What are Landmarks?

Landmarks are universal customs and regulations – both written or unwritten – originally established at a time so remote that no account of their origins is to be found, yet they have generally grown into permanent rules or understandings and are considered essential to the preservation and integrity of the Order. A grand lodge that violates the Landmarks of the Order would cease to be a true expression of regular Freemasonry.

The Grand Lodge of Ohio Constitution says only that the landmarks must “be held inviolate.” Although not identified as such, a general expression of what Ohio considers landmarks appears in the Ancient Charges and its By-Laws defining the requirements for recognition of foreign grand lodges.

These include:

That the Grand Lodge is properly formed and formally recognized;

That is it independent, self-governing, and exercises entire, undisputed, dogmatic and administrative authority over the symbolic lodges in its jurisdiction, and that it recognizes exclusive territorial jurisdiction of other grand lodges and claims the same for itself unless shared by mutual consent;

That it requires conformity with the following Landmarks, customs and usages;

  • Acknowledgement of a belief in God;
  • That it makes Masons of men only;*
  • Secrecy;**
  • Symbolism of operative Masonry;
  • Three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, including the legend of the third degree;
  • Its purposes are charitable, benevolent, educational, and for the worship of God;
  • It excludes controversial politics and sectarian religion from all activities under its auspices;
  • The Sacred Book of Divine Law must be indispensably present in Lodges while at work.

*This is determined by sex at birth.  As a male-only fraternal society, a petitioner must be born a male and continue to live as a man.

**As a private organization, our business meetings are private and we respect the privacy of our members.

Most Common Questions

What is Freemasonry?

What is Freemasonry?

How do I join Ohio Freemasonry?

How do I join Ohio Freemasonry?

Can I transfer my membership to a different lodge in Ohio? Different state?

Can I transfer my membership to a different Lodge in Ohio? Different state?

How does Freemasonry work?

How does Freemasonry work?

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