Becoming a Freemason

This article briefly looks at what it takes to become a Freemason and what it means to be one.

There are many lodges where Freemasonry is practiced and members get together, situated all around the world. Chances are there probably is a lodge near where you live. Do a search in local directories and find the closest one to you. The people responsible for it often will have a contact page or contact details which can be used to enquire about joining them.

But before you do, you must make sure that you are familiar with the prerequisite beliefs, condition and values of the Freemasonry. You may enjoy spending your Saturday evenings playing roulette online, but this may be frowned upon within the lodge. While there exist slight variations in how these points are expressed from lodge to lodge, the gist of them is that firstly, you have to believe in a higher power of some sort. This means you may not be a member if you are an atheist. Secondly, you must come to the organization out of your own choice, not by being convinced by anyone or forced to do so. Freemasons do not believe in proselytising or in missionary type work. Thirdly, prospective Freemasons need to be economically stable and able to support themselves and their family. Fourthly, the prospective initiative needs to be of honourable character.

Because Freemasonry works by initiation into the order, one cannot simply read a book and of their own choosing “become” a Freemason. One can only become a member by approaching a local lodge and being accepted into it.

It is strongly discouraged to seek to join the movement in the hope of personal gain and benefit. A sense of patriotism is valued and expected. You will need to pay membership fees which vary from locality to locality, as well as pay for Masonic apparel as you ascend the ranks of the order.

The Most Important Poem in Freemasonry

There is a poem that is significant in the history of Freemasonry. It is the earliest existing account that has survived the ages with mention to the Freemasons. It is a duplicate of an earlier work. The poem is titled The Regius Poem but is also known by the title of ‘the Halliwell Manuscript’. It was composed circa in 1390 and has immense historical value.

The Regius Poem is thought of as delineating requirements or some roles and duties to be fulfilled by members of the Freemasonry. This is often included in a collection of documents referred to as the Old Charges. It is made of 64 vellum pages – which is parchment often made from calf skin, and composed in rhyming couplets.

The beginning of the poetic work starts by a mention of Euclid and his development of Geometry in the ancient world and the spreading of it. Following are fifteen points laid down that refer to moral exercise, on how to act and what behaviors to avoid. In short, virtues to aspire to and carry out. There are then another fifteen points which are laid down in a similar suit, but aimed toward craftsmen.

The poem has been recorded in various catalogues and has been passed down generations. It was at one point in the possession of the Royal Library up until it was given up to the British Museum in the year 1757.

The poem became more highly regarded after it was published in a Freemasonry article by James Halliwell in the year 1840.

The poem also states that Freemasonry was introduced to England in the time period of Kind Athelstan during the 900s ADE.

The length of the poem is 794 lines and in its original form written in Old English, although modern translations are easily available. Despite its age, the poem is still hailed by Freemasons as applicable today – particularly in regards to moral, ethical and spiritual concerns.

Freemasonry Symbolism

Freemasonry is steeped in history with influences from the Middle Ages of Europe and the mathematical world found in their intellectual works of art.

The single most recognisable symbol of Freemasonry is the compass. It serves as a reminder to stay in the bounds of all humankind as loyalty to the lodge. It is also a symbol of geometry, which has a central place in the art of Freemasonry.

The Acacia tree has a rich symbolism, with spiritual and occult significances. Parts of the plant are used for their psychoactive properties in ritual practices. The Acacia was a plant found in abundance in biblical passages and in Jerusalem. There are religious references to this plant as a holy wood, and is used in Freemason art as a symbol of the soul’s immortal nature.

The Beehive is a rich symbol. It represents hard working and organised effort of a collective as well as the harmony of subservient labour under an authority or king. This resonates with the very hierarchical nature of Freemasonry.

Another mathematical symbol employed in Freemasonry is the 47th problem of Euclid. Euclid reportedly played a significant role in the growth of the fraternity in Egypt. Some Masonic books describe the symbols as an affection of the sciences and arts a special harmony.

Symbols are also used regularly in online casino games (such as ones found at, the most common symbols being horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell.

Ashlars are large square-shaped stones that are used in Freemasonry as symbols of the present and the future. They remind each individual Mason to evaluate themselves and their behavior so that their path within the institution will be honourable.

The last symbol referred to here is the all-seeing Masonic eye also referred to as the Eye of Providence. It is a symbol for God and represents the total knowledge of the deity over all human affairs.

Women and Freemasonry

This article is a brief look at the history of women in Freemasonry.

For most of its existence, Freemasonry has been an all-male organization. That changed early in the 20th century when women became involved in the organization, and surviving documents including orders of the Premier Grand Lodge of England show that women were prevented from entering the craft indefinitely. Women have a lot to offer and would be of greater benefit to the lodge than simply playing online roulette at, however much fun that may be.

Progress has been made in more recent times. The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest Freemasonry fraternity specifically for women, adopts regular male practices and rituals, and is going strong. It contrasts with attempts at various times where the rituals of female Freemasons were different from those of men.

The views of different Masonic lodges and practitioners vary; at one extreme there is a total refusal to accept women as Freemasons, while at the other are lodges that allow women to practice Freemasonry in the same way as the lodge’s men. Others are both less restrictive and less permissive, requiring women to follow certain guidelines that are only for them.

The view that women are fundamentally incapable of the same moral development and excellence as men is hypocritical in an organization that claims moral excellence. Grand lodges today still prevent women from participating fully by not granting them official recognition and refusing to be present at the induction of female members, a requirement for official recognition. Lodges that allow female members to be inducted are excluded from Grand Lodges official lists of recognized lodges. Just as Freemasonry takes inspiration from the Bible for spiritual and moral worth, it appears it has also taken on board the sexual discrimination which is also an inseparable part of the Bible.

History of Freemasons

The following is a brief history of the rich history of the mysterious Freemasons.

There is a much debate about the origins of this secret society, especially pertaining to when it was first formed. A commonly embraced theory among lodges and Masonic scholars dates it back to the early Middle Ages. Much of the symbolism, art and language used among Masons comes from that period of time. There is even a poem titled Regius Poem – dating back to around 1390, it is the earliest existing document known to make reference to the Masons. It itself is a duplicate of an older composition.

The year 1717 marked the formation of the first Grand Lodge of England, and historical records onwards are more thorough.

In a mere time span of thirty years the brotherhood had spread well within Europe and the Americas. In addition to U.S. presidents belonging to the organisation, several figures considered to be founding fathers of the United States were also Freemasons: this includes legislators as well as intellectuals.

The hundreds of years of its rich and intricate reach in society, even at the highest levels, has resulted in Freemasonry firmly being set around the world.

The movement has also been influential in that toward the end of the 1700s Freemasons played a role in spreading the ideas of the European enlightenment. It was between the 17th and 18th centuries that the institution seems to have undergone its greatest growth. Freemasonry places an emphasis on the value of philanthropy and care, and was the sole founder and responsible for many orphanages and safe homes for widows as well as the aged. They have had a positive influence on society since before that era.

In the present day, the Masonic Fraternity donates millions of U.S. dollars everyday to a variety of causes and urgent needs. From children’s hospitals, aiding in medical research and helping their local communities where they are situated.

The movement is growing and bestows its goodness from its ideals and its virtues.

Famous Freemasons

Throughout the centuries, there have been many public figures that have openly expressed their fealty to the Freemasonry and were part of the “Freeman fraternity”. This includes some of the American founding fathers, American presidents, actors as well as comedians. Without further ado, let’s look at the list and see if any of the names come as a surprise to you.

Famous actors that were Freemasons include Clark Gable, the iconic actor known as the star of “Gone with the Wind”. He shared the nickname “King of Hollywood” with another fellow Freemason: John Wayne. Other colleagues included comedian Richard Pryor as well as Mel Blanc, known to some for his work on the Looney Tunes cartoons.

George Washington, as well as Benjamin Franklin and Franklin D. Roosevelt, are just a small sample of Freemasons who succeeded in becoming American presidents.

The magician and illusionist Harry Houdini was also a member. Going back in time, legendary writer, poet and playwright Voltaire was in one of the first French lodges.

Despite the strict secrecy in the organization, Freemasons are not bound to not publicise their membership. They are however bound absolutely to never reveal the goings-on within the fraternity.

This is why it’s now known that famous jazz musician, composer and pianist Duke Ellington was also a member. As was the very sadly missed Nat King Cole, as well as one of the greatest musician of all times: Louis Armstrong.

Colonel Sanders was also a Freemason – he is best known as an entrepreneur and founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. An unusual mention on the list goes to Sugar Ray Robinson who was a boxing superstar.

From this list, it is clear to see that Freemasons are a very diverse bunch, except for gender diversity where females still encounter a lot of barriers and lack of recognition. Aside from this, Freemasons seem to include individuals from almost all walks of society. From the religious to the scientific, from the philosophers to the artists, Freemasonry certainly has an extensive reach.

Facts About the Freemasons

Other articles have covered the history and diversity of Freemasonry in detail. Here is just a short introduction to this mysterious organization, with some trivia regarding it.

1. Freemasonry is practised globally, and there are almost five million members around the world.

2. They do not have a single leader. It is a collective of individuals comprised of smaller lodges and organisations that all answer to the Grand Lodge that is in their jurisdiction – i.e. their locality. These lesser members cannot speak on the behalf of the whole organization. That is allowed by each Grand Lodge and no matter what no member (however respected and admired) may overthrow the Grand Lodge’s authority.

3. Freemasonry, contrary to popular belief, is not just one big institution but is made up of several organizations. These hold different but similar endeavors that they work toward, such as educational or social or philanthropic areas of focus.

4. There were several American presidents and prominent figures from the United States (or “the New World”, as freemasons like to refer to it) that were Freemasons. Some notable examples include Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and James Polk.

5. Freemasons have had great influence on the US justice system – specifically the Supreme Court. From its foundation, the Supreme Court has had many Masons among their members, at times entertaining a ratio of Mason to non-Mason of 7 to 2.

6. Arguably, one the most important documents of the Western world is the Declaration of Independence. Of the 56 signatures on this historical document, 8 of them were from members of the Freemasons.

7. Unknown to many is that Benjamin Franklin received funding and arms to aid in the American Revolution from certain French Masons, as well as the British government.

8. There have also been a number of astronauts during the so called “Space race era” who were Freemasons.

Freemasons and Conspiracy Theories

Nowadays, conspiracy theories abound and cover virtually any topic. So it should come as no surprise that even the powerful elite that has historically often tied to the Freemasonry couldn’t escape being included in some of the wildest stories, some of which are listed below.

As with most conspiracy theories, there is little empirical evidence to back up these claims – this is even more so the case with such a secret society. Some of them portray Freemasons in a negative light, although no one knows for sure if their activities are good or bad because of the very nature of the institution, and may simply be a manifestation that people, in general, are afraid of what they don’t know. In any case, if you meet a Mason don’t judge a book by its cover!

One theory that often is complicit in many other Freemason theories involves shreds of the New World Order theory which sees them as plotting together to advance their secretive work on society from the inside out since many are (and have been) judges, or held positions of power.

Another theory is that Freemasons are sort of Satanic, in that they worship and make sacrifices behind closed doors to evil powers. The church has officially banned Catholics becoming Masons as early as 1738. This may however be because the Freemasons allow anyone into the organization that believes in ‘a god’, and don’t limit the membership to Roman Catholics alone, i.e. the Catholic Church is opposed to its the organisation practicing other religions. This theory also refers to a passage from a published document in the late 1800s of a Freemason in which it describes worship in the organisation to the deity ‘Lucifer’. This conspiracy doesn’t take into account what the word Lucifer meant back then, compared to its more devilish association in modern times.