Freemasonry, fraternal in character is one of the oldest surviving organisations in the world. Modern speculative masonry traces its origins to the local guilds of stonemasons. Freemasonry evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. With the decline of cathedral building, some lodges of operative masons began to accept honorary members into their Lodges. From a few of these lodges developed modern symbolic or speculative Freemasonry. The earliest known ritual places the first masonic lodge in the porchway of King Solomon’s Temple. Following Anderson, it has also been possible to trace Freemasonry to Euclid, Pythagoras, Moses, the Essenes, and the Culdees.
Freemasonry uses building analogies to teach members how to lead productive lives that benefit the communities that they live in. In the medieval era, stonemasons wore aprons and gloves to protect themselves while working on shaping rough pieces of stone, but in today’s society Freemasons meet to build friendships and communities rather than cathedrals and castles.
Freemasonry is a Brotherhood of Man Under the Fatherhood of God. It is a system or a way of life that endeavours to make a Good Man better through its principles and wisdom, that is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.