Women and Freemasonry
(Woman, the Other Half of Man)
Dr. Russell N. Cassel
(a fifty year Mason)
Chula Vista Masonic Lodge No. 626,
1362 Santa cruz Court,
Chula Vista, California 91910
That woman is an indispensable link for the
continuation of our human race
is an undisputable fact. It
should be equally clear that woman’s
Freemasonry is just as irrefutable and indispensable; for without
woman, there could
be no man. It is, of course, equally clear, and based
on precisely the
same logic, that without man there could be no woman.
then, is the other half of man; and in precisely the same fashion,
man is the other
half of woman. If this were
true, then, surely the role of
Freemasonry has equally important implications as the role for
But throughout history the role of woman has been sorely neglected
and too often
little understood. It is in
Masonry where freedom, equality,
and truth are the
foundation that women have found their fullness of
equality in their everyday drama of life.
If man and woman are indispensable to each other in the fashion just
described, it must
be considered that they are equals, each one to the
other. Man is not
superior to woman, and, by precisely the same logic,
woman is not
superior to man. Down the
road, then, in the single journey
through life, each
must recognize the other in just that fashion. This, of
course, is true in
Masonry, as it is in every other vicissitude of life. Whatever
happens to one,
then, has important implications to the other, and because
of this woman’s
role in Freemasonry is no exception to the rule.
sure as night
follows day, in the true Masonic family woman is an important
and equal member,
how could it be different.
Family and Society
The basic unit on which the continuation of society rests, of course, is
Here, of course, we make reference to a male and female
seeking to find
their mission as a team in the busy world of work and play.
are not talking of the gay or lesbian family unit; for under such
can be no procreation of the race.
of the child,
there can be no society, and without society, there could be
no tomorrow; only
today. Yes, of course, we
can have single member
children flounder as if lost in the wilderness, but always there
was at one time a
man/wife interaction, or there would be no children;
hence no family.
Family and Masonry
Just as the family is the basic unit for the continuation of society; so
family unit is
equally essential to both the growth and the continuation of
When a man becomes a Mason, his family becomes a
with each other family member being eligible to full and
membership in a myriad of Masonic organizations.
course, there are
Masonic organizations to provide comparable activity to
the wife and to
the children of that Masonic family.
It includes other close
relatives as well
as a mother, a father, a widow, and even to include
Women Masonic Memberships
There are three principal Masonic organizations designed specifically for
the female member
of the Masonic family: Eastern Star, Job’s
and Rainbow Girls.
In addition, each Masonic organization provides for
activity and even
parallel organizations to accommodate the activities and
needs of wives,
mothers, widows, and daughters of Masons,i.e., Blue
Rite, Shrine, etc.. In addition, there are the male children,
and they too are
especially provided for in the order of DeMolay.
Order of Eastern Star
The purpose of the Order of Easter Star is to provide a means by which
mothers, sisters, and daughters of Masons might be
closer relationship with the Order of Freemasonry, might share
in the benefits of
Masonry to a fuller extent, especially in attaining
protection when needed, and in the cooperation with
Masonic lodges in
their labors of charity, and in their endeavor to human
The Eastern Star Order sustains an important and peculiar relation with
Fraternity; but the Eastern Star is not identical to Freemasonry;
neither is the
Eastern Star Freemasonry. The unique and intimate
the Eastern Star to Freemasonry is maintained in the
all male members must be Freemasons, worthy and in
while all female members must be wives, mothers, widows,
sisters of Master Masons.
The Eastern Star derives from an earlier order known as “Adoptive
or sometimes-called “Female
It had its origin largely
in France where it
was extensively spread to other parts of Europe, The
was employed because it was required that all orders of
this class should
be under the guardianship of some regular lodge of
The order emerged about the middle of the eighteenth
The purpose of the order was to provide a means by which the wives,
sisters, daughters of Masons might share in the benefits
French Masons were noted for their gallantry and chivalry,
readiness to extend to their women some of the blessings of
From 1760 to 1777 there were three such Adoptive Lodges
Paris, all of them given splendor and influence by the active
labours of men and
women of fame, fashion, wealth, and literary
There were four degrees in Adoptive Masonry, three of them comparable
in some respects
to the three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry, but in no
sense did any of
them have the same rites, and symbolism, and mysteries
of the Blue Lodge.
The principles of virtue, honor, fidelity, industry,
charity, and of
fraternalism were inculcated very similar to those of
Robert Morris introduced Adoptive Masonry into America.
The objects of
the Rite are to
associate in one common bond the worthy wives, widows,
sisters of Freemasons, so as to make their adoptive
available for all the purposes contemplated in Masonry; to secure
to them the
advantages of their claim in a moral, social, and charitable
point of view, and
from them the performance of corresponding duties.
Among the strong advocates of Adoptive masonry was Albert Pike, a most
and expounder of Freemasonry in all its phases.
in the preface to
his ritual to the Masonry of Adoption: “Our
sisters, wives and
daughters can not, it is true, be admitted to share with
us the grand
mysteries of Freemasonry, but there is no reason why there
should not be also
a Masonry for them, which may not merely enable them
to make themselves
known to Masons, and so to obtain assistance and
protection; but by
means of which, acting in concert through the tie of
mutual obligation, they may cooperate in the great labors
of Masonry by
assisting in, and, by some respects, directing their charities,
and tolling in the
cause of human progress.”
Robert Morris prepared the general outline of the ritual for the
completed under the name of the “Eastern
Star”, and had
to do in
beautifying and adorning the Ritual adopted at the organization of
the General Grand
Chapter of the order of the Eastern Star, November 15th
and 16th, 1876 at
Indianapolis, Indiana. The
unique and intimate
Eastern Star to Freemasonry is maintained in the
all male members must be Master Masons, worthy and in
while all female members must be wives, mothers, widows,
sisters of master Masons.
The five degrees of the Eastern
Star are depicted
by the lives of five Biblical Heroines:
Daughter. As recorded in
the 11th and 12th chapters of the
Book of Judges,
enough is given to glorify her as one of the noblest
Biblical history. Jephthah,
leader of the Israelites east of Jordan
in war against the
Ammonites, promised God that he would make a special
offering of his
daughter if he should win the war.
Upon returning home
from the victory,
he was met by dancing girls and a celebration, and where
he announced the
vow he had made to God, that his only daughter, Adah,
would be dedicated
to perpetual virginity, by which she was forbidden
marriage and the
bearing of children. Adah
in filial devotion to her father,
courage, in self-dedication to the Lord of Hosts, expressed a
noble and generous
dedication to her fate.
Ruth. She was the second point in the Star used for ritual purposes, was
a young woman of
Moab, and one of the most beautiful characters of
The reason for Naomi, mother-in-law of Ruth, going into the
foreign land of
Moab was a severe draught in the vicinity of Bethlehem and
a dire famine.
Instead of adopting the idolatry of Moab, they influenced
their neighbors to
respect the true God and the religion of the Israelites.
two sons both married young women of Moab, both having
converted to the
God and religion of the Israelites.
No children were born
to those two sons
of Naomi. Naomi and her two
daughters-in-law were left
continued to live together in perfect understanding and
After an absence of ten years Naomi decided to return to her
native land of
Bethlehem, and Orpah listened to Naomi and remained in
Moab, but Ruth
insisted on going back to Bethlehem with Naomi where she
nobleman, and became an ancestress of king David and Jesus
The nobleman she married was Boaz, in whose fields she labored
to support her and
Ruth, the mother-in-law, for some time.
Ruth is credited
with writing the
following poem in response to Naomi’s
desire to return
home to Bethlehem:
Entreat me not to leave thee,
Or return from
following after thee:
For whither thou goest, I will go;
And where thou lodgest, I will lodge;
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die,
And there will I be buried;
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If ought but death part thee and me.
The Biblical character chosen as the third point of the Star was
Jewish maiden of
true beauty and nobility of character who became the
wife of Ahasuerus,
King of Persia and Media.
The historical setting of
position as his queen was the period following the permission of
the Jews to return
to Palestine, when few of the Israelites took advantage
of the decree.
family elected not to return to Palestine under the
edict of Cyprus.
When the king was divorced and sought a new Queen,
permitting her Jewish identity to be known sought to appear
among the maidens
of the realm from whom the king should choose a
successor to Queen
Vashti. She refused to be adorned with Jewels as all
the others were,
and Ahasuerus was so enraptured with her charm that he
chose her at once
and had her crowned as queen.
Haman, a most
trusted officer of the king sought to reveal her identity as a
Throwing herself upon the mercy and favor of the King and by
a series of astute
and dangerous maneuvers, she prevented the decree of
destruction of all
the Jews of the Persian Empire, and secured the
execution of Haman
and his entire family.
She represents the fourth point of the Star, had a brother named
Lazarus and a
sister named Mary. She
lived in the little town of Bethany
and where Jesus was often a welcome and beloved guest.
became dangerously ill, and the sisters sent for Jesus to come to
their home to heal
him. When Jesus arrived at
their home, Lazarus had
been dead and
buried for four days. Jesus
called him forth from the tomb,
restoring him to
A woman of gifts and devotion who lived near Ephesus represents
the fifth point of
the Star. She represents
the glory and benedictions of
submission to the will of God under the stress of wrong
Masonic Youth Groups
Three different Masonic youth groups are available for members of the
Each one of these are international in scope, and are
available for the
sons and daughters of all Freemasons.
Each one of these
sponsorship of a Masonic Lodge to exist.
Order of DeMolay. A
fraternal order for young men between 14 to 21 years
It was founded on 1 March 1919 by Frank S. Land and nine
teenage youth, in
Kansas City, Missouri with the goal of creating
young men during their formative years.
is sponsored by
men who are Master Masons.
DeMolay is not a Masonic
all boys within the age limits may be considered for
The stated purpose is to build a better citizen and future
leaders. Its activities are designed to benefit the individual member,
chapter, and the
local community. The order
has nearly 155,000 members
in 2,500 local
chapters, and in seven different countries.
The order was
Jacques DeMolay, the last grand master of the Knights
Templars, who was
burned at the stake under orders of the Pope in 1314.
is a monthly newsletter, the Cordon.
DeMolay Headquarters is
located at 201
East Armour Boulevard, Box 901342, Kansas City, Missouri
International Order of Job’s
Daughters. An auxiliary of the Masonic order
for girls between
the ages of 11 to 20 who are related to a Master Mason.
purpose of the order is to provide the spiritual growth and character
development of its
members through charitable endeavors and
It was founded in 1921, and has grown to 100,000 members.
is at 233 West 6th Street, Papillon, Nebraska 68046-2210.
International order of Rainbow for Girls.
A girl fraternal organization
founded in 1922 by
W. Mark Sexson in McAlester, Oklahoma.
organization is to instruct girls in an ethical way of life. Membership
is open to girls
from ages 11 to 20 who are related to members of the
Masonic Order, or
who are the girl friends of relatives of Masonic members.
who marry or are 20 years of age or older are called majority
Others are known as active members.
There are about 300,000
and maybe one million majority members.
is located at Box
788, McAllester, Oklahoma 74501.
Each of the separate Masonic jurisdictions maintain a home for Masonic
members of need.
It may be the cheapest insurance against family tragedy
In California two such homes are presently being maintained: (1)
One at Covina, and
(2) another at Union City.
After a person has
membership in a Masonic fraternity chartered in California for
five years or
more, they and their family become eligible for the facilities of
one of those homes
where they are considered as guests, and treated that
Laguna Mountain Shrine camp
High up in the Mountains, 6200 feet above the rolling sea and Mission
where tall tree
filled forests, the deer playground, with a trickling creek
the small Shrine village of cottages and huts, is the Shrine
Camp that beckons
the weary Mason and his family for a weekend retreat.
summer it might be for camping near the lighted washroom and water
facility, and in
winter for a skiing rendezvous with nature.
A perfect setting
for a weekend,
holiday, and special activity retreat, both for the Master
Mason and his
family, and or friends. For
those who desire a more
maybe a 2 or 3 bedroom cottage, complete with all of
the comforts of
home, and where extended living is even possible for a
select few who
dare to escape the humdrum of the busy cities below.
are provided periodically on a year round basis, with all
of the splendor of
Shrine planning and scheming.
Where truly finding the
“boy in the man”
is in full Shrine Bloom, and never is there a dull moment
in the pageantry
Masons are made, they are not born that way, and always they come of
their own free
will; they are not solicited; not even by a father to son.
are three separate
degrees that constitute the teachings and learning
becoming a Mason. The basic
theory underlying the
training program is intended to present the symbolic idea
pilgrimage on earth.
Entered Apprentice Degree
The first degree being a representation of youth, a period of learning
the affections, and a preparation for advancement to higher
spheres on this
earth. Here the faculties
are directed toward the Great
Architect of the
Universe with the ultimate goal being a search for truth.
The second degree represents the period of adult life, of manhood
and work. Here there is a
cultivation of the reasoning
emphasis is placed on liberty, equality, and Justice.
Master Mason Degree
The Third degree is symbolic of mature life, of ripened experiences, a
activity, but of decrease in toil and laborious endeavour.
deals with trials
and suffering, and of inevitable termination in death.
a time of waiting
by the wearied workman for the word of the Grand Master
of the universe
who will summon the Master Mason from labours on earth
to the eternal
refreshments of heaven.
Goals of Freemasonry
The goals of Freemasonry are founded solidly on freedom, equality, and
Always, it entails love, which is characterized by charity and
First, there is the making of a perfect Brother; for brotherly love is
keystone of a
caring and committed individual.
Second, is the creation of a perfect husband, for the Masonic family is
the center of all
Third, and not the least of importance, Is the creation of a perfect
the children are
always an important concern in every Masonic home.
Freemasons are a special kind of people, because they are taught and
principles that make them caring, honest, and committed.
make the kind of husband, brother, son, or citizen that one can be
Marriages are not broken by husbands that are typically involved
activities; rather they are strengthened. Families are not
separated because of involvement in Masonic activities; rather they
are made the more
cohesive and binding.
Women Deserve Masonic Husbands
Women deserve to have Masonic husbands, because of the kind of
by Masonic principles.
Women coming from Masonic
learned of the honesty, caring, and commitment of Masonic
Every woman has the right to expect her husband to become
Mason, if he is
not already one. Women from
Masonic families know this,
insist that their husband become a Freemason at an early
Security and Safety
Women who wear Masonic jewelry, or have Masonic identification on the
cars they drive,
find Masonic Brothers at every turn of the road waiting to
assist and provide
for their safety and welfare.
A car break down on
displaying a Masonic emblem brings trusted help from all
who chance to pass by and notice the Masonic emblem.
Honest Business Transactions
When buying merchandise from a Brother Mason, the honesty of the
transaction is guaranteed, when the Masonic affiliation is known.
far off lands or at home, when dealing with a Masonic Brother, or
one is always assured of honesty in the transaction.
care about their honesty in business transactions, and when they
transaction involves another Masonic family member, every effort
is made to deal on
which means in a strictly honest fashion.
can be no exceptions to this rule, and every Mason knows it.
Basic Masonic Principles
Freemasonry is essentially a science of symbolism; a system of morality
grounded in the
belief of a Supreme Being, the greatest of the three great
lights of masonry;
and its chief objective is the search for truth.
It has the
power of cementing
Members into a common brotherhood, where trust and
commitment are a
basic requisite. Always it
includes virtue, fidelity,
as well as fraternity.
Contributions to Civilization
Men of the highest eminence, monarchs, patriots, statesmen, dignitaries
educational institutions, and recognized leaders in every
movement for the
advance of humans, for the progress of civilization have
counted it both an
honor and a privilege to have a place in Freemasonry
and to devote
their energies to the promotion and security of the Fraternity.
in Masonry contributed much to the qualifications and
their service to humanity and to society.
Freemasonry favoring freedom, liberty, justice, and
exemplified in the U.S. Constitution borrowed in large
part from Anderson’s
Masonic Constitutions of 1723, and which is identical
in its structure.
Freemasonry is an “ancient
institution that existed
the first Grand Lodge in England in 1717. Documents
preserved showing that the Craft was widely known as far back
as A.D. 926, where
there were hundreds of Lodges for some eight centuries
prior to the Grand
Lodge in England in 1717.
The Rites and Ceremonies,
the symbols and
tenets of Freemasonry throughout the world today are
identical with those in the early history of those countries.
Social Character of Masonry
There is perhaps no place in human relations where social qualities and
cultivated to a higher degree than in a Masonic lodge.
distinctions of rank and wealth, commonly accepted as necessary
in society, are
laid aside, and the members meet on one common level of
equality. Virtue and talent
alone receive recognition, and
the object of all
is to see who can best work and agree. Here friendship
and affection are
earnestly inculcated and assiduously cultivated, and the
mystic tie that
makes every member a true brother, the perfect husband,
father, is accomplished.
The Honourable Mrs. Aldworth
She is known as the “Lady
because she received the first two
degrees of the
Blue Lodge while a young woman.
She was the daughter
of Lord Doneraile
of Doneraile Court in County of Cork, Ireland, and was
married to Richard
Aldworth, Esq. in 1713. By
some ruse she observed
and heard a Lodge
confer these two degrees, and as a final solution of the
dilemma, the Lodge
conferred upon her these two degrees.
Madame De Xaintrailles
lady who was initiated into the First Degree of Masonry by a French
circumstances which are difficult to justify. She was the wife
of a French
General, who had donned masculine attire and attained great
fame in military
service. Waiting to receive
the Adoptive Rite, she was given
the unusual honor
of receiving the Entered Apprentice Degree in a regular
character in an opera written by Mozart, a Freemason, the last year of
life in 1791, The
Magic Flute. Written two
years after the French revolution,
a time when
Masonry was under attack by the Catholic Church.
great courage and
conviction for Mozart to present a work in which the
ideas of equality
and fraternity were so clearly expressed, even though
disguised in a
fairy story, and which depicted Masonry through the 33rd
Mozart went farther than his Masonic Brothers of that day, and
even of today, by
extending the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
so as to embrace
the whole of humanity, women as well as men.
Magic Flute Pamina
is admitted to the company of the enlightened on
equal terms with
Tamino. Goethe, himself a
Freemason, said “That
spectators will enjoy it, the initiated will understand its higher
The opera is full of Masonic symbolism, verbal, visual and
The spoken dialogue is often directly taken from Masonic
Now the truth has been spoken, and you know it,
Russell N. Cassel, Colonel, AF Retired