Freemasons – Concept, organization and symbols

We explain what Masons are and at what levels their members are organized. Also, the symbols they use and their conspiracy theories.

Freemasonry emerged in Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

What are Freemasons?

It is known as masonry or Freemasonry to an international organization of a discreet (not to say secret), humanistic, hierarchical, philosophical nature and founded on a feeling of brotherhood among men.

It exists as an initiatory institution, that is, that reveals its secrets only to those who pass certain initiation rites and they are part of successive and progressive rings of trust, in which the “search for truth” is promoted: the philosophical study of the human being, the sciences and the arts, social progress and the moral and spiritual development of the individual.

Masons are identified by a series of symbols linked to masonry or in any case the Royal Art of Construction, as well as the acronym GADU, which means “Great Architect of the Universe”, a Mason concept of utmost importance to his philosophy of life.

Freemasonry emerged in Europe in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, although its various mythologies of origin attribute its founding to historical figures such as Hiram Abif, architect of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, or to biblical characters such as Tubalcain, Moses or Noah, if not to the builders of the Egyptian pyramids, to the Collegia Fabrorum Romans, or the various Christian knightly orders that existed in the Middle Ages.

Today Freemasonry stands as a group promoting the values ​​of tolerance, tradition, the liberal arts and sciences, or the spiritual search. Therefore, they are considered an initiatory school outside the States and the Churches.

How are Freemasons organized?

Masons believe in a God much broader than that proposed by the Catholic religion.

Freemasonry is organized around two main currents:

  • Regular Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry. Headed by the Grand Lodge of England, it has its largest area of ​​influence in the British Commonwealth countries, the United States, Spain, Latin America and part of continental Europe. Its main characteristics are:
    • The belief in a single great universal architect, a God much broader than that proposed by the Catholic religion.
    • Their oaths are made on the bible or other sacred text, such as the Volume of the Sacred Law, their essential organizational text.
    • Women are not accepted among its members and female initiation is not allowed.
    • Discussions about politics and religion are prohibited, and the institution does not take any official position on such matters.
  • Continental regular freemasonry. Known as the liberal or adogmatic current, it follows in the footsteps of the Grand Orient of France, and is the main current in France, Francophone Africa and some continental European countries. It allows the emergence of mixed or female Obediences (headquarters), and presents a greater diversity in terms of forms of organization. Its main characteristics are:
    • They defend absolute freedom of conscience, which is why they admit both believers and atheists, both men and women, either in a mixed way or separately.
    • They take their oaths on the Book of the Law or on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
    • The debate of ideas in total and complete freedom is encouraged, including religious and political issues, and the lodge may eventually position itself on these issues.

In either of the two currents there are three degrees of Freemasonry, which represent three stages of personal development proposed by the lodge. These are:

  • Apprentice. The degree of newcomers, whose task is to confront themselves and control their passions.
  • Partner. Intermediate degree, in which Masons learn the philosophy of the sect and its relations with the outside world.
  • Teacher. Those who reach the third place must participate in all the rites of the lodge and access the spiritual and arcane knowledge of the same, to face death and eternal life with them.

Freemason symbols

Freemasonry is mainly identified with two symbols of uncertain origin, but linked to masonry, construction and architecture, science of mathematical precision: the compass and the square.

The latter would represent virtue, correctness, while the former represents the limits that every Mason imposes on others. These symbols are usually accompanied by the letters G and A, or by an open eye; the letters represent Great Architect (God), and the eye the awakening in front of “the truth”.

Conspiracy theories and myths

The Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned membership in Freemasonry.

The secrecy or discretion of Freemasonry has made them the subjects of numerous myths, criticisms, and theories. Some have to do with the foundation of the lodge, as has been said, which can be attributed to the very Adam of the Bible, or to who have been members of its ranks, such as the great army generals, the American liberators or the great Renaissance thinkers.

The Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned membership in Freemasonry or similar lodges, as well as Islam and Baha’ism. Maybe because They are attributed numerous practices and rituals linked to the occult, to the supernatural, to alchemy or even to Satanism and the orgiastic.