Portal:Freemasonry

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The Freemasonry Portal

The Masonic Square and Compasses

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 5 million, with around 480,000 in England, Scotland and Ireland alone, and just under two million in the United States. The various forms all share moral and metaphysical ideals, which include, in most cases, a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being.

The fraternity is administratively organised into Grand Lodges (or sometimes Orients), each of which governs its own jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. Grand Lodges recognise each other through a process of landmarks and regularity. There are also appendant bodies, which are organisations related to the main branch of Freemasonry, but with their own independent administration.

There are several affiliated organisations tied to Freemasonry: those that offer "other degrees" (i.e. Scottish Rite), and those who are relatives of Freemasons but do not qualify for membership in a lodge (i.e. Order of the Eastern Star and Job's Daughters).

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A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge in Books of Constitutions, is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. Every new Lodge must be warranted by a Grand Lodge, but is subject to its direction only in enforcing the published Constitution of the jurisdiction. A Master Freemason is generally entitled to visit any Lodge in any jurisdiction in amity with his own. He is first usually required to check, and certify, the regularity of the relationship of the Lodge - and be able to satisfy that Lodge of his regularity of membership. Freemasons gather together as a Lodge to work the three basic Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.

Freemasons meet as a Lodge not in a Lodge, although Masonic premises may be called Lodges, as well as Temples ("of Philosophy and the Arts"). In many countries Masonic Centre or Hall has now replaced these terms to avoid arousing prejudice and suspicion. Several different Lodges, or other Masonic organisations, often use the same premises at different times.

In Great Britain, the term Mother Lodge is used to identify the particular Lodge where the individual was first "made a Mason" (i.e. received his Entered Apprentice degree). 'Mother Lodge' may also refer to a Lodge which sponsors the creation of a new Lodge, the Daughter Lodge, to be warranted under the jurisdiction of the same Grand Lodge; specific procedures pertaining to this vary throughout history and in different jurisdictions.

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Photo credit: AgnosticPreachersKid
The International Temple is the world headquarters of the Order of the Eastern Star's General Grand Chapter.

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Notable Freemason

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Simón Bolívar (July 24, 1783 – December 17, 1830), was one of the most important leaders of Spanish America's successful struggle for independence from Spain, along with Argentinian general José de San Martín.

After the triumph over the Spanish monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of Gran Colombia, a nation formed from the liberated Spanish colonies. Bolívar became President of Gran Colombia from 1821 to 1830, President of Peru from 1824 to 1826 and President of Bolivia from 1825 to 1826. His legacy contributed decisively to the independence of present-day Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panamá, Perú and Venezuela.

He was a great admirer of the American Revolution and a great critic of the French Revolution. Bolívar described himself in his many letters as a "liberal". Among the books he traveled with when he wrote the Bolivian Constitution one is Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws.

Every city and town in Venezuela & Colombia (in this one each capital city but Pasto) have a main square known as Plaza Bolívar, that usually has a bust or a statue of Bolívar, the most famous of these Plaza Bolívar are the ones in Bogotá and Caracas. The central avenue of Caracas is called Avenida Bolívar, and at its end there is a twin tower complex named Centro Simón Bolívar built during the 1950s that holds several governmental offices.

Quotes

  • "The grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race." - George Washington
  • “Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind.” - Andrew Jackson
  • "Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason." - Benjamin Franklin

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