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Freemasonry, or Masonry, is a huge fraternity, with lodges in most of the free world.  Members move through three degrees, becoming at the end Master Masons.  This level of membership, called the Blue Lodge, uses for its logo the Square and Compasses united.  Sometimes they are by themselves, sometimes with a letter G in the center, occasionally with a Sun or Moon in the center.  Masonic symbolism revolves, as one might suspect, around the tools of the builders’ craft. Officers in a Masonic Lodge wear badges called “jewels.”  The Master of a Lodge wears a square hung from a cord or collar.  The Wardens wear a plumb or a level. 

Mason Symbol

Mason Symbol

There are several appendant and affiliated organizations that Master Masons may join.  The three largest are the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and the Shrine. 

The Scottish Rite confers 29 additional degrees so a Third-Degree Mason (that is, a Master Mason) who joins the Scottish Rite ends up being a 32nd degree Mason.  There is also an honorary 33rd degree conferred on a few people in the country every couple of years.  32nd degree Scottish Rite Masons wear black pill-box-shaped hats.  There is a “jewel” in the form of a white teutonic cross with a Roman “32” that goes with it.  The logo of the Scottish Rite is a double-headed Eagle, which often appears on rings and pins.  There is also a 14th degree ring, usually a plain gold band with a triangle enclosing the Hebrew letter Yod, and with the motto “Virtus Junxit Mors Non Seperabit” inside the ring.  There is also a 33rd degree ring, shaped like three rings joined together, sometimes with “33” on the front, and “Deus Meumque Jus” inside the ring.  The 18th degree, “Knight Rose Croix” is often represented with a pin or ring showing a passion cross surmounted by a rose.

14th Degree Ring

14th Degree Ring

The York Rite confers several degrees, including Mark Master, which uses a keystone as its logo, the Royal Arch Degree (RAM), Royal and Select Masters, and the Knights Templar.  Knights Templar use a distinctive sword.  Their logo is a cross united with a crown, with the cross tilted at a slant. 

The Shriners, or more properly the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine are the guys with red fezzes riding go-carts in parades.  Their logo is a scimitar suspended from a crescent formed of tiger claws, with a sphinx head and a star.

Other Masonic organizations, that is, ones you have to be a Mason to join, include: Grotto, also called MOVPER (black fez); Red Cross of Constantine; Royal Order of Scotland; Philalethes Society; York Rite College; Knight of York Cross of Honor (KYCH); Tall Cedars of Lebanon; High Twelve International; Knights of Malta; Knights of Saint Andrew; Knight Masons; Allied Masonic Degrees; Royal Order of Jesters; Legion of Honor; Sciots; National Sojourners. 

Youth groups connected to Masonic Lodges are the Order of Demolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow.

Ladies Organizations connected to Masonic bodies include: Eastern Star, Social Order of the Beauceant, Daughters of the Nile, White Shrine of Jerusalem, Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America, Order of Amaranth, and Daughters of Isis.

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