Freemasonry’s origins are ancient. During the medieval period, guilds of stone workmen were organized within exclusive groups or units. These are referred to as the Operative Masons.
These operative masons to insure that their architectural skills and that the standing of their craft were not compromised, were bond to secrecy. An important lure of the Operative Masons was their ability to freely travel and freely associate throughout the feudal kingdoms.
Tradition suggests that the following phenomemon occured within the craft: Given their exclusive and privileged status and the waning the demand for their skilled trade, a transition took place whereby non-masons sought admission into the guilds; these were subsequently transformed into groupings that allowed men to freely assemble and freely speculate on topics often censored by the ruling orthodoxy.
This latter group is referred to as Speculative Masons.
In the year 1717, four existing English lodges formed a Grand Lodge – the first public appearance of the Fraternity. This year marks the 300th Anniversary!
Freemasonry’s goals are eternal. Freemasonry is a society that utilizes the tools and symbols of the Ancient Stone Craft Masons in allegorical ways, to impress upon the minds and hearts of its members those moral truths inculcated in those symbols.
Freemasonry is not a perfect institution, because in this material plane, the ideal is what we all constantly strive for.
Freemasons strive to better themselves, to be charitable and to positively impact their local communities.
Freemasonry is fundamentally a traditionalist society. It is concerned with philosophical themes, ideals and principles that foster fellowship.