It’s Not Masonry, He’s Just an Asshole

…And we’re back! Now that school is done and my job has started, life is starting to stabilize a bit. I’m hoping to keep us on a monthly schedule for new posts, so be on the lookout!

So, I get emails concerning Freemasonry fairly often, actually more often than I thought I would during my hiatus. About once or twice a month, I get an email with a question that is now fairly familiar to me. Everyone has their own story, of course, but the main idea is the same. Generalizing it a bit, it tends to be something along the lines of, “My husband goes to Lodge, even though he knows I don’t like it. He won’t help at home. I feel like Masonry is more important to him than his family.” While I would not usually say this so directly in an email, I will take the risk of making a blanket statement here. Freemasonry is not to blame, your husband is just an asshole.

Educate Yourself

I know I tout this a lot, but really, I think it is one of the most important bits of advice that anyone can give the SO of a Mason. It’s important for you to know and understand, what Freemasonry teaches, even in just a very general sense. You see, when a man takes his obligation, that is, when he kneels down and puts his hand on the volume of Sacred Law (usually the Bible), he swears that Masonry will not come first. Yes, you read that correctly. He swears that his obligations to his family, his job, and his deity of choice come before his obligation to Masonry. Think of Freemasonry a bit like a high school extracurricular. You’ve got to keep your grades up in your classes, that is, the important stuff, if you want to be involved. If Masonry is coming first, you’ve got problems; you’ll want to read the rest of this article.

I know that a lot of people have hang-ups about the secretive aspect of Masonry. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again here: Freemasonry is not a secret society, it is a society with secrets. And lets be real, their secrets aren’t even anything awesome. They consist of a few handshakes, ways to recognize each other, and some exact wording of some ritual. If you, for whatever reason, want to know these things, Google is your friend. That being said, I do not recommend looking these things up if you are a current candidate. It can ruin the immersion aspect.

Sometimes, especially “back in the day” (aka, 1950’s) Masons were ill or misinformed about what was and what was not a secret. It is not always spelled out in black and white. Because of this, many Masons simply chose to share nothing instead, which fed into all of the ideas about Freemasons that the conspiracy theorists love. Sometimes it can depend on the jurisdiction, but chances are, if it’s written out in plain, longhand English, it isn’t a secret. This can, of course, get more confusing with oral history jurisdictions, but that’s another article entirely.

Again, I do strongly recommend anyone dating a Mason to educate themselves as much as possible. Explore this blog, don’t be afraid to send me an email with specific questions. There is a lot of misinformation out there about Freemasonry. I’ve found that the best resources tend to be either in print, or in person. Brother Hodapp’s Freemasonry for Dummies is an excellent resource. I’ve read the whole thing cover to cover, and honestly can’t recommend it enough. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry is also excellent.

Going and meeting people in your Mason’s Lodge is also a very valuable resource. Not only will getting to know these folks possibly make you feel more comfortable, but it will also allow you to gauge how much time other Masons are spending at Lodge. Ask to meet the current Worshipful Master (essentially the President of the Lodge), ask to see the Lodge room. These things are okay for you to ask for, and again, doing so may make you feel more at ease.

Talk to your Spouse

I know I’ve given this advice probably about as often as I should take it myself. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Life gets in the way sometimes. If you are feeling that your Mason is too involved in Lodge, and/or spending too much time there, make time to sit down and talk about it. Schedule it if you have to, but get it done. Find out what they like about Freemasonry, what they don’t like. What motivates them to attend so much? Is it because they enjoy the Masonic work so much? Their Lodge is just so super awesome? Or are they avoiding the obligations of work, home, kids, etc?

If it’s that they are so overjoyed by Masonry, awesome. What are you, as the SO, going to do with this information? Are you comfortable with this, or do you need them to tone it down a bit? Are you happy to help, get involved, or would you rather not? This is totally your choice. Do not feel pressure to get involved if you aren’t interested. It’s perfectly normal for spouses to have interests that their partners don’t.

That being said, sometimes just knowing what is going on at a Lodge meeting, or meeting the other members of his Lodge may help put your mind at ease. If he isn’t sure what he can tell you about what happens, I recommend reading over this post together, and talking about it. If you do want to get involved, don’t be afraid to jump in feet first. There’s always fundraisers, car washes, raffle tickets, fun nights, etc., etc. Don’t forget, it’s okay to say no sometimes when you need a break.

Alright, so, lets say that your spouse isn’t overjoyed and overexcited by the teachings of Masonry, and is instead using it as a way to avoid other responsibilities. He’s being a bit of an asshole by going to Lodge and getting more involved, despite your requests for him to not, for help with the kids, whatever the case may be. It happens. In this instance, I recommend two things: communicate, and get help.

Communicating and Getting Help

Obviously, direct, face to face communication is best. Speak directly with your SO about Freemasonry, how you feel about it, and the issues you are having. Its it just them spending too much time at Lodge? Too much money? Avoiding responsibilities? You just don’t like it? Let them know. Adulting is hard sometimes, but it is often unavoidable. Compromise is the key. You might not get exactly what you are looking for, but be sure that your partner is willing to listen and find a solution with you. If they are unwilling to budge, it’s time to sit down with a professional who can act as a moderator.

There’s a ton of tips online for communicating with your SO. It’s also something that everyone can be better about, no one is perfect. Some of these include using “I” statements, and finding both of your preferred love languages and communication styles. If you find that its not going well, or that you need help communicating, that’s just fine. The help is available, you just need to ask for it. Many local colleges offer free marital counseling. Sometimes its nice to just talk to a third party. If you are in a situation where your spouse refuses to go, just go by yourself until they join you.

In addition to this, do not be afraid to contact your Lodge if you are having issues with your Mason being too involved. It may seem weird to think about, but in a way, it is your Lodge too. Usually there is a phone number or email address available online under a Lodge’s contact information or on their website. If you aren’t sure which Lodge to contact, do a Google search for “[Your State] Grand Lodge”. This should have a site with all of your area’s Lodges and their contact information.

When you send an email or make a phone call, this will usually go to the Lodge’s secretary. When you contact them, you do not need to say anything more than, “I am ______’s partner. I need to talk to the Worshipful Master about a personal matter.” (I would not worry about confidentiality, Masons are good at keeping secrets, remember?) I would recommend meeting with him in person, if you are able. Hopefully they will be able to whisper some good council, and get your Mason back onto the right path.

As always, if you have any questions about anything mentioned in this article or otherwise related to Freemasonry, do not hesitate to contact me at themasonslady@gmail.com

 

 

Feminism and Freemasonry

This post is something that I’ve been thinking on for a while now. I know it’s not the easiest topic to discuss, nor is it everyone’s cup of tea, but if anyone out there is going to talk about it, it should be me.

We had our Conclave recently (basically DeMolay Grand Lodge). One of the events that happens after the banquet, during the dance, is the crowning of the new state sweetheart, as well as singing to the outgoing one. The traditions my state has developed over the years I would not exactly call kind. You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ is sung to the outgoing sweetheart, surrounded by the majority of the guys, usually while she cries. Before the new sweetheart is actually crowned, all of the candidates stand together while the Jeopardy! theme is played, the crown bouncing from person to person. A friend who recently got engaged to a Master Mason and senior DeMolay witnessed this for the first time, she was so flabbergasted she almost walked out the door. And yet, I have no doubt that this tradition will continue for years to come.

As a feminist, as, most any woman really, I think that the first emotional reaction when learning about Freemasonry is anger, with thoughts of, “Why can’t I do that? Am I really that different? What gives them the right?” Unfortunately, I feel that learning that women cannot become Masons is only the beginning. I’ve been asked many times how I deal with it. I would consider myself a feminist, and I will be the first to admit that there have been many rage educing moments within Masonry for me. However, I do not feel that Masonry and feminism have to be mutually exclusive.

Recognize it for what it is

Freemasonry, as we know it today, was unified in 1717,  (and constituted about 100 years later). At that time, women not only couldn’t vote, but also couldn’t own property, and weren’t even really citizens in the United States. Everything was tied to your husband. You’ve seen Pride and Prejudice? Basically that. The revivals in Masonry in the 1920’s and 1960’s did not see many great changes for women. Yes, we could vote and own property, but any woman wearing pants in public was surely up to no good.

Lodge was a way for the man of the house to “get away from it all”. This tends to be the reason less often these days. I would attribute a lot of that to social and technological changes. That being said, it needs to be recognized that Freemasonry has always been the guys’ “safe space”. I personally, have no problem with this, and support it, as long as there an equal “safe space” for women. Unfortunately, I would not really say that this is the case. Many of the organizations people cite would not exist without masculine Masonry (OES, Daughters, etc), or are not as widespread as many of us wish (Order of Women Freemasons, Order of the Weavers).

In many ways, I feel that Masonry has never really left these bygone eras. Bits and pieces of ritual have changed over time, but overall, it’s the same. This, unfortunately, the social culture of many Lodges and OES Chapters is like walking into a time machine. In my state, women in OES were not allowed to wear pants to meetings up until 2014. Yes, I’m quite serious. Even at T’s Lodge, full of young men in their 20’s and 30’s, the women set up the meals, and clean up after the men begin their meeting, with naught a thank you in site. I of course, can only speak from my experiences, but this often is the aura of the Lodges and Chapters in my area.

Find the good bits

One of the best things you can do, not only with Freemasonry, but anything really, is to educate yourself. Find out why something is the way it is, if someone has ever tried to do anything about it, what the results were.

My research for the blog has found me sifting through numerous websites and books. I’ve learned so much I never would have otherwise. I find the women that have become masculine Masons particularly interesting, espcially because their exisitance tends to be covered up or denied. Freemasonry is not a secret society, but is a society with secrets; they have many secrets. Many of these can be found simply by looking.

Getting involved is another great way to find the postitives of Masonry. Many Daughters of the Nile Chapters have dancing or singing groups, start an OES Stitch’n’Bitch. Many Shrine clubs can be joined by the Shriner’s lady, and some of them are even ladies only. It often seems on the surface there is nothing there for us as women, but really, it just takes a little digging.

Be the change you want to see

I think that a lot of the trick is to make it all work for you. While I’m all for tradition, I rarely wear anything but pants to a Chapter meeting or Lodge dinner, unless its a special occasion. A small group of us have made a gaming club at our local Shrine, open to anyone who wants to join. T and I are DeMolay advisors, and feel that one of the best ways to make changes is to not only make them happen yourself, but help the future Masonic leaders grow and learn about all they can.

If there’s something about your Lodge, Chapter, or even Freemasonry as a whole that you don’t like, change it. There are, of course, more subtle ways to go about it, but sometimes the direct approach is best. If you’re gonna go out there and try to make big changes, know that every thing in the Masonic family happens at a snail’s pace. It took almost 5 years to raise the dues in our state by $1.50 to give 50 cents to each youth group. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t give up.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta suck it up

Or bite your tongue. Or coincide an argument. I’m not going to lie to you: if you are a woman involved in Freemasonry, and consider yourself a feminist, there will be times when you are blinded with rage due to the fraternity. Sometimes you just have to smile through your gritted teeth as you clear the dishes of men too lazy to do it themselves. It sucks, but, like many things in life, that’s just the way that it is. As many times as Masonry has pissed me off, I could not imagine giving up everything I’m involved in because of that.

 

Interview with a Mason’s Lady #1

So, there’s some a big post on the back burner, I need to mull it over a bit, and think about how I want to word it. In the mean time, I wanted to share with you a project I started a while ago- interviewing other Mason’s Ladies. If you or someone you know would like to share your Masonic story. please send me an email at themasonslady@gmail.com!

(Identifying information has been removed.)

Name: J. B.

Age: 36

Current Location: Seoul, South Korea

How were you made aware of Masonry? Do you come from a Masonic family?

I come from a very masonic family, more so on my mother’s side.  My great grandparents were in masons, shrine, and Daughters of the Nile (great grandmother). My Grandfather and great uncle were also Shriners (It was an exciting year when my great uncle because imperial potentate of the Shrine. I still remember attending the Shrine circus and seeing my Great uncle as ringmaster during his year as potentate in British Columbia).  My uncles and my cousin also became masons when my great uncle became imperial potentate (gotta support). My father was also a mason and would have become a shriner had he not passed away at an untimely age due to cancer. My Grandmother is a past queen of Daughters of the Nile and a Past Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star (I had the pleasure of using her gavel when I was honored queen in 1993 and am using is once again as Worthy Matron). My Mother was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Amaranth (unfortunately she quit when I moved to Korea as she was tired of dealing with the gossipy cattiness that inevitably follows an organization filled with a plethora of personalities).

When I turned 11 years old (Job’s Daughters range in age from 11-20), my Grandmother and Grandfather took me to an open installation of Bethel #31.  This was my very first time ever seeing anything masonic.  During the reception, I had my grandmother on one side of me and my grandfather on the other and they asked, “So what do you think? Would you like to join?” Of course, the immediate answer would be yes.  From that point on, I have been a diligent member of masonic affiliated organizations.

What is your perception of the current state of Masonry where you live? That is, how to you, personally view the Masonry around you? If applicable, how has it changed over the years, or from location to location?

I am lucky enough to be associated with both PHA and non-PHA masonic groups here on the Korean peninsula. For non-PHA lodges, there are two grand lodges represented: Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of the Philippines. They have no female organizations available here at this time.  For PHA the two Grand Lodges that I know of represented are: The Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction and the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. The PHA groups here are mainly military based and the non-PHA groups are mainly expat. I can clearly see that there is a small rift between the PHA and non-PHA groups. This is slowly changing. This year we have attended (Boyfriend and I are PHA Eastern Stars) the open installation of Macarthur Lodge of the Grand Lodge of the Philipines and have also attended various barbeques and other functions with Lodge Han Yang of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.  Unfortunately, the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Washington PHA do not currently recognize each other making it more difficult to interact on a more official level.  Brothers of the lodges are currently working toward rectifying this situation.

As an expat member of a mainly military Chapter of the OES, it is very different for me to me involved in such a high turnover due to people leaving to a new location every couple of years for their career.  Even with this, we continue to thrive and have a strong sister and brotherhood.

As a mason’s “wife” of a non-PHA lodge, it feels very much the same as it did in Vancouver.  I feel very involved and have gained great friendships with many of the men and their wives.  I am also aware that I feel more of a connection with the brothers than some of the other wives due to my masonic upbringing.  I firmly believe that wives being involved in masonic affiliated organizations can bring very greater understanding and closer relationships.

Overall, I would say that whether as a child or an adult, whether PHA or non-PHA, whether in North America or Korea, the fundamental values remain the same: strive to be a better person and perform acts of charity. It is an honor and privilege to say that I am a part of masonic organizations.

 What is your favorite aspect of Masonry? Your least favorite?

Favorite: The camaraderie, the ritual work, and the virtues for which we all strive to embody.

Least favorite: the gossipy catty nature of some members within the order.

How has Masonry changed your relationships (SO, family, friends) for the better? Has it changed it for the worse as well?

I feel as though I have answered this within all my other answers.  Overall it has always changed it for the better. I have always been a part of masonic organizations and don’t know what my life would be like otherwise. I would certainly say however, that I would not change a thing.

If you could change one thing about your lodge/chapter, what would it be? Why?

Selfishly, I would wish that my sisters and brothers could remain in-country (Korea) longer. Our ritual work suffers due to the high turn-over rate however, the true reason is that I miss them very much when they are gone.

Were you involved in Job’s Daughters or Rainbow growing up? Looking back on those programs, do you have a positive, or negative view on them? How did they impact your life today?

I was a Job’s Daughter growing up and had a very positive experience.  I was very unpopular in school due to my, shall we say… eccentricities – I was weird and embraced it. I never cared because I had an amazing group of friends in both Job’s Daughters and DeMolay of whom many I am still friends with today. Jobies were my true friends and where I felt at home.  I know that many people may have had negative experiences due to the, as I have said before, gossipy and catty nature of people – especially girls.  I however, feel very thankful for my upbringing.  Jobies taught me not only decorum and virtues to strive toward, but also accounting, Robert’s Rules of Order, organization skills, public speaking, and most importantly how to lead in a diplomatic community.  Today, I still have a large community of friends that stemmed from my time in Jobies. More importantly, my closest friends (even though I only see them once a year or every other year) were also those I grew up with within masonic groups. My boyfriend (of whom I have been living with now for 6 years) was a DeMolay from Golden Ears Chapter. We were buddies for 15 years before we ever started dating.

 

My Boyfriend, is the current (now past) Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Han Yang #1048 of the Grand Lodge of Scotland located in Seoul South Korea and he is also a member of Lodge Southern Cross #44 of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. As a masonic “wife,” I have had the privilege of meeting many amazing men and women here in Korea and wouldn’t change it for a minute. One of the nice things about dating a mason is that I know that the men he is hanging out with have certain values and morals they strive to achieve and therefore I always feel comfortable knowing he’s out having fun with them.  More often than not I am invited along for the fun.  I realize that there are many masonic wives that do not have the same view as me and worry when their husband comes home late into the night. I think that my view is different because I am very aware of and involved in masonic organizations and therefore have a better understanding of what they are doing any why.  I firmly believe that the wives with issues would feel much more secure if they were also involved in masonic affiliated orders.

If you have children, do you encourage them to be involved in Masonic youth programs, why or why not? If you do not have children, will/would you?

I absolutely would encourage my children to be involved in Masonic youth programs. I think my reasoning is pretty clear based on my own experiences.  Over and above the feeling of belonging and the wonderful skills I learned, I was also kept too busy to get into any trouble.  I never got interested in drugs, teen pregnancies, stealing cars or anything else that bored teenagers may decide is a good idea.  My mother knew all of my friends’ parents and never really had to worry.  I would go out late on many weekends to dances and such, however we always had 1 parent to every 5 girls.  Jobies also provided a community of parents for my mother to get involved in.

 Have you ever experienced misogyny from Masons? How did you react, and if in public, how did the others around you react? Did this incidence(s) change the way that you view Masonry? Why or why not?

I certainly have experienced misogyny from Masons (more so since I’ve been in OES in Korea).  There are a few members of lodges here who feel that women have no place within any masonic affiliated groups.  I usually don’t have any time to react before another Mason will break in information regarding female Masons in France etc. etc. Though it saddens my heart to meet men that feel negatively toward women having any involvement, I am quickly lifted by the much larger number of men –usually more educated on masonic knowledge – who come to the rescue and put them in their place. It hasn’t really changed my view on masonry at all.  Confucius said, “To study without thinking is futile, to think without studying is dangerous.” I know that in every walk of life there will be people who “think without studying” and it is their own downfall, not mine.

How do you feel about the “men only” rule? Do you agree or disagree with this rule? Why or why not?

I can understand why many women feel they should not be prevented from joining a lodge just because of their gender, however I disagree. Girls enjoy having their “girl’s night out” where they go out with just the ladies leaving their husbands and boyfriends to do as they will. Men also enjoy this experience. Men should be able to have the freedom to be a part of an organization that is only men.  Women should also have this same freedom.  Masonic affiliated organizations allow for this via Daughters of the Nile, Ladies of the White Shrine, Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, and I’m sure many more that I can’t think of at the moment. They also have organizations that both men and women can enjoy together such as OES, Amaranth, Heroines of Jericho (PHA), and much more.  Masonic groups allow for men to have their men time, women to have their women time, and for men and women to come together.  On top of this, women are also very involved in many of the open events the lodges have and husbands have the same opportunity within the women’s organizations. I also have absolutely no problem completely female lodges as they have in England (to me this is just another masonic affiliated group). I not agree with the idea of forcing all masonic affiliated groups to be co-ed. There is a completely different dynamic within the co-ed groups and if lodges were forced to be co-ed, there would be no place for the men to have their “men time.”

What advice would you give to a new member or a new or fellow Mason’s lady? What questions would you want to ask them?

My advice would be to be prepared for the gossipy catty nature of human beings and to never let it bring you down.  Do your best to strive to uphold the virtues within your obligation and teach others to do the same.  If you model it, they will follow.  Remember all the good that comes out of these organizations and embrace the life-long friendships that will most certainly emerge. These organizations aren’t just about your chapter, court, etc, but about a connection world-wide.  People will move away, you will meet visitors from all over, and you will have the opportunity to remain in touch for a lifetime. Remember the charity work that embodies the order and that your contribution is important, but so is your humbleness. It doesn’t matter how many people know that you work hard, what matters is that you do indeed work hard.

I guess the question I would ask a new member is, “are you prepared to do your best to follow and embody the virtues and morality found within your obligation? Are you prepared to make this a life-long commitment through the good and the bad knowing that the good will always inevitably be greater?” I would also offer a welcoming place for any sister or brother to visit in Korea.

Big News!

This post will be short and sweet, but I am so excited I couldn’t wait any longer! As some of you may have deduced, I’ve been working on a bit of a side project for The Mason’s Lady, and the day to reveal is finally here!

There is now a Mason’s Lady Community Facebook group! I’ve spoken with a number of ladies who feel that they are the odd ones out as far as dating a Mason, as well as some Masons who wish that their SO’s had someone to connect with over the topic; this lead to the creation of the group.

I wanted something that could supplement my blog, as well as hopefully become something more. The idea is that this is a safe place to vent, speak out, support others, and ask questions in real time. I’ve posted a few conversation starters, so lets get the ball rolling and get to know one another!

For now, the group will be simple and light. At this time, the group is closed, so that the public can only see the members, not the posts within the group. I do also have it so that any member can approve membership, hopefully I will not have to change it in the future.

Order of Weavers

I want you to imagine something with me. Close your eyes, and imagine a Lodge; the people within it, its purpose, all of the wonderful things that those people accomplish. Imagine their families, the children growing up within the Lodge, and one day joining on their own. Now imagine, only a slight difference from reality. Instead of all of the members being men, imagine them instead to be women. What would be different? What would be the same? Would the organization crumble, or thrive? How would the men feel about being excluded; would they be offended, or would it not be a big deal? Could what this Lodge accomplish be far different from others?

What if I told you this was not necessarily a daydream? While there are a few women organizations in the United States, they are almost a direct copy of masculine (regular or mainstream) Masonry. Personally, I feel that if I were to join a Lodge, I would not want it to be masculine Masonry with different but similar words, I would want it to be something of its own, something that I can help shape its own legacy. Within the Netherlands (as well as one Lodge in France), this exists within the Order of Weavers.

The Order of Weavers was created shortly after World War II. The women of the country,as many did, enjoyed the newfound freedom of being able to take leadership positions and work outside of the home. They had noticed that Freemasonry had lent great support, both to the members, as well as their families. They were inspired to create something similar, but very much their own. Twelve women began the order in 1947, many of them were the wives of Freemasons. While starting out, they were supported by three Freemasons,though the Order of Weavers is not an official Masonic organization. The rituals were completed by 1950.

In many ways, the Order of Weavers is very similar to masculine Masonry. There are three degrees. The membership requirements are similar, a candidate must be a free-born woman, who believes in a higher power. Dogma, politics, and controversial issues are frowned upon for topics of discussion within the Lodge. They do not permit the opposite sex to join. They both teach similar morals and life lessons, and touch the lives of their members. Also, much like UGLE Freemasonry, the Order of Weavers has a split off organization that came about of disagreement. This is called the Order of Free Weavers, and the majority of their Lodges are based in France, with some in the Netherlands.

The Order of Weavers, is of course, still very different from Masonry. The three degrees are called Spinner, Weaver, and Designer (sometimes also called Creator?). While the formatting of the ritual work is based off of Blue Lodge, that tends to be where the similarities end. The Grand Lodges are instead called Colleges. The Order of Weavers tells their own stories, and teaches their own lessons, ones quite divergent from Freemasonry. The concepts behind the rituals, however, are similar. The end result is still to create a better person. In the end, the biggest difference between the two organizations, is that the Order of Weavers does not have the great pedigree that Freemasonry does.

There are currently 16 Lodges of the Order of Weavers, 15 being in the Netherlands, and 1 in France. This is actually the same number of Lodges of Le Droit Humain. They currently boast 500 members.

So, what’s the big deal about this organization? Sometimes, I day dream about bringing the organization to the United States. It would be quite the undertaking. However, if anyone is interested in gaining approval from the College, flying to the Netherlands, receiving the degrees, going back home, and doing all the work to begin a Lodge, please let me know! I think I am up to two people right now.

Please note, that there is not much information out there about the Order of Weavers, so some of this is pieced together a bit. If you have different information, or are a member of the Order of Weavers, I would love to hear from you.

What do you think about the organization? Would you join, or be interested in learning more? If you’re a Mason, what do you think about the Order? Would you be okay with your SO joining?

How to Keep Freemasonry from Ruining Your Marriage, and Why It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way

Every week it seems, I receive an email or PM saying more or less the same thing. My husband joined Freemasonry behind my back. I don’t like how much time Masonry takes up. Freemasonry is ruining my marriage.

 There are dozens, if not more, forums stating the same thing. That Freemasonry wants nothing more than to take men away from their wives, their children, and their families.  Let me first assure you, that this is not the case. In fact, Freemasonry teaches that it should not be a priority in your life. Your family should always come first, as should work, school, and anything else that may be important in your life. Freemasonry should supplement and complement  your life, not take over it. Unfortunately, many new members jump into the deep end, and either become overexcited with all of the new opportunities, or feel guilted, or that they “should” do this or that event, and quickly find themselves overwhelmed. If you find yourself in this situation, either as a Mason, or an SO of a Mason, this is what I recommend doing.

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is the biggest factor, and honestly, the easiest to do. However, it is also the most overlooked. If you feel that your SO is spending too much time at Masonic events, tell them. They may not realize that you are struggling with it at all, and think that everything is fine. Your partner is not a mind reader, no matter how much we may want them to be. I know that I can fall into the trap of being passive aggressive in hopes that my partner will somehow magically be able to guess what is wrong. If you have a problem, or even just a question, about Freemasonry, or anything else for that matter, speak with them about it. In addition to this, those who are members of Masonic organizations need to communicate clearly with their leaders. I know I have been goaded more than once into doing some event that I didn’t really want to because I felt I had to. Don’t be afraid to communicate your wants and needs to them. If you can’t make it to something, they will understand.
  1. Do your research. A lot of the time, the reason we don’t like, or are afraid of something, is because we don’t know about it. A lot of women tell me that they are concerned about the secrets that the Freemasons tell the men to keep from their wives. As I’ve said before, and I will say again: Freemason secrets are nothing more than handshakes, and ways to recognize each other. If you want to know for yourself, Google it. No, seriously. Anything that goes on in Lodge you can find on the Internet. I’ll even give you a leg up; the most commonly used book is called Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor. It’s even in handy dandy PDF form! A fair warning though- it is mind numbingly boring to read. However, if you are a Mason who has not yet received all of their degrees, or are someone who wants to someday become a Mason, I recommend you do not read it. Not knowing what is coming is half the fun of initiation. In addition to this, know that if you do read it, and ask your SO questions, they may not be able to answer them all. Although all Masonic secrets can be found with a quick search, the men who join still swear an oath to never reveal them.
  1. Get involved. This kind of goes hand in hand with number two. When T first told me about the Shrine, I imagined this super-secret bar that entrance could only be gained with the correct knock and password, that it would be far off the beaten path, maybe even underground. When I first went to the local Shrine, I realized I passed it a million times every week. It was plain, out in the open, open to the public, with large signs and statues advertising what organization lay inside. I think sometimes we let our imaginations carry us away. Lodge night quickly becomes men in dark robes, chanting in an underground chamber of a long forgotten castle. If you’ve never been to your SO’s Lodge, go! There is nothing stopping you from entering the building, meeting the other members, or even entering the Lodge room. Ask the Worshipful Master for a tour, I am certain he will be happy to. If you’ve been frustrated with your SO’s lack of answers, ask someone who may know there. Don’t just go when there are family events, go on Lodge night, go and have dinner with them before their meetings, ask if you can sit in on education lectures. You won’t be able to go to everything, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Even just going to a Lodge meeting and sitting out with the Tyler, reading a book, can do wonders to put your mind at ease.
  1. Consider therapy. Don’t think of therapy as a bad thing. Just like Masonry, you want to make a good thing better. It may help you learn things about your SO you never knew before. This is why many religions require couples to go through some kind of counseling before they are married.  Often times, just having a third, neutral party can help more than you can imagine. Going to therapy can help you learn how to communicate better, which we all know leads to better relationships. Sometimes we realize issues are bigger than we thought, and sometimes they are in reality such a minute detail we don’t even remember why they seemed so big in the first place. Counseling and therapy can help give you perspective, and can help you grow as a person, and as a couple. I highly recommend it for anyone, not just those who feel they are having issues, Masonic or otherwise.
  1. If all else fails, back away. This, I feel like is also very difficult to do. If Freemasonry is causing enough discourse that your SO feels that it is ruining your relationship, it’s time to step away for a bit. Not from your relationship of course, but from Masonry. I feel like so often we feel obligated to do everything, especially as new members, that we get overwhelmed quickly, sometimes without even realizing it. Masonry will be there when you get back. Being a Mason is kind of like being a Jew, once a Mason, always a Mason (you do have to keep current on dues of course). It’s okay to take a break, Masonry will still be there when you are ready to return. Please, please do step away, especially if you feel that your relationship with your SO, or any other aspect of your life is suffering because of it.

Hopefully this helps at least one person out there. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me here, or email at themasonslady@gmail.com

 

A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife Book Review and Giveaway

I’m going to keep this week’s article short and sweet so we can get to the fun stuff.

Shortly after I started The Mason’s Lady, I found myself quickly grasping at straws to find any information that was about Freemasonry, for specifically for the significant other of a Mason. Let’s just say we won’t be making a “best of” list anytime soon for books in that category. I can’t remember if it was through deep Googling, or someone mentioning it on Reddit, but eventually I stumbled across a book; I ordered it as soon as I saw the title, A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife. I was even lucky enough to find a used copy that was signed by one of the authors.

A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife by Philippa Faulks and Cheryl Skidmore, though made for a UK audience, is a wonderful companion for any Mason’s lady. The first half of the book goes over general information and commonly asked questions about Freemasonry. It’s is in a nice question and answer format, similar to what I do here on occasion. This part of the book covers all of the basics of Masonry, the officers, the uniforms, the accessories, etc, but also offers some insightful advice, such as how much time Masonry actually takes up, and some tips on how you can be accepting of your significant other becoming, or being a Freemason. This section also includes a short Masonic dictionary (at the very front for easy access), as well as some beautiful poems and songs regarding Masonry that I have not seen anywhere else.  The only fault I have with the book, is that some of the information is ordered a little oddly, for instance, not all of the descriptions of the various Lodge officers are in the same chapter, but it does make sense within context; this is also saved by the concise index at the back of the book.

The turning section in the book is the chapter about hosting a Ladies Night, which may happen only in the UK (or only just not in T’s Lodge), which seems to be kind of a Ladies at the table kind of event combined with a fun night and charity event. The second half of the book is sadly (for me at least) very UK/Europe specific. It covers all of the charities that Masons in the area have and donate to, and gives a lengthy description of each, as well as information specific to Masonic wives and widows.It also includes information for all of the appendant Masonic bodies, including women’s and youth groups. contact information for the appendant bodies of Masonry, and the Grand Lodges of the area.

 

One of the authors of the book, Philippa Faulks, has actually had a really awesome interview pertaining to this book if you want to check it out. It also has some great Masonic information; you can tell she really feels passionate about the subject, and is also very knowledgeable.

 

Overall, I would say that A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife is a must have for anyone interested in Masonry, whether they are the significant other of a recently joined Mason, or a not so recently joined Mason, or even a Mason himself. It really begs itself for a sequel, perhaps for the wife of the established Mason. This is the kind of book that I hope to write some day for a US audience, and I only hope that it will be half as awesome.

And now for the fun stuff!

 

Philippa Faulks was actually on the /r/freemasonry subReddit the other day, and I told her that her book, A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife really inspired me and helped me form The Mason’s Lady into what it is today. She and her publisher were kind enough to offer me a couple of signed copies to give away to my readers!

I have two copies of the book to give away. In order to keep it simple, I will ask anyone who may be interested in a copy to comment on this post with either their favorite thing about Freemasonry, or a question that they have about Freemasonry. I will keep the giveaway open until I post next week’s article (usually 9:30pm Central time), and the winners will be randomly chosen using a handy dandy random number generator. Winners will be contacted privately for their contact information. Please only comment once, and do not make multiple accounts in order to add more comments, in order to keep the giveaway fair for everyone.

If you aren’t comfortable with the giveaway, or want to buy directly, you can find it here – but note that because this book comes from the UK, there will be significant shipping charges.

Have a great week!

Emily Post’s Guide to Female Dress Codes

A while back, I did a couple of articles going over the care of dress clothes for men. While doing the same for women is nigh impossible with all of the different fabrics out there (read those laundry labels ladies!), I did want to be able to give women a general guideline as to what to wear at certain events. Far too often T tells me of an event we need to attend, and when I ask what the dress code is, his reply is typically, “I dunno”. I can’t imagine that he is the only one that does this. Please remember that these are not hard and fast rules, just general ideas. If you are lucky enough to get a flyer or handout for an event, they will usually have the dress code on it somewhere.

If the event does have a stated dress code, these are the generally accepted options for women:

  • Casual- sundress, long or short skirt, khakis or nice jeans, shorts (depending on occasion), plain t shirt, polo short, turtleneck, casual button down blouse
  • Dressy casual- dress, skirt and dressy top, dressy pants outfit, nice jeans and dressy top
  • Buisness casual- skirt,khakis or pants, open collar shirt, knit shirt or sweater, dress
  • Business formal- suit, business style dress, stockings, heels
  • Festive attire (holidays)- cocktail dress, long dressy skirt and top, dressy pants outfit or seperates, little black dress
  • Semiformal- short afternoon or cocktail dress, little black dress, long dressy skirt and top, dressy seperates
  • Black  tie optional- floor length evening gown, dressy cocktail dress, little black dress, dressy seperates
  • Creative black tie- floor length evening gown, dressy cocktail dress, dressiest little black dress, fun or unique accessories

Masonic events give us a lot of excuses to go shopping for nice clothes. The best thing you can purchase for yourself is a little black dress. Here are some common Masonic events, and the general dress code for them.

Drinks at the Shrine- Some Shrines do not serve alcohol, but ours does. Because of that, it tends to be a popular after Lodge choice to hang out, and because of the prices, often more than that. This definetly tends to be a come as you are kind of place. Jeans and a tshirt are more than acceptable. I wouldn’t recommend less than that (pajamas and the like) simply because it can damage respect from the older generation. However, if you want to dress up more than that, no one would think any different. The Shrine bar is a popular choice for many members of various Masonic organizations, so you may be in jeans while the next table over just got done with an installation in tuxes.

Picnics and Fun Nights-  Jeans and a nice shirt is usually a safe bet. Some people will wear t shirts, while others will be in kahkis. Try to dress best for the activity. You don’t want to wear high heels to go bowling, but you might want to if there is a group pub crawl going on.

Lodge Meeting or Lodge Dinner- This is the one that will have the largest variation Some Lodges feel that blue jeans are acceptable for a business meeting, others wear full tuxedoes for everyone. If you are there for social hour or Lodge dinner before a business meeting, you will want to dress close to the level of dress that your Mason does, perhaps slightly less as you probably will not be spending too much in the Lodge room. If you aren’t sure, dress nicer than you think you should, and then decide for next time based on what other women are wearing. (See below)

Chapter  (OES) or Temple (Daughters of the Nile)-  This one can be a bit tricky. Many Grand Chapters have a rule stating that members cannot wear pants, although this is beginning (finally) to be removed. This rule tends to hold true in Daughters, however. If you hold an office, your Worthy Matron or Queen will probably have some kind of uniform for you; this ranges from a black skirt and white top to a full sequined outfit. If you ever aren’t sure, wear a dress. The more conservative, the better.

Specialty Lodge Dinner- Sometimes Lodges will have special event meals instead of, or in addition to a meeting that week. Examples include Ladies at the Table, Table Lodge, special dinners for Holidays, and fundraisers. Usually for these events you will want to at least wear khakis or other dress pants and a blouse. If it’s a BBQ and pig roast however, jeans and a nice shirt would be fine.

Installations & Initiations- Both for installations and iniations you will want to wear a dress. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, your favorite dress will suffice. If you are the one being iniated, you will want to wear comfortable shoes, preferably flats and not heels, espically for an installation into the Order of the Eastern Star. There can be a lot of walking.

Weekday Event- Assuming it is an evening event, you will proabably want to wear a skirt and blouse or your favorite dress. You don’t need to get really fancy about it, but feel free if you want to. Expect to see a lot of sequins from the older crowd.

Weekend Event- This is the time to dress up. You should wear at least a dress, preferably something longer, floor length if you are in the mood and have it available. Heels are a must if you can manage it. If not, look for wedges or platforms. Target is a great place for last minute shoe buying.

Dances- Always wanted to look like a princess? This is the time. Many women will get their hair and makeup done professionally, and get a special gown just for the occasion. Yes, you read that right, gown. If you aren’t sure where to look for clothes, many department stores will have what you need. Think less poofy prom dress, and more sleek Vanna White gown. You will wear it more than once, I promise.

Grand Lodge-Take all of these suggestions, cram them into a suitcase, and that is what you need to bring to Grand Lodge. Everything from jeans to ball gowns will be worn in a single weekend. Be sure to try and get some comfortable shoes, because there are numerous cocktail hours, and they are usually standing room only. Moleskin will be your friend.

Again, this is a general guideline. Sometimes you will have no idea what the dress code may be. What you can do instead is dress in a similar way to your Mason. Unless it is a women’s event (OES, Daughters of the Nile, etc.), the women tend to dress less nice than the guys. If it is a women’s event, the reverse is true.

If he wears:

  • Jeans- you wear jeans and a nice shirt.
  • Dress pants/khakis and a dress shirt, without tie- you wear khakis or other dress pants, and a nice blouse, or khakis and a collared shirt, or, a blouse and a skirt
  • Dress pants/ khakis and a dress shirt, with tie- you wear a blouse and skirt, or a short dress (knee length or similar)
  • Suit with jacket- you wear a blouse and skirt, or a short dress (knee length or similar), or a long dress
  • Tuxedo- you wear a long dress or a women’s suit (usually you will see the older generation wearing this)

 The bottom line of all Masonic events is dress nicer than you think you need to, and dress more conservatively than you think you need to. Following this has never steered me wrong. Sexy dress is not the place for Masonic events. Just don’t do it. Please remember that these are just general guide lines that follow what I have found to be true for Masonic events. Your Lodge or jurisdiction may always wear jeans, or always wear tuxedos. I’ve found, however, that most places fall somewhere inbetween.

Don’t Panic

Probably the most common email I receive is something along the lines of, “My boyfriend just became a Mason. What do I need to know? What do I need to do?”  Looking back, that is a question that I have yet to really address.  Hopefully I can shine some light on what you need to know when you or a loved one becomes a Mason, or even when they are just researching joining.

Take a Deep Breath and Start Reading

Probably one of the worse things about Masonry is the amount of information that is out there. This is also one of its greatest assets. The issue here is figuring out what information is correct, and which is not. When starting out your research, you will want to stick to reputable sources. Sometimes, even this can be hard. It’s not illegal for someone to call themselves a Mason or a brother, but it is pretty rude. This of course, happens most every day, regardless. There is a ton, and I mean a ton of websites, forums, books, YouTube channels, Netflix shows, magazines, etc., that relate to Freemasonry. If you can’t afford to purchase the books, there is a good chance that your local Lodge may have a copy they are able to loan you. Doing this will also help ensure that you aren’t reading a book written by a 99th level Mason who encourages everyone to wear their tin foil hats. Another issue  with information about Masons is the amount of sensationalism that tends to happen. For instance, the Netflix program The Truth Behind: The Freemasons,  is kind of a joke in our house. They make a huge deal about “the Masons sharing their secrets” and “never before seen footage of what actually goes on”. The truth is, what they show is parts of a Grand Lodge installation, done in full costume. Installations are generally public. Anyone reading this could go right now. Infact, you can even go to Youtube and watch an installation (It’s right here). So, be sure to take anything you read about Masons with a grain of salt.

 These are, what I’ve found, some of the best resources for someone new to the Masonic Community:

  • Freemasonry for Dummies by Bro. Hodapp – I cannot stress enough about this book. I know I’ve talked a lot about it before, but it is that important. Everyone, even 50 year Masons, should own this book. It is the best book to lay yourfoundation of Masonic knowledge on. Also, it’s only $16. Go buy it, right now.
  • The Newly Made Mason: Everything he and every Mason should know about Masonry by H.L. Haywood – Not just for Masons! I’ve not read a lot of this book, just had a chance to flip through a few times. I do know that this is often the book given when a Mason is raised to Master Mason.
  • The Masonic Lodge of EducationThere’s more than meets the eye for this website. Often when I am doing reseach, they will have the a small amount of information about a fairly obscure topic. (Just don’t waste your money on the Masonic Wife e-book they keep talking about, believe me.
  • The Iowa Masonic Library Did you know that Mason’s have their own library? It’s even in Iowa. The importance ofthis is that they actually will lend books to you, through the mail!
  • Masonic Magazines– There are a few out there, but Freemasonry Today tends to be the most popular.
  • Masonic Podcasts– made by Masons for Masons.The Mason’s Lady was featured on an episode of Whence Came You?
  • /r/FreemasonryIf you don’t know about Reddit, and even if you do, you should check out this sub reddit. Everyone there is always happy to answer your questions, or at least point you in the right direction.
  • Other Masonic BlogsAshlars and Ashes,  an RSS site of many known and active blogs
  • Your local Lodge, and Grand Lodge (more on that in a bit).

 

 

Find Your Local Masonic Community

 One of the most important things you can do when starting down the Masonic path, is research where Masons are in your area. Masonic groups are split into two levels of governing. The top level, is the jurisdiction or state that you live in. This is referred to as the Grand Lodge. These are the guys that make sure everyone is enforcing the bylaws of your state, and usually plan the bigger events and fundraisers. If you have trouble finding a Lodge in your area, I would recommend sending a letter to your Grand Lodge. You can find a list of US Grand Lodges and their websites here. The bottom level are the Lodges themselves. Each Lodge is self-governing, but must be sure that it follows all of the rules and bylaws set up by the state, as well as their own.

There are a couple of ways to find a local Lodge. A Grand Lodge website will have all of their Lodges listed with contact information. Another option would be, of course, to Google your town and Masonic Lodge. In larger cities however, you may have quite a few to choose from. I live in a large metropolitan city in the Midwest, and there are over 10 Lodges to choose from. If you have options, go and check it out. Often Lodges will have dinner before their meeting. You are welcome to come, and your SO as well. Find a Lodge that has the most people that you could see yourself spending time with and making firneds.

This might seem a little counterintuitive, but consider also contacting the organizations that you or your SO are not eligible, such as Scottish Rite, or the Shrine. This isn’t necessarily because you want to join, but because out side of the Lodge, these tend to be the organizations with the most social events. Consider attending some, or even volunteering your time. This will help you get in touch with the greater Masonic community outside of your Lodge. Another important reason to get in touch with these organizations, is that often one or more of them will help run or coordinate a local Masonic calendar. This should let you in on all the fun stuff- cookouts, dinners, raffles, scotch tastings…I think you get the idea.

 Get Involved

 I’ve probably said this a million times, and I will probably say it a million more. Masonry is what you put into it. If you want to be the crazy people that go to an event every night, or if you as a SO aren’t interested in it at all, or something in between, that is fine. There are always seemingly endless Masonic events and opportunities out there. If you don’t think it’s for you, but you are okay with your SO joining, that’s fine too, no one will fault you for it. If you get bummed out that you can’t join (like myself), get involved in other ways. Help cook meals, run events, or fundraise. There will always be something out there that you enjoy that you can help better Masonry. You can help better yourself as well. There are a number of official and unofficial female only Masonic organizations out there. Do some googling, find out what is available in your area. Enjoy yourself. On the other hand, there’s always something to be said about a night alone.

More The Mason’s Lady posts that can help a new Mason and/or their SO.

The Mason’s Lady

A Masonic Dictionary

A Look at the Lodge and its Officers

What Actually Happens at Lodge

Can’t Join ’em? Support ’em!

The Benefits of Being a Mason’s Lady

The Masonic Wife

Women and Freemasonry

I hope that kind of helps lay groundwork for the things you will want to look into when you or your SO are starting a Masonic journey. As always, still feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You may have noted that a few things got changed around as far as the layout. I ended up catergorizing all of the posts, and then each catergory can be visited by using the menu at the top. The tag cloud and search bar have been moved to the bottom of the page. Hopefully this will help make the site a bit easier to navigate.

The Benefits of Being a Mason’s Lady

Why do you do it? Why support Masons if you can’t be one? Why bother spending 4 hours making food for a dinner you’re not really invited to? Don’t they hate women or something? It’s something that I’ve been asked probably more times than I care to really count. There are many answers to these questions (one of them being that I just like to cook), but there is one that I feel like is overlooked more than most. It’s not really talked about so much, because only those who are already in the same situation as myself realize it. There are benefits to being a Mason’s lady. I actually almost didn’t write this article, because I felt that it kind of undermined the entire fraternal idea, and seemed a little selfish, but, as T pointed out, it is the truth.

You get to feel like a princess.

I will be the first to admit, I am totally a tomboy. Never one for makeup, I shopped in the men’s section until my mid twenties (and sometimes still do). But, no matter how much any woman may deny it, there is something we can’t help but love when it comes to dressing up and going out on the town. Besides the normal business casual clothes I have that I wear to meetings and monthly Lodge dinners, I have a ball gown and two evening gowns in my closet; not only that, but all three have been worn within the last year, and will be worn again in the foreseeable future. Not many women actually get to go to cocktail parties anymore. Its just simply something that our society has shied away from. Masonry can help women fulfill the need of playing dress up that I am certain most all of us have had since children. What’s more, for those of us who love to shop (not me), Masonic events are always a decent excuse to go clothes shopping. Unlike men who can get away with two pairs of pants, three shirts, and a suit jacket, women are required to have a much more diverse closet. I know that I always feel special when I slip on my fancy gown, heels and makeup, and I can’t imagine that many women feel differently.

Pardon the rude language.

Chivalry is not dead.

Look anywhere on the internet, and you are sure to find something about the death of chivalry, or something about how women are assholes and men stopped trying, or whatever; its irrelevant. Freemasonry and its appendant bodies help bring back and perpetuate the ideals of Masonry. Men act like gentlemen, and women act like ladies. While this does mean you won’t hear anyone cursing up a storm in mixed company, it also means you will often find doors opened for you, drinks bought for you, and someone taking your coat. In many ways, being at a large Masonic event, or even just at a Lodge dinner, it like stepping back in time. Everyone does their very best to be polite and unoffensive, and cell phones at the dinner table are a scarcity. Many people, women included, are turned off by this aspect of Masonry. I for one, enjoy and welcome it. I have often felt that we could use a little old school etiquette in today’s world.

You get alone time.

I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, Masonry is awesome, because it gets T out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man to death, but I feel that everyone in all relationships is in need of some alone time. Since T has Lodge every Wednesday, that tends to be my “me” night. Wednesdays are the nights I take a long bath, order in from that Chinese place down the street T has disdain for, and put on a horror flick (which he can’t stand). Time apart helps both parties grow and helps your relationship overall evolve. These days, everything can get so crazy, that it feels like you barely have time for your SO, let alone yourself. Masonry is from a different era, and kind of helps slow us down. If you aren’t feeling the alone time, call up some friends and go out, have fun, no one says you have to be at home waiting for him to walk though the door while he’s at Lodge.

There’s more tangible, monetary benefits than anyone realizes.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of intangible benefits out there. The love and support that I receive from my Masonic family goes far beyond what I ever might have expected to get from them. That being said, its nice to have some tangible stuff too. Unfortunately, there’s nothing so simple as flashing your dues card for a discount on your hotel room like AAA. The majority of the benefits fit into one of two categories: monetary, and opportunities. There’s scholarships for everyone in your family, for just about anything you could ever want to do. College? Of course. But beyond that, band camp, leadership conferences, golf tournaments, the circus, ordering t-shirts online, and more. There is almost always a scholarship or monetary discount on all public events put on by a branch of Masonry for the members and their families. If you aren’t sure if there is a discount, or if you cannot afford something you really want (or need) to attend, ask those around you! They are sure to help you out, within reason of course. In addition to this, there is an emergency fund to help member’s families in dire need. You can read about that here.

The other thing that I think is overlooked pretty often is the opportunities available. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities for the Mason himself, and these are not as easily forgotten. Many of these opportunities extend to his family as well, both SO, as well as any children. These tend to come within two forms. The first is the formal opportunity, a chance to go on a field trip to Kansas City to see the DeMolay headquarters, or a last minute opening in an interesting conference. The other type of opportunity is more informal. This is the kind that comes not from the organization itself, but from its members. Always wanted to learn how to knit but never got the hang of it? Maybe the Junior Warden’s wife owns a yarn store. Kiddo is looking for his first summer job? Bro. John needs help tearing down an old shed on his property. The opportunities here are endless. A word of caution however, this is one of the reasons that people tend to get hung up on the idea of Freemasonry. No one should join Masonry in order to receive any of these benefits, they should simply be seen as an added bonus.

IMG_0412

Other little things that you may find happen as a Mason’s lady. Once T joined the local Shrine, I received my own “membership card” which is kind of neat. More or less it grants me access to the members only bar at the Shrine. T and I were able to take our engagement photos at the Scottish Rite, a beautiful building downtown. We were even able to get on the roof. These kinds of things are my favorite; the little things that don’t really seem like much, but always add up to every moment involved in Masonry being worth it.

I hope that I did not stray too far from the ideals of this blog, and didn’t come off as a selfish, coincided woman. If I did, I apologize. I actually almost titled this article “The Benefits of Putting up with Masonry”. There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons for being a Mason. Sometimes it might feel like the guys get all the pros and the girls get all the cons. Hopefully this article helps give some perspective on the pros for the ladies too. If you have any questions, or have any thoughts on this topic, please let me know. And as always, have a wonderful week.