Freemasons: Behind the veil of secrecy
Freemasonry has long been shrouded in mystery, with its rites and practices appearing cult-like, clannish, and secretive. In reality, Freemasonry is a worldwide organization with a long and complex history, with its members including politicians, engineers, scientists, writers, inventors, and philosophers.
When did Freemasonry start?
The origins of freemasonry can be traced back to medieval European stonemason guilds, which were responsible for some of Europe’s most beautiful architecture. As capitalism and the market economy took hold, the old guild system crumbled, but Masonic lodges survived. Freemasonry as we know it arose in England and Scotland in the early 18th century.
Can women and minorities become Freemasons?
Early Masonic lodges were exclusively male, which meant that women were barred from membership. However, in the 1740s in France, so-called “lodges of adoption” began to appear, and as a result of this tradition, Masonic organizations began to admit both men and women as full members.
Freemasons in history include Simu00f3n Bolu00f3dvar, Voltaire, Goethe, and Mozart, as well as Founding Fathers George Washington, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, and Andrew Jackson, and elements of Freemasonry can be found in Mozart’s famous opera “The Magic Flute.”
The symbols of Freemasonry
The most common Masonic symbols are the compass and square, which are meant to remind members of proper conduct and behavior. Other Masonic symbols include the beehive, acacia tree, and the all-seeing eye, according to the former-Rainbow Girl.
Is Freemasonry still relevant?
The allure of joining an exclusive, privileged enclave of men has faded, and despite the fact that Masonic lodges exist in every state in the United States, many of them are now vacant. The problem of decline is rooted in the current composition of the lodges.
What is the oldest written reference to Freemasonry?
The Regius Poem, or Halliwell Manuscript, was published in 1390 and contains the earliest reference to Freemasons.
What is the purpose of Masonic ritual?
To awaken our spirits and unite us around a guiding set of principles, we perform our rituals in Consecrated Temples, which are meant to be sacred and separate from the everyday world, and where we navigate our paths from the material to the spiritual.
What is the Halliwell manuscript?
The Regius Poem, also known as the Halliwell Manuscript, is a long series of rhyming couplets that make up what is thought to be the first of the Old Charges of Masonry, and it was discovered in the British Museum by James O. Halliwell in 1838. It also discusses the history and philosophy of the Masonic order.
What does the G mean in the Masonic symbol?
Another reason for the “G” is to remind Masons that Geometry and Freemasonry are synonymous terms, with Geometry being described as the “noblest of sciences” and “the foundation upon which the superstructure of Freemasonry and everything in existence in the entire universe is erected.”
What is Masonic handshake?
According to Mr Cooper, the infamous Masonic handshake developed for practical reasons: “The handshake is a way of identifying one to another, especially when they had to move around Scotland looking for work.”
Who was the first Mason in the Bible?
Hiram Abiff’s Masonic legend begins with his arrival in Jerusalem and Solomon’s appointment of him as chief architect and master of works for the construction of his temple.
How can I be a Freemason?
The Criteria for Joining a Freemason Lodge
- You must believe in a Supreme Being.
- You must be a man.
- You must be free-born.
- You must be of legal age.
- You must be recommended by at least two existing Freemasons from the lodge you’re petitioning.
What does a mason wear?
In a stated communication at Blue Lodge, Freemasons wear a white apron to represent themselves as Masons; the color white comes from the lamb skin material used to make it. Entered Apprentices, Fellowcraft, and Master Masons wear their aprons in different ways to signify their rank in the fraternity.
Do Masons wear rings?
Mason rings are proudly worn by Freemasons as a symbol of their ongoing obligation of loyalty, brotherhood, and as a visual statement that they belong to the world’s oldest fraternity.
Who founded Freemason?
In an anonymous anti-masonic work of 1745, commonly attributed to Abbu00e9 Larudan, the murder of Hiram Abiff is taken as an allegory for the death of Charles I of England, and Oliver Cromwell emerges as the founder of Freemasonry.
When was the Regius Poem written?
There are various records of individuals having it in their personal libraries from the time it is believed to have been written, around 1425, until the mid-1700s, when King George II donated the manuscript to the British Museum.
What finger do Masons wear their ring on?
The pinky finger is the most common place to wear your ring, and it becomes even more acceptable as you progress further along in the tradition. The compass symbol should only be worn facing you if you are a newer member, as it shows that you are serious about your pledge to the tradition.
Can you be a Catholic and a Mason?
There has never been a Masonic prohibition against Catholics joining the fraternity, and some Freemasons are Catholics, despite the Catholic Church’s prohibition on joining the fraternity.
What is the son of a mason called?
The son of an English Mason is known as a Lewis in Speculative Masonic language, but the term is not as well known in modern times in our country.