So you want to be a mason. Good choice. Some of the world’s greatest leaders were Freemasons.
But there is a lot to learn before visiting your local lodge. More importantly, there is a lot to learn after you become a member. After all, one of the key values of Freemasonry is learning.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before you visit a lodge, there are a few things you will need to know. Not the least of which are myths that need to be immediately dispelled:
Myths, Masonic Swords, and Secrets That Never Were
There is a good chance most people know more myths about Freemasonry than truths. For instance, masonic swords are not leftovers from the days when Freemasons were Knights Templar.
In the middle ages, it was expected that all gentlemen to carry a sword. A man without a sword was a man not fully dressed. It was definitely functional. But the vast majority of the time, it was fashionable and symbolic.
There is nothing secretive about a masonic sword. You can buy one for yourself right now. Bring it into a lodge meeting and it will be taken and held in the outer chamber.
It is neither functional nor fashionable today, and so should be displayed on a wall, not carried to the mall.
As for secrets, there aren’t any. Freemasonry is not a secret society. It has a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter feed. You can find lodges everywhere. But if you don’t know where to look, try the local phone book.
If you want to become a member, free yourself of Freemason myths.
WikiHow reduces Freemason requirements to the following:
- Be a man.
- Have a sound reputation, and be well-recommended by your peers.
- In most freemasonry jurisdictions, you must believe in a Supreme Being, regardless of your religion.
- Be over the age of 18 year
It should come as no surprise that maleness is a requirement as Freemasonry is a fraternity. That said, there are a few orders that allow women.
Speaking of exceptions, the Supreme Being requirement is not an absolute in some places as well. You might also find that the age requirement in some places is 21.
What they are really looking for are decent human beings. Their motto is, Better men make a better world. Be one of those and you likely have what it takes.
Pass the Tests
Once you enter a lodge, pay close attention. There will be a test (3, to be exact).
You must prove yourself as an apprentice, obtain the Fellow Craft degree, then move on to become a Master Mason. It takes about 8 months from start to finish. It might help if you think of them as merit badges at a higher level.
While a definite process, joining is relatively straightforward. The real question is, why are so many men becoming Freemasons?
They do it for the mission, the principles, and the fraternity. At bottom, Freemasonry is a charitable organization that strives to help those in need.
It is based on principles of equality, solidarity, and brotherly love.
Outside of one’s workplace, it is difficult to find true fraternal relationships worth being a part of. Freemasonry forges friendships that will last a lifetime.
If such appeals to you, take the first step. Call a lodge, and visit a meeting. Find out if it’s right for you.