Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. Members are joined together by shared ideals of both a moral and metaphysical nature, and, in most of its branches, by a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being.

Freemasonry is an esoteric society, in that certain aspects of its internal work are not generally disclosed to the public, but it is not an occult system, and in recent years, it has become less and less a “secret society” than a “society with secrets”. Among the reasons given for the amount of secrecy that remains, is that Freemasonry uses an initiatory system of degrees to progressively explore ethical and philosophical issues, and that the system is less effective if the observer knows beforehand what will happen. It is often referred to as “a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”

A Lodge, often termed “Blue Lodge” in Constitutions, is the basic organization of Freemasonry. It refers to a Masonic lodge that is capable of conferring the three degrees of Masonry upon its members. Those degrees, which are referred to as blue degrees. But what is the significance of the color blue? Blue is emphatically the color of Masonry. It is the appropriate tincture of the Ancient Craft degrees. It is to the Mason a symbol of universal friendship and benevolence, because, as it is the color of the vault of heaven, which embraces and covers the whole globe, we are thus reminded that in the breast of every brother these virtues should be equally as extensive. To the Jews, it was the color of the robe of the high priest’s ephod, breastplate and the plate of the miter. It was the color of the ribbon people were directed to wear above the fringe of their clothing, and it was the color one of the veils of the tabernacle where it represented air. Further, the Hebrew word for the color blue is “tekelet”, whose root signifies perfection.

Among ancient Druids, blue was a symbol of truth, and the candidate, in the initiation into the sacred rites of Druidism was invested with a robe composed of the three colors: blue, white, and green. Egyptians esteemed blue as a sacred color. “Amun”, the principle god of their theogony, was painted light blue to imitate his “peculiarly exalted and heavenly nature.”

Ancient Babylonians clothed their idols in blue. Chinese represented blue as they symbol of the Deity. The Hindus assert that Vishnu was represented of a celestial blue, this indicating wisdom emanating from God.
Among medieval Christians, blue was sometimes considered an emblem of immortality. Blue was the symbol of hope, perfection, and constancy. The azure color of the sky was in divine language the symbol of eternal truth: in consecrated language, or immortality.

The true origins of Freemasonry have for centuries been the topic of much debate. It is generally accepted among most modern Masonic historians that our Fraternity found it’s beginnings in the medieval operative stonemason guilds that built the great cathedrals and castles. Over time these lodges of operative masons began to accept non-masons into their fold, giving us our current title of Free & Accepted Masons.

Organized Freemasonry as we know it today was established in London on June 24th, 1717 when four local lodges gathered at the Goose & Gridiron Ale House and formed the United Grand Lodge of England electing Br. Anthony Sayer as their first Grand Master. Freemasonry came to America exactly 14 years later with the formation of the St. John’s Lodge of Philadelphia on June 24, 1731. The repetition of the date June 24th is not mere coincidence. June 24th is the feast day of St. John the Baptist, one of the patron Saints of Masonry, the other being St. John the Evangelist. While we consecrate our Lodges to the honor and glory of God, we dedicate them to the memory of the Holy Saints John; and the building itself is dedicated to Freemasonry, Virtue and Universal Benevolence.

Although Freemasonry has evolved over the years its one true aim has remained the same, to make good men better. Its philosophy is taught through a system of degrees or morality plays, allegory and symbolism and focuses on the three tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Today there are over 4 million members of Masonic Lodges worldwide. The North American Lodges alone donate almost $2 Million daily to causes that range from children’s hospitals, local community service and care to Masons and their families.