Freemasonry, also called "Masonry", is one of the world’s most historic membership organizations, a 300-year-old worldwide fraternity of like-minded people committed to bettering themselves, their communities, and the world. Masonry encompasses many things, but can be described as a series of moral teachings rooted in allegories, tools, and the symbolism of ancient stonemasonry. History is only one part of Freemasonry, and while carrying on the best of ancient traditions, modern Masonry has continued to be a place find true friendships, purpose, and connection.
The Grand Lodge of California, recently put together interactive pages designed to answer some of the most basic questions about modern Freemasonry, how to become a Mason, the steps involved to join a Lodge, as well as a historical reference of the meaning of the craft's symbolism, famous freemasons, and much more. Visit the links below in each of the three sections to learn more:
Have you ever wondered what Freemasonry actually was all about, or perhaps who are or can be a Mason, and what Masons do in and out of the Lodges they join? Learn more in What is Freemasonry?
Do you think you a ready to be a Freemason? In the following section we share everything you need to know about the requirements of becoming a Mason, as well as, what you will need to do to petition to join a Lodge in California. Learn more about Becoming a Freemason.
Freemasonry's roots trace all the way back to the Middle Ages, when Masons worked operatively with stone to build large structures, cathedrals, monuments, and more. Back then, there really was not way to carry around a portfolio of your work to prove that you knew how to build. Keep in mind this was still over 100 years before cameras were invented and nearly 300 years before the first iPhone, but there still needed to be a way for Masons to be able to travel and prove to other Masons they had the right skills to do the job. So Masons organized into Lodges and developed secret handshakes, passwords, and symbols to prove their capabilities in the craft or "rank" as a Mason, but they were also meant to protect their trade secrets.
Since those early days, Freemasonry and it's members have evolved in many ways, and has strived to be leaders in many fields, with several Masons rising to fame and stardom. Freemasonry made it's way to California during the Gold Rush before "California" was ever officially a State in 1850. Freemasonry's history is rich, diverse, and in many ways might surprise you to learn about people who you might have never known were Freemasons, such as our Founding Fathers, past U.S. Presidents, Governors, business leaders, entertainers, and athletes to name a few. Learn more about the History of Freemasonry.