Freemasons are members of the oldest and largest brotherhood in the world, with over two million active members. Freemasonry developed between the second half of the 16th century and the early 17th century and its members included kings, presidents, scholars and religious figures. Learn about the Masonic tradition and how to become a member of this respected brotherhood.
Method 1 of 3: Preparing to Become a Freemason
Step 1. Understand the basics of Freemasonry
It was founded by men who made a commitment to support each other in friendship, alliance and to serve humanity. For thousands of years, men have found spiritual and philosophical wholeness as members of the brotherhood, which is still active and based on the same principles. To become a Freemason, you must meet the following requirements:
- Being a man
- Having an excellent reputation, and being recommended by your peers.
- In most Masonic jurisdictions, you must believe in a Higher Being, regardless of your religion.
- Being able to support your family
- Be over 21 years old.
Step 2. Be inclined towards improvement and morality
The Freemason motto is "better men make the world better". For Freemasonry honor, personal responsibility and integrity are core values, and it offers its members these things:
- Monthly or bi-monthly meetings in Masonic lodges, often churches or public buildings.
- Teachings from the history of Freemasonry and also biblical.
- Encouragement to live for the good of humanity, and ideas on how to be a good citizen and act with charity and love.
- The invitation to participate in the ancient Freemason rites, including the handshake, initiation rituals and the freedom to use the Masonic symbols of the square and compass.
Step 3. Separation of fantasy from truth
Books like "The Da Vinci Code" have perpetuated the idea that Freemasonry is a secret society that intends to dominate the world. It has been said that symbols are hidden in various places in Washington and other cities. The truth is that Freemasons are not part of any conspiracy, and those who want to join its ranks convinced that they are stealing secrets are not approaching the brotherhood with the right intentions.
Method 2 of 3: Apply for Membership of the Brotherhood
Step 1. Contact your local lodge
The best way to begin the initiation process is to contact the lodge in your area, which is usually on the telephone directory, and ask for membership. Fill in any form and send it where it is indicated. But there are other ways to get started:
- Find a Freemason. Many Freemasons proudly sport the Freemason symbol on stickers, hats, and dresses. They are happy to talk to those who want more information. Look for a sticker that says "2B1Ask1,". It is usually exhibited by Freemasons who are interested in accompanying newbies in their first steps in the brotherhood.
- Some jurisdictions require prospective members to approach the fraternity of their own free will, but others allow members to extend invitations. If you have been invited to become a Freemason by a member you know, just continue your journey.
Step 2. Accept the invitation to meet other Freemasons
After your request has been analyzed, you will be summoned to the lodge for an interview with a group of Freemasons who are part of the Investigation Commission.
- You will be asked questions to evaluate the reasons that push you to want to become a Freemason, your history and your character.
- You will have the opportunity to ask questions about Freemasonry.
- The Investigation Commission will take a couple of weeks to contact all references regarding your personality and to carry out an investigation on you. Alcoholism, drug abuse, family abuse, and other problems may prevent you from being admitted. In some states, this investigation lasts for years.
- The members of the Lodge will vote to decide whether or not to admit you.
- If you are accepted, you will receive an invitation to become a member of the fraternity.
Method 3 of 3: Becoming a Freemason
Step 1. At first you will be an apprentice
To become a Freemason, you must face a path that will lead you to obtain three symbolic recognitions. The first degree is that of the Apprentice Mason, during which the principles of Freemasonry are taught.
- Moral truths are passed on to new candidates through the symbolic use of builder's tools.
- Apprentices must master a catechism (a book on a particular Christian religion) before being admitted to the next grade.
Step 2. The second degree is that of the Fellow of Art
In this phase the principles of the new membership continue to be passed, in particular by associating them with the arts and science.
- Candidates are tested on their knowledge of what they have learned as Apprentices.
- To complete this level they must memorize a second catechism.
Step 3. The third degree is that of Master Mason
This is the highest grade that can be achieved, and the most difficult.
- Candidates must demonstrate that they have a perfect knowledge of the values of Freemasonry.
- Completion of this degree is marked by a ceremony.
- Memorizing the catechisms is a challenge, but it serves the members throughout their life of belonging to the brotherhood.
- Some lodges admit women, but are not recognized as true members by most male Masons.
- Your application may be rejected for a trivial reason, this does not mean that you cannot re-submit it later.
- Membership of the brotherhood can be suspended or canceled for those who act without respecting Masonic values.