As mentioned previously I searched the Internet for Masonic Orders, and learn what my options were. Here’s the a overview. Unfortunately, only a few of the orders have material in English (still, refer to the Links section for more).
The regular orders: Three orders are recognised by The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) (and this serves as my simplified definition of regularity). This means that members can visit each other’s lodges, as well as regular lodges all over the world. UGLE holds no authority over Danish freemasons, though – there exists no such central power.
The Danish Order of Freemasons (DDFO)
The oldest order in Denmark, founded in 1743. It has worked according to different systems, but since 1858 uses the Swedish System. It is unique in that it calls for its members to be baptized in the Christian faith; it has 11 degrees. DDFO functions as Grand Lodge of Denmark, which means that it decides which lodges can be recognized as regular. It has approximately 8.000 members.
The Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Denmark (DDFL)
The second largest masonic organisation in Denmark. They work the three craft degrees (using an Emulation-based ritual), but if members wish it, and are baptized, they may take the higher degrees in DDFO. They have some 1.300 members in lodges all over the country. The Fraternity was established in 1929, but reorganised in 1961 in order to achieve amity with DDFO.
The St. John’s Lodges [Johanneslogeforbundet]
Three lodges working the German Schröder Rite. Recognized by DDFO as regular since 1959. The first of the lodges was established in 1900.
The irregular orders: A number of orders and lodges, not recognized by DDFO. Basically they cannot be present in the above mentioned (UGLE-“sanctioned”) orders (and vice-versa). Other than that their workings may be very similar, i.e. regular in terms of organisation and ritual. (Note: translation of order names are my own – these are generally very regional in their outlook).
The Order of St. Andrew [Sct. Andreas Ordenen]
This order established itself in 1896 following dissatisfaction with the Order of the Circle. They work according to The Swedish System, but only the first 6 degrees. They have their own lodge building in Copenhagen.
The Order of the Circle [Cirkel-Ordenen]
Resides in Copenhagen and has some 100 members. The website indicates three lodges at one point: Paulus, Matthæus and Johannes (Paul, Matthew and John). They are not very informative regarding the basis of their work, and I have not received answer to my email enquiry.
The Grand Lodge of Denmark of Free and Accepted Masons
An alternative grand lodge dating from 1929, but not recognized by UGLE. This is the organisation from which sprang the Fraternity (see above). It presents itself as having two craft lodges, a Royal Arch chapter, and a lodge of research. They are registered with the international union of CLIPSAS.
The Grand Orient of Denmark of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons
Works the Scottish Rite 33rd, and dates back to 1919. In close contact with the Grand Loge of Denmark, and only few members.
The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Denmark
Created in 2007 as it broke off from the Fraternity; started out with four lodges, still expanding.
Women-only and mixed-gender orders: There also exists lodges that accept women. Views are divided over this: UGLE considers this disqualification from regularity. But at the same time they have accepted that what the women are doing is freemasonry and usually of a very high standard.
Le Droit Humain (LDH)
The order was created in 1893 with the purpose of initiating women, and it is the oldest mixed-gender order. Le Droit Humain is represented all over the world, and here in Denmark they have 3 lodges totalling about 100 members (of mixed gender). The first Danish lodge was founded in 1917.
Danish Free & Independent Masons
A brand new lodge residing in Copenhagen since 2003. They accept both men and women.
Freja Lodge / Lilium Lodge
Freja was founded in 1989 under charter from the Grand Lodge of Belgium, and it has its home in Copenhagen. In 2005 a second lodge was consecrated: Lilium. The lodges only accept women.
Add to this Druids, Templars, Rosecruicians, Odd Fellows et al, different orders working with rituals, ceremony and degrees, many of them inspired by freemasonry. But I have decided to limit myself for this brief overview.
[Date of original post: September 23, 2005; last revised: September 10, 2009]