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What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is perhaps the best known and oldest fraternity in the world. It is an initiatory system containing the keys to the Ancient Mysteries, which are experienced through a series of mystery dramas designed to open up and deepen our awareness and understanding.

Freemasons use terms and traditions of medieval stonemasons as allegories for building temples in our own hearts as we seek greater understanding within ourselves. We therefore tread a path that is spiritual but secular, owing nothing to any one particular religion. Defining who we are to non-masons is challenging because often the answers non-masons are seeking defy easy explanations. This sometimes results in Freemasonry being misunderstood. If masonry is a secret organisation, we are not very good at keeping the secret! Freemasons work in almost every country in the world. Our buildings, addresses, phone numbers, and websites are not secret. Our challenge in defining ourselves is that there is no single, simple phrase that can completely describe us. We offer a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.

Masonry uses symbolism based upon the tools of stonemasons who built vast cathedrals and castles in medieval times; the construction of a building is symbolic for building our own individual character.

On the Level

Freemasons are Brothers and Sisters meeting on the level.


This means we are all equal, irrespective of who we are and where we come from. We do not accept distinctions based on social standing,  gender, race, or ethnic origin, religion, or philosophical views.

Le Droit Humain is the International Order of liberal Freemasonry

for men and women.

The British Federation is the UK branch of this International Order.

Eternal Flame


The British Federation of Le Droit Humain practises esoteric Freemasonry. Our model is introspective and intellectual.


Liberal Freemasonry follows the rituals and traditions of ancient masonry, but we believe that neither gender nor lack of belief in God should be barriers to membership.


We practise speculative freemasonry, using symbolism to understand deeper truths and build character in individual masons.


The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women


We provide a path for personal spiritual growth, which holds the keys to ancient secrets and mysteries, develops the mind, body, and spirit, and helps to connect us with who we really are – the real 'me'.

The keys are experienced through a series of dramas and rituals designed to open up and deepen our awareness and understanding of the more hidden aspects of life.

Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is membership-based on religious beliefs; it is a fraternal organisation based on free-thinking, harmony and balance, tolerance and equality, admitting men and women equally.


Keys – opens, unlocks, allows access to something barred, not usually available. Specific keys for the right locks.

Ancient secrets and mysteries – Eleusian Mysteries, Ancient Egyptian Mysteries, and others. Point us towards spiritual perfection (outside the context of religious dogma).

Experienced – involved, participation, presence. Active rather than passive. Use of more than one sense. Impacts at various levels, some little known or understood.

Dramas and rituals – specially written playlets that convey different aspects of the ancient mystery traditions. Each stage or series is another part of the whole. One leads to the next.

Open up/deepen – points to/indicates what was not previously apparent. Increase in knowledge and insight. Seeing something in a new light/seeing the same thing differently.

Awareness – gives the opportunity to become conscious of things above or below our normal sphere of consciousness.

Understanding – we can convey knowledge, but can’t teach understanding: that only comes from insight and intuition, applying what we learn, and all Masonic teachings help us in that application.

The more hidden aspects of life – mysteries of life and death, the universe, our position within the vast eternal plan. Evolution of the soul.

Freemasonry may help to understand that the Big Bang was actually no more than a WHISPER.

God the Geometer

'God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created 

as the Architect is to things designed (ut artifex ad artificiata).'


                                                                                                      Thomas Aquinas

The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women

LE DROIT HUMAIN promotes the following:

- The universe was created for a purpose

- Freemasonry helps to develop that purpose by endeavouring to unravel universal truths

- Freemasonry is a force for good, with high principles and ideals, working to unify humanity but not to control it

- Freemasonry is spiritual experience and values without dogma


- The use of symbols, to be interpreted according to wit, ability, vision and knowledge. Symbols are like words in a universal language

- Self-development. Participation in masonic work trains the mind, develops the personality and brings poise and confidence

- Fellowship – provides the opportunity to meet and work with others of like mind and spiritual aspirations

- A broader understanding and belief in the higher nature of humanity

Tracing Board

International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women
Le Droit Humain - British Federation

'Seeing in a different light'

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