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"I've been involved with Masonry for about 15 months now, and became interested when I read an A/T thread here by a goon named 'JSavino' (Thanks, bro!).
I checked the past 5 pages but couldn't find a thread, but I know that it's always something that interests people. I'll do my best to answer what I can, from my own experiences.
Please don't ask me to reveal any of the secrets of our brotherhood, as I'm taking those to the grave with me - If I won't answer your question, I'll let you know.
A little bit about me:
I'm turning 30 in about 2 weeks. I started out at Grandview Lodge #96 and then transferred to Cascade Lodge #12 in Vancouver, BC. I believe that our lodge has been in existence since the year 1888, and so it has quite a bit of history. Our Lodge's symbol is that of a train, because as the railway was being build from Eastern Canada to the West, the lodge moved with the line and the workers.
I received my Master Mason degree on November 15, 2007, and it's an experience I will never forget. A brother in my lodge is a tattoo artist and I will be getting my first tattoo as a half-sleeve, commemorating the many aspects of my Masonic life.
I decided to join the Scottish Rite and we are now on break for the summer. I am currently a 9th degree - Elect of the Nine.
Some links for those interested in learning more:http://www.freemasonry.bcy.cahttp://www.scottishritemasons-can.orghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonryhttp://www.masonsoftexas.com
Adomorn is a forum admin there, and it's not only people from Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I gotta memorize stuff?
Yes, for each degree, and yes if you hold a position within the lodge. Everyone in the lodge has done it before you, even the people who are 80+ years old. Learn it one line at a time, you can do it.
Do people who want to join have to believe in a higher being (power?).
This is asked at least once per page. Yes, you must believe in a higher power. No, we don't preach religion, and no we don't tell you who or what to believe in. We do this so that there is a feeling of accountability for our actions while we're here on earth.
You have a bible on your altar. You're Christian and I don't believe in that.
Read the thread. The book is representative of the demographics you are in. You can ask for a Torah or any other holy book if you want. The point is that the book is a symbol of 'a higher law'.
I'm a woman, hear me roar. I want in or I'll sue you.
Fraternity = guys. Sorority = gals. Would you let a guy into your Sorority? There are many sister organizations for women or both men & women together. Look above.
The degrees in Freemasonry
This is starting point for all men who wish to become Masons. The Blue (Craft or Symbolic) Lodge confers the following degrees:
1. Entered Apprentice
2. Fellow Craft
3. Master Mason
The 3rd Degree, that of the Master Mason, is the "highest" degree the can be given in all of Freemasonry.
After the Blue Lodge, a Master Mason may receive further teachings through the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite can confer an additional 30 degrees to the Master Mason.
An honorary 33rd° is conferred annually to certain 32nd° masons who have exemplified, in their daily lives, the true meaning of the Brotherhood of Man. The recipient must be at least 33 years of age and may not apply for the degree.
Although the Scottish Rite degrees are numbered, it is not to imply that masons who have achieved these degrees are of "higher" rank. The highest degree in Freemasonry is the sublime degree of Master Mason or 3° which is given in the Blue Lodge.
The York Rite is another organization that can give provide additional Masonic teachings and confer additional degrees. The York Rite is Christian in nature (Commandery degrees).
Links for Masons to expand their knowledgehttp://aurora.rgls.org/index.php/literatura
Lots of literature, including full PDF eBooks by Mackey, Pike, Macoy, etc (Thanks to Adomorn!)
Associated Orders for women & girls interested in Masonry
The Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is non-denominational, and non-sectarian in both its doctrine and its beliefs. The first and only factor for those wishing to enter its realms is an unequivocal belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.
Its aims and purpose is to promote the welfare and wellbeing of others, particularly those of the Widow and Orphan, and those less fortunate than ourselves.
Its origins began in France, around the middle of the 18th century, with its rites and rituals spreading rapidly and extensively throughout the rest of Europe. When in 1850 in America a slightly altered and more acceptable ritual was adopted by the people of that country, and thereafter in time, the rest of the world. The Order as we know it today was founded on the ideology of Bro R Morris, with Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness being the fundamentals of its structure and little has changed.
The Order of the Amaranth
The Order of the Amaranth is a social, fraternal, and charitable organization whose membership is open to both men and women with a Masonic affiliation. The teachings of our ritual impart lessons for daily living, character building, morality, and ethics. Membership in the Order of the Amaranth is a privilege; it provides opportunity not only for service but also for self-improvement and brings a gift of a special fraternal friendship among its members. The welfare and support of our members is of vital concern to their fellow members and it is deemed a privilege to assist another member in need.
The Order of Job’s Daughters was founded by Mrs. Ethel T. Wead Mick, realizing the importance of the early training she received from her Christian mother, and especially the beautiful lessons in literature and drama as found in the Book of Job, she decided to give her time and talent to make it possible for all young women of Masonic relationship to share the rare privileges that were hers.
The purpose of the Order is to band together young girls with Masonic relationship for character building through moral and spiritual development by teaching a greater reverence for God and the Holy Scriptures: loyalty to the Flag and the Country for which it stands, and respect for parents and Guardians.
The Order of the Rainbow for Girls was founded in 1922 for young women whose fathers were members of the Masonic Lodge, and their friends. Although a Christian minister named W. Mark Sexson founded the organization, today the leaders of Rainbow Girls respect and welcome all girls from every religion. Their main focus is more on the spiritual principles of being a kind and caring person. While the Rainbow practices and programs continue to evolve, the basic teachings of faith, hope, and charity remain a cornerstone of this dynamic girl’s youth group.
Daughters of the Nile
Daughters of the Nile is an international fraternal organization for women eighteen years of age or older, who are related by birth or marriage to a Shriner, Master Mason or a Daughter of the Nile. The order was founded in 1913 and its members proudly support the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Links for women & Freemasonry
* The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons which accepts women only can also be reached at 402 Finchley Road, Childs Hill, London NW2 2HR. Telephone 02074 435268 http://www.hfaf.org/
* Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in the UK and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry. http://www.owf.org.uk/
* A summary of Women in Freemasonry by the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, with a list of links. http://www.freemasonry.bc.ca/Writings/women.html
* American Co-Masonry under the auspices of the American Federation of Human Rights, P. O. Box 70 Larkspur Colorado 80118, tel: +1-303-681-2028 http://www.co-masonry.org/
* The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry – a worldwide body of both men and women Freemasons, who together work the traditional rites of Freemasonry with a conscious awareness of their spiritual content. http://comasonic.net/
* Women’s Grand Lodge of Belgium http://users.swing.be/mason/
* Women’s Freemasonry - USA The official web site of the four US Women’s Lodges chartered by the Women’s Grand Lodge of Belgium, with information about the history of women’s Freemasonry, as well as about each individual lodge. http://www.womenfreemasonsusa.com/
* George Washington Union, “A fairly new Obedience in the USA, under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France. This Obedience accepts men and women.” http://www.georgewashingtonunion.org/
* Le Droit Humain - The International Order of Co-Freemasonry (IOCF), known as “Le Droit Humain“, http://www.droit-humain.org/
was founded in Paris in 1893, and is the oldest Masonic organization admitting women and men equally. The American Federation of the IOCF, http://www.comasonic.org/
is the US branch of Le Droit Humain, introduced to America in 1904.
Taken from a pamphlet @ The Grand Lodge of BC & Yukon
What is a Freemason?
A Freemason is a man who uses the tools of moral and ethical principles to serve mankind. He is a man who has bound himself to like-minded men in a brotherhood that transcends the differences of religion, ethnicity, society and culture.
He shares the aspirations of men of good-will who seek to make themselves better than they are - not better than others. He is dedicated to the principles and responsibilities of justice, truth, charity, honesty and integrity. He believes that there is such a thing as honor and that he has a responsibility to act with honor. He believes that every person should strive to be a good citizen and has a moral duty to obey the laws of his country, and to contribute to its general welfare. He fosters knowledge and promotes happiness.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. This exclusive society derives much of its symbolism and structure from a history stretching back to the stonemason guilds of medieval Europe.
Freemasonry has been a part of British Columbia's history since 1859 when the first lodge was opened at Victoria in what was then the colony of Vancouver's Island. Since that time many prominent builders of this province have been active, committed Freemasons. Freemasonry is not for everyone, but it was an important part of their lives. Should it be a part of yours?
Should you be a Freemason?
The only way to be accepted into the fraternity is to ask a Freemason. Visit our website, contact our office, talk to Freemasons, and discover how we believe we have an opportunity to grow, to make a difference, to build a better world for ourselves and our children's children. Then ask yourself "Should I be a Freemason?"
ginch fucked around with this message at May 27, 2011 around 16:08 "