Freemasonry

“Freemasons” redirects here. For other uses, see Freemasons (disambiguation).
“Masonic” redirects here. For the ghost town in California, see Masonic, California.

The Masonic Square and Compasses.
(Found with or without the letter G)

Part of a series of articles on
Freemasonry
Freemason
Core Articles

Freemasonry · Grand Lodge · Masonic Lodge · Masonic Lodge Officers · Grand Master · Prince Hall Freemasonry · Regular Masonic jurisdictions

History

History of Freemasonry · Liberté chérie · Masonic manuscripts

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Masonic Bodies
Masonic
Masonic bodies · York Rite · Order of Mark Master Masons · Holy Royal Arch · Royal Arch Masonry · Cryptic Masonry · Knights Templar · Red Cross of Constantine · Scottish Rite · Knight Kadosh · The Shrine · Royal Order of Jesters · Tall Cedars of Lebanon · The Grotto · Societas Rosicruciana · Grand College of Rites · Swedish Rite · Order of St. Thomas of Acon · Royal Order of Scotland · Research Lodge
Masonic groups for women
Women and Freemasonry · Order of the Amaranth · Order of the Eastern Star · Co-Freemasonry
Masonic Youth Organizations
DeMolay · A.J.E.F. · Job’s Daughters · International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
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Views of Masonry
Anti-Masonry · Anti-Masonic Party · Anti-Freemason Exhibition · Christianity and Freemasonry · Catholicism and Freemasonry · Suppression of Freemasonry · Masonic conspiracy theories · Taxil hoax
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People and Places
Masonic Temple · James Anderson · Albert Mackey · Albert Pike · Prince Hall · John the Evangelist · John the Baptist · William Schaw · Elizabeth Aldworth · List of Freemasons · Lodge Mother Kilwinning · Freemasons’ Hall, London · House of the Temple · Solomon’s Temple · Detroit Masonic Temple · List of Masonic buildings
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Other related articles
Great Architect of the Universe · Square and Compasses · Pigpen cipher · Eye of Providence · Hiram Abiff · Sprig of Acacia · Masonic Landmarks · Pike’s Morals and Dogma· Propaganda Due · Dermott’s Ahiman Rezon

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Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 in Scotland and Ireland, over a quarter of a million under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England[1] and just under two million in the United States.[2]

The fraternity is administratively organised into independent Grand Lodges or sometimes Orients, each of which governs its own jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. The various Grand Lodges recognise each other, or not, based upon adherence to landmarks (a Grand Lodge will usually deem other Grand Lodges who share common landmarks to be regular, and those that do not to be “irregular” or “clandestine”).

There are also appendant bodies, which are organisations related to the main branch of Freemasonry, but with their own independent administration.

Freemasonry uses the metaphors of operative stonemasons’ tools and implements, against the allegorical backdrop of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, to convey what has been described by both Masons and critics as “a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”

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