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Freemasonry

Freemasonry symbols
Freemasonry symbols

Freemasons are members of the oldest fraternal organization in the world and are well known for their white aprons, mysterious emblems, and secret handshake. The history of freemasonry is long and complicated. Politicians, engineers, scientists, authors, inventors, and philosophers have all been among its members. Many of these participants have made significant contributions to international affairs, including revolutions, conflicts, and intellectual movements. Despite its age, Freemasonry (often referred to as Masons or just Masons) has long been cloaked in secrecy. The rituals and behaviors of the group may appear clandestine, cultic, and clannish to outsiders.
The Lodge is the fundamental, neighborhood-level entity of Freemasonry. A Grand Lodge or Grand Orient often oversees these private Lodges on a local level. Since each Grand Lodge is autonomous and does not always recognize one another as genuine, there is no global Grand Lodge that oversees all of Freemasonry. Three ranks of medieval trade guilds — Entered Apprentice, Journeyman or colleague, and Master Mason—are still in Freemasonry degrees.
The meanings of Freemasonry’s symbols are gradually taught to candidates for these three degrees, who are also given grips, gestures, and statements to indicate to other members that they have been properly initiated. The degrees comprise both lectures and an allegorical morality play. Members of these three degrees are referred to be Freemasons or Masons. These three degrees make up Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry.

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