Even though many people view Freemasonry as old-fashioned and static, if you take time to study and understand it thoroughly then you will soon learn that it is a dynamic pursuit that leads to better knowledge and understanding of yourself. Freemasonry is a pursuit of enlightenment and can help you to define what is most important in your life aside from ideological, political, and social noise.
The Freemasons provide an institution and meeting point for people from various ethnic, philosophical, religious, and social backgrounds and viewpoints. Since its inception over three hundred years ago, Freemasonry has evolved with the times to now include women members in all women and mixed lodges.
The benefits of joining the Freemasons, as claimed by many past and existing members, is that it is a life-changing experience that enables them to grow into more confident and successful individuals.
If you are curious about joining the Freemasons then the several pieces of advice in this article will help make the process clearer and easier.
There Are Costs Involved
Joining an institution as well established and renowned as the Freemasons are not free as there are annual and degree dues. Depending on the age of the member and how many events they attend the cost of membership varies, however, the annual fees start from around 80 dollars. Whoever decides to apply has to pay a two hundred dollar application fee whether it is successful or not.
After being accepted into a lodge the individual will then be expected to complete the three degrees, which you can read more about next. The total cost of completing all three degrees is typically around 300 dollars.
There are other occasional costs associated with being a member of a Freemason lodge, for example, meetings are a regular occurrence at many lodges and you are expected to pay the cost of your food and drink. It is also worth checking with your lodge which items are included in your annual dues and what items you need to pay extra for such as study guides or a volume of the sacred law.
To encourage young people to join the Freemasons, many lodges offer a 50% discount on annual dues for members under the age of 25. Although you are still expected to complete an application and be of legal age, which is 21 in most states.
You Will Have to Complete Three Ceremonies
Once you have been admitted into a lodge you must study about and complete three ceremonies otherwise known as degrees that will provide you with opportunities to learn about different forms of knowledge through the symbols and allegories of Freemasonry which have the potential to develop your wisdom and achieve self-actualization.
The first degree is called the ‘initiation’ by many Freemasons and it represents a re-birth or beginning of a new path in life. The second degree represents the journey an individual takes through life and the third focuses on our path leading up to the end of our physical existence.
The purpose of the ceremonies, completion of degrees, and regular discussions is to develop and realize the highest intellectual, moral and spiritual status. For Freemasons, self-improvement is at the center of everything they do as they understand and value the benefits of it.
Lodges Are Private
Although many people perceive the Freemasons as shrouded in mystery, which most likely comes from times when stonemasons would protect their trade by preventing unqualified workers from taking the jobs of trained apprentices.
Nowadays, the Freemasons aren’t quite as secretive and you can see Freemason lodges on prominent streets in cities throughout Britain, Canada, the United States. However, they are an institution that prefers to conduct ceremonies and meetings in private, and members are not encouraged to share details of ceremonies with non-members.
There is an Application Criteria
Joining the Freemasons isn’t as simple as walking into a lodge declaring your interest and signing a document, you must first meet a certain set of criteria and then complete an application. The criteria for joining the Freemasons may vary from lodge to lodge, but generally, the applicant must:
- Believe in a Supreme Being.
- Apply because of their own free will and not coercion.
- Be male. However, women members are allowed at all women and mixed lodges.
- Be born free, this term originates from the days of slavery but now means that the applicants must be their own master and not subservient to another person.
- Be of lawful age which depending on the country the lodge is located in can range from 18 to 25.
- Get recommended by at least two existing Freemasons at the lodge applying at.
When it comes to applicants’ background in terms of social status and wealth, Freemasonry doesn’t discriminate on those grounds and applicants from every walk of life are welcome to apply.
You Will Be Asked Some Important Questions
During the application process, you will have a series of interviews and discussions with existing lodge members who will ask you some important questions before you are allowed to join the Freemasons. The questions that you will be asked may include:
- Are you easily influenced by friends, bad habits, greed, power, and political elements? If you believe that joining the Freemasons will provide you with new business opportunities then you will likely be rejected as the focus is on knowledge and personal development.
- What is your view on the Freemasons? Here the interviewers will be looking for your sincere wish to learn knowledge and serve the betterment of humankind.
- Do you understand the rules, and can follow them? At this point you would have likely been given a list of rules and regulations just like when joining any club, so abiding by them should be simple.
Freemasons Are Active in the Community
As well as focusing on learning and spiritual development, Freemasonry also features philanthropy as part of what it does and is well-known for being active in local communities around the world in helping to relieve disease and poverty.
Becoming a member of a Freemasons lodge can be a rewarding experience leading to a lifetime of developing knowledge and realizing your best self in terms of morality and spiritualism. However, before making the life-changing decision it is worth reading some advice about what being a Freemason entails.