What is Freemasonry?

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. We meet together in small groups, which we refer to as “Lodges”. Within our meetings, members are taught moral lessons and self-knowledge through participating in a series of ritual dramas. These dramas include elements that are hundreds of years old and take the form of two part plays, which we refer to as “rituals”. These plays are learned by heart and use allegory and symbolism, much of which is derived from the use of stonemason’s customs and the tools used when working with stone to construct buildings. Thus the “stone” being worked upon is an allegory for the individual and their personal journey of self-development and self-discovery, which for some Freemason’s includes a spiritual component.

The allegory and symbolism is multi-layered and no fixed interpretation is imposed; instead members are invited to reflect on the experience and determine the interpretation that is right for them. As a result, there is always new meaning to be found and as with any process of self-development, it is an on-going journey rather than a destination. In this way, experienced Freemasons continue to find new meaning in the allegory and symbolism.

The rituals also encourage members to explore what we refer to as the “hidden mysteries of nature and science” by studying, inter alia, the liberal arts and sciences; namely grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, as was done in ancient times. Within our meetings, this is often done by members making presentations about subjects they have a particular interest in and into which they have undertaken their own research. These presentations enable members to share their knowledge, ask questions and learn from one another.

Freemasonry itself is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It is founded on three grand principles Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. These can be briefly defined as follows:

  • Brotherly love – to be in harmony with all mankind
  • Relief – encompasses charitable giving
  • Truth – to know one’s self through the development of self-knowledge

As noted earlier, elements of the ritual dramas are old and whilst many historians have sought to establish their precise origin, no definitive answer has yet been found. For many, this in itself is a fascinating area of study. Nevertheless and regardless of how old the rituals may or may not be, as human beings, we are still today asking the same questions we have asked throughout history; questions such as, “who am I?”, “what am I?” and “why am I here?”, as we seek to make sense of our place in the world and the universe as a whole. So, if you want to learn more about yourself and would like to do so with other like-minded people in an organisation that cares about humanity and those less fortunate, Freemasonry maybe for you and we hope the other pages of our website will answer at least some of your questions.