every other kind of grain. This is its legitimate English meaning, and hence an ear of corn, which is an old expression, and the right one, would denote a stalk, but not a sheaf of wheat (see Shibboleth).

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