Is Freemasonry a secret society?
Is Freemasonry occult or esoteric?
It is not a secret society but it is a society with secrets that are based on personal experiences gained through the ceremonies. Freemasonry directs us inward to the goal of attaining self-knowledge and the realization that the true secrets of Freemasonry are to be found within ourselves.
The really great and moving experiences of life are ones we cannot put into words or tell another about. But if two persons have had similar deeply moving experiences, they can communicate about them indirectly through symbols, which are secrets to anyone who has not shared the experience. Masonic secrets are of those deeply moving experiences that Freemasonry provides. They are the outer visible signs of an inner, invisible reality.
Freemasonry is certainly not “occult” in the popular meaning of that term referring to fortune telling, psychic powers, satanism, the supernatural, and so on. The original meaning of the word was “hidden” or “secret,” just as the literal meaning of “esoteric” is "for the initiated".
Therefore, Freemasonry is esoteric: it is a beautiful and unique system illustrated by symbols, which are learned once one becomes a Freemason. Our goal is expanding our consciousness and the understanding of life to improve ourselves and help others.
What is the difference between Le Droit Humain and the Eastern Star?
The Eastern Star is an adjunct organization to exclusively masculine Freemasonry. It is intended primarily for the wives and daughters of Freemasons, but a masculine Mason must be in attendance. It has its own ceremonies but they are not initiated. Their ceremonies are completely different from the traditional Masonic rites and practices that Freemasonry and Le Droit Humain follow.
Can a person be a member of both the masculine Freemasons and Le Droit Humain?
Le Droit Humain respects the masculine Orders and admits as a visitor any member who can prove himself. Le Droit Humain will also admit him, as an affiliated member, if he meets the requirements of application.
American Grand Lodges and Prince Hall, however, in general do not permit their members to join or participate in a Masonic body that admits women.
What is Co-Freemasonry?
Freemasonry with both men and women is sometimes referred to as Co-Freemasonry or Co-Masonry. "Co" refers to men and women working together, not merely side by side, but jointly and mutually assisting one another.