What is Freemasonry?

“Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbolism.”

Officers of Gate City Lodge No 694  A.F. & A. M., c. 1951Officers of Gate City Lodge No 694 A.F. & A. M., c. 1951Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. It is a group of men, bound together by shared values and obligations rooted in the traditions of stonemason craft guilds of medieval Europe.
Freemasons today do not lay bricks or construct buildings like the operative masons in Europe during the Middle Ages, but instead practice what is called speculative masonry, focusing on making good men better and building a better world. They practice their craft through allegory and symbols, including the tools and implements of operative masons.

Freemason symbolWhile religious in nature, Freemasonry is not a religion and does not ascribe to a particular religion. Freemasons are tolerant of the beliefs of others, but require a belief in a Supreme Being, and a future life.

Freemasonry is not a secret society, but like most fraternal organizations it has a few secrets, including its mode of recognition and ritual.

Freemasonry exists all over the world but there is not one single governing body. In the United States there is at least one Grand Lodge in each of the fifty states. The Grand Lodge of A.F.& A.M. (Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons) of North Carolina is the governing body for the lodges in the state.

Where are the Women?

As a fraternity with ancient roots, Freemasonry in the United States does not allow women to become Masons. In 1849, the Order of the Eastern Star was created for women interested in Masonry. The first Worthy Great Matron of North Carolina was Mrs. Emma B. Siler in 1905.Petition used by Lodge No. 76  A.F. & A.M., c. 1870Petition used by Lodge No. 76 A.F. & A.M., c. 1870

Want to learn more?

The best way to learn about Freemasonry is to ask a Mason.

Please peruse the many links found throughout this site.

Additionally, you may visit Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M of North Carolina.

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