The Shepherd’s Staff or Crook represents God’s Spirit. It is a symbol of guidance, support and strength. In the context of gravestones, it represents the opening of the Heavens.
It is also an occupational sign representing a calling of spiritual leadership.
Three symbols on the gravestone of Reverend Robert Kirk; a thistle representing Highland heritage. a shepherd’s crook, to represent his calling; and a dagger.
Shepherds crooks are also found on the graves of the members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (a fraternal organization).
A Cross with a Crook is the symbol of the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem. It is often accompanied by the phrase, In Hoc Signo Spes Mea: In This Sign Is My Hope. Members are comprised of Master Masons and women who are related to a Master Mason through birth, marriage, or legal adoption.