What is Freemasonry?

[Definition by M∴W∴ Robert D. Trump, Past Grand Master of Florida – 2006]  Freemasonry is a system of morality that is intended to induce the habit of virtue. It encourages its members to give regard to intellectual activities and to the improvement of one’s mind. In other words, it cultivates a state of mind and attitude in the individual and as such is a very personal activity.

[Definition by Brother Christopher L. Hodapp] Freemasonry is the largest, oldest and best-known gentleman’s fraternity in the world. Historically, it is based on the Medieval stonemason guilds who built the great castles and cathedrals of Europe. Mythologically, it is founded upon the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, as told in the Old Testament of the Bible. Modern Freemasons likewise use the tools, traditions and terminology of those earlier stonemasons as allegories for building Temples in the hearts of men.

It is said that we are a secret society. We do indeed have secrets – secrets that each individual man has to discover for and about himself.

At its core, Freemasonry is simply an attempt to make the world a better place, one man at a time. For each man, it can become as simple or as complicated as he himself desires.

It’s not for everybody. Maybe it’s for you.


Appendant Bodies

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. It is also concordant, in that some of its degrees relate to the degrees of Symbolic (Craft) Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the Craft (or Blue) Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.

York Rite

The York Rite (sometimes referred to as the American Rite) is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently. The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Commandery of Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite. The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry.

Shriners International

Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, truth and relief. The Shriners’ mission is straightforward. Shriners are committed to:

  • Being the premier fraternal organization for men of good character
  • Providing interactive, quality programs and services for its members, their families and their friends in a spirit of fun, fellowship and social camaraderie
  • Fostering self-improvement through leadership, education, the perpetuation of moral values and community involvement
  • Serving mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children®
GrottoMystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm – The Grotto

The Grotto is a social organization for Master Masons, and as such, all Master Masons are welcome to join. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodges, though it makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry. Members are distinguished by a black fez with a red tassel and a Mokanna head in the middle. Its purpose is to supply the element of play such a way that work and play will be blended without marring the solid beauty of Masonry. The Grotto leads its votaries through an Enchanted Realm where the spirit of mirth touches the hearts and evolves cheerful companionship, in joy of which they are brought near together in helpful sympathy, which is nonetheless true because the eye beams with delight and laughter goes with a Prophet’s greeting when hand clasps hand in its mystic fellowship. The Grottoes of North America’s Humanitarian Foundation supports children with special needs by providing them much-needed dental care.

Order of the Eastern Star

The Order of the Eastern Star is a Masonic appendant body open to both men and women. The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs. Members of the Order of the Eastern Star are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons.

High Twelve

High Twelve is an organization of Master Masons who support Masonic causes with special emphasis on youth support and patriotic events. Although only Master Masons can join High Twelve, anyone is welcome at the meetings. High Twelve is an association dedicated to the unification of Master Masons, independent of the formal ritual of the Lodge, but dedicated to the service to the fraternity. High Twelve Masons support the Public School System and encourage participation in constructive community activities.

Tall Cedars of Lebanon

Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America is an appendant Masonic organization devoted to fostering friendship and fellowship among Freemasons and to all mankind. We are over 10,000 members with an unyielding commitment to provide a “place in the sun” for those many thousands of victims of neuromuscular diseases who, through their own means, may not be able to share and enjoy the experiences of life that we so often are able to take for granted.

Order of the Amaranth

The Order of the Amaranth was formed as a fraternal and charitable organization whose membership of men and women with Masonic affiliation share in social activities to promote the growth of the Order. Although a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being is foremost to being a member, the Order welcomes many faiths represented within the membership. The Ritual is an integral part of the Order and emphasizes the values of everyday life, founded on the sublime teachings of Truth, Faith, Wisdom and Charity. It is by these teachings they strive for their own self-satisfaction and improvement while working with those who are in need of help and assistance.

The major Philanthropic endeavor is the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation that raises funds which are provided, in the form of grants, to researchers selected by the American Diabetes Association. 100% of the funds raised are provided for use by the ADF as the Foundation is elected from the membership and no administrative expenses are incurred.

Daughters of Mokanna

The Daughters of Mokanna is a fraternal organization for ladies founded in 1919. The purpose of the Order is to support the Grottoes of North America in their efforts, and to provide fun, fellowship, comfort and aid to one another. They are proud to support the Grotto’s Humanitarian Foundation, which provides dental care for special needs children.

Daughters of the Nile

Daughters of the Nile is a women’s Fraternal Organization open to women who are related to a Shriner, Master Mason, Daughter of the Nile or is a Majority Member in good standing of a Masonic-related organization for girls. The Order’s goal is to raise funds to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children. It is done through fun, fellowship and philanthropy.

Order of the DeMolay

DeMolay – the premier International youth leadership organization – strives to shape young men into leaders of character who hold themselves to a higher standard.
By epitomizing timeless values, and accepting the challenge of leadership – both of character and of action – the young men of DeMolay transform themselves into citizens of the highest caliber.

Each young man takes ownership of his DeMolay experience. From generating ideas, planning events, coordinating logistics, and executing their plans, each DeMolay Chapter is responsible for defining their success. All of this is accomplished under the mentorship of trained Advisors, selected from the local community, enabling each Chapter to be uniquely tailored to support the interests of its members.

DeMolay is an inclusive organization that only asks of young men interested to believe in a higher being.

A high level of involvement and enthusiasm is far more important for success in DeMolay than any particular skill or ability.

Order of Rainbow Girls

Every day, across the globe, hundreds of thousands of girls come together to laugh, share, and grow through fun events and challenging workshops designed to empower girls of all ages. Rainbow Girls volunteer for their community and travel around the world, visiting other clubs and making lots of new friends. Along the way, they gather invaluable life skills that help them become the best daughter, sister, student, and friend they can be.