Freemasonry is a community effort and yet a very personal decision.
Not everyone joins Freemasonry for the same reason .
Furthermore, the purpose one joins may not be the same as why one stays in Freemasonry.
The following are sharings from some of our members about why they are Freemasons in The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women Le Droit Humain, American Federation™.
By Sister Mary Jo of Sepharial Lodge #555
Looking back on my years in the Craft (as Masonry is sometimes called), I see that it has helped me focus on what is most important in life; the unimportant has gradually fallen away.
The ritual also has made me more aware of my shortcomings and character flaws and given me tools to work on them. It has provided me with hope and inspiration in times of difficulty, and resolved inner conflict so that I can express Masonic ideals more easily.
On a more mundane level, I’ve learned to work more effectively in a group, organize my day-to-day life, budget time, and study regularly.
By Sister Sofi of Marie Deraismes Lodge # 352
I dreamed growing up, to fly as Perseus into a different space and find a place where every human being could find dignity without discrimination, find acceptance by the celebration of difference, and magnanimity.
My dream was answered years later when I came in contact with Freemasons who opened me up to new ways of effecting fundamental change in the world by working first on oneself and by awakening the mind to spiritual universal values.
By joining the Order, I became a link in a universal Masonic chain which connects us to the past through an ancient Tradition, and leads to the future of an inclusive understanding of the nature of Mankind, the Universe and Life.
Freemasonry’s beautiful system of morality veiled in allegories and illustrated by symbols has allowed me to grow personally within a group of people where words like truth, morality, duty, honor, integrity, friendship, character have meaning and where no one is regarded for their station in life but by their actions and words.
By Sister Mary Ann of Solstice Light Lodge #2066
I was searching for something to balance my demanding work life. I had interest in so many topics that I did not make time to explore. My dear friend, who was a Freemason, told me that she was researching and writing a “piece of architecture” to present to her group and they would discuss the topic further. I was intrigued! I found a structure that would encourage me to expand my knowledge and a place to hear and discuss new ideas and be inspired. But that is not why I am still a Freemason.
I found a system that supports the development of one’s mind, heart and spirit in a way that respects each person’s preferences, needs, abilities and readiness and does not demand that I have to believe or think a certain way. Freemasonry provides real life skills: tools that are useful in the challenges of everyday life, tools that help me know and be aware of myself, tools to listen, understand and communicate better with others no matter how different they are from me.
Freemasonry is so beautiful: the symbolism, rituals and ceremonies are poignant and powerful experiences that both inspire and ground me and they lead me to a higher and deeper way of living my life.
In Le Droit Humain, I found a community of harmonious, like-intentioned and like-hearted men and women who promise to love, respect and help each other, even if we do not always agree with each other, where we agree to disagree. I found a community where all are working together to become better people, not just for ourselves but to make the whole world a better place.
By Brother Roger of Ojai Valley Lodge #551
I have had many people ask “what do you get from being a Mason?” and this highlights the real issue for interested seekers. This is the wrong question and it is very different from “why am I a Mason?”. Each Mason will find different values that they have gained through Masonry. However, Masonry does not give you anything except an opportunity: an opportunity to grow and learn. I have found that Masonry helps me think in such a way that allows me to find answers for many of my “big questions”. It also affords me a Fraternal place to work and share that also enhances my ability to use and build upon the answers that I find.
Each Mason will have differing personal answers for this big question of "Why are you a Mason?” but this then is a portion of that answer and a glimpse into the nature of Masonry. Masonry does give us a foundation and superstructure to build upon, and lessons and stories to help prompt us to think, but it becomes our effort, our work, our ideas, that allow us to truly become “Masons”.
By a Brother of Lodestar Triangle
It is my belief that our symbols, allegories and ceremonies are keys to unlock the inner truths and moral potential which lie within us all.
Le Droit Humain, in particular, is a concrete organization and an environment in which to manifest my deeply held belief in the equality of men and women and belief that men and women throughout the world should be entitled in equal measure to benefit from social justice.
Thus the Order adopts all that is good in Freemasonry and extends it further by removing barriers of gender, ethnicity, religious belief and political perspective. It supplements and enhances my political and religious views and practices, but without me imposing my position on others or vice versa, and thus truly reflects its principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
By Sister Erin of Orpheus Lodge #553
A few years ago, I took it upon myself to become the family historian. I knew there were Freemasons in my family. Curious about what Freemasonry was, little by little, I began to research the fraternity. I liked what I found but felt frustrated by the “No Girls Allowed” rule. I decided that even if I could not be a true Freemason, I would “act as if,” embracing the common core beliefs of Freemasonry in my own life.
As fate would have it, I had a new roommate move in, who was a Prince Hall Mason. We discussed Freemasonry in general, and he mentioned that there were indeed Lodges that admitted women. I still get goosebumps realizing how things just come together at the perfect time. I began to research anew, seeking Lodges that invited women to join.
I found Le Droit Humain. What drew me to this Lodge was that they were a co-Masonry Lodge, admitting both men and women. I was also drawn to their non-denominational perspective, embracing the understanding that everyone believes in their own unique way.
I am proud to be the first female Freemason in my family. I hope someday to pass along the legacy to my children, regardless of their gender. The fact that it is an option to do so, especially for our daughters, is so profound and humbling.