Regular Grand Lodges
The United Grand Lodge of England, the founder of speculative Freemasonry, may be regarded as the descendant of the first Grand Lodge created in the world in London. With this pedigree, it grants titles of recognition to those Grand Lodges that meet its “Landmarks,” basic principles.
The Landmarks of the United Grand Lodge of England have evolved with time. These currently are eight in number. They are:
- Regularity of origin is established by a duly recognized Grand Lodge or three or more regularly constituted Lodges.
- A belief in the Great Architect of the Universe and his revealed will shall be an essential qualification for membership.
- That all initiates shall take their Obligation on or in full view of the open Volume of the Sacred Law, by which is meant a revelation from above which is binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being initiated.
- That the membership of the Grand Lodge and individual Lodges shall be composed entirely of men; and that each Grand Lodge shall have no Masonic intercourse of any kind with mixed Lodges or bodies which admit women to membership.
- That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over Lodges under its control, i.e., that it shall be a responsible, independent, self-governing organization, with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft or symbolic degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to, or divide such authority with, a Supreme Council or any other power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.
- That the three Great Lights of Freemasonry (namely, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and the Compasses) shall always be exhibited when the Grand Lodge or its subordinate Lodges are at work, the chief of these being the Volume of the Sacred Law.
- That the discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge shall be strictly prohibited.
- That the principles of the Ancient Landmarks, customs and usages of the Craft be strictly observed.
All Grand Lodges following these Landmarks are called “Regular.” In France, several Grand Lodges currently meet these landmarks.