What’s a Freemason? Guide to Understand Freemasonry
Aug 06, 2020
The Freemasons are the world’s largest secret society. It is a society that centers on fraternal camaraderie — the brotherhood of mankind. In today’s world, there are an estimated 6 million members of the Freemason society.
Freemasonry has origins that date back to medieval times and the British Empire. The movement has since spread on a global scale and the society now hosts all walks of life from across the world.
If you’ve always wondered ”what’s a freemason?”, this blog highlights everything you need to know.
The Origins of Freemasonry
The true origins of the Freemason society have actually been lost through the portal of time and unrecorded history. The first Freemason society was born in London in the 1700s. The very first grand lodge, or meeting of Freemasons, took place in a local pub called the Goose and Gridiron.
There are jumbled accounts of the historical origins, though. There is evidence that shows the first Masonic lodge existed in Edinburgh, Scotland, dating back as early as 1599.
The reign of the British Empire spread Freemasonry across the globe as they colonized key parts of the world throughout the 1800s.
Today, the Freemasonry society is largely condensed among the British Isles as well as the United States. The U.S. is home to approximately 1.1 million Freemasons, with 75,000 based in the state of Ohio.
What’s a Freemason? The Defining Principals
The Freemason society is a men’s only organization that centers on a belief in the fatherhood of God, as well as the brotherhood of mankind. The society aims to unite men of good character. Even if they hold different religious beliefs, social status, political beliefs, and varying ethnicities.
Freemasons use particular symbols and other paraphernalia to represent their brotherhood, including masonic challenge coins.
The medieval craft of stonemasonry defines the model of Freemasonry. Hundreds of years ago, stonemasons used secret code words and symbols to recognize each other’s work. They also used these symbols to protect themselves from outsiders.
From these origins, Freemasonry has evolved into a close-knit community. They aim to support each other in business and many other aspects of life.
It’s thought that Freemasons are secretive because they use it as way to protect the fraternity. This is due to the persecution Freemasons were subject to throughout history. The community went underground in order to survive and avoid suspicions.
Today, this secrecy still abounds, but the reasons are different. This sense of secrecy aims to protect the brotherhood in business and throughout the workplace.
Freemasonry Is Not a Religion
Contrary to what many people assume, Freemasonry is not defined by religious principals. It is a secular organization. However, it is necessary for all Freemasons to believe in a superior being, known as the Grant Architect of the Universe.
Members of the society may believe in other Gods or deities. The brotherhood accepts all religious affiliations. This ranges from Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, and more. As a general rule-of-thumb, religion and politics are never really discussed in Masonic lodges.
Despite Freemasonry not being a religion or a cult of any kind, it is condemned by the Catholic church. This dates back as far as the 1700s, where a decree was issued against Freemasons. Since then, the Catholic church has issued more than 20 decrees against the brotherhood.
Today, the Freemason society is still viewed with much skepticism. Many people assume that it is based on political or religious conspiracy. However, Freemasons do not usually discuss either of these topics, in-depth.
Not All Freemasons Are Secretive
It’s not a prerequisite for all members of the Freemason society to be secretive about their beliefs. As an individual, you can openly declare yourself as a Freemason if you wish.
Some of society’s most prominent figures have openly declared their Masonic status. This includes Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Duke of Kent, who is also the society’s grandmaster. As well as famous astronaut, Edwin Aldrin, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and others.
Some of America’s founding forefathers and presidents were also openly Masonic, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Monroe, and Paul Revere.
The Blueprint For Living Life As a Freemason
Due to its notoriously secretive nature, Freemasonry has received a bad-rep since its inception. But in reality, Freemasonry is based on simple principles of brotherly love, truth, and relief. The many signs and symbols of Freemasonry relate to the working tools of the stonemasons which are a reminder of these same principals.
The overall premise of being a Freemason is not to interfere with your own, personal beliefs. Being a member of this society is not meant to disrupt your commitment to your family life, your job, your faith, or your political views. The ideals of Freemasonry are not meant to be used as a replacement for your own beliefs.
Essentially, being a Freemason is about surrounding yourself with a positive environment, brought together by the brotherhood. It’s a reminder of your commitment to yourself, your family, community, and the Grand Architect.
Freemasons are encouraged to be better husbands, fathers, friends, and members of the community. All members are supported by one another, who are in different phases in their lives.
Each Masonic lodge offers its members the chance to connect over common ground. It offers a place to find friendship, find support, be supportive, and exchange ideas.
Expand Your General Knowledge Even Further
If you’ve found yourself always wondering ”what’s a freemason?”, we hope this blog has shed light on this unique brotherhood of men. The Freemason society may be secretive, but there’s nothing sinister about it.
If you’re looking to further expand your general knowledge, be sure to explore our blog for more. We offer articles, tips, and advice on a range of topics, from health, hobbies, finance, career, parenting, politics — you name it!