NOTE:  The following material is from an original edition of the 1922 book. It composes a “cut-‘n-paste” resource, for research and quotations on the early history of women in Freemasonry. It is NOT intended to be a close reproduction of the original book.   The text version of this book was Copyrighted in June, 2007 for Phoenixmasonry, Inc. by Ralph Omholt, Librarian.

 

WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

BY

DUDLEY WRIGHT

 

AUTHOR OF "THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES AND RITES"

"MASONIC LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS"

"ROBERT BURNS AND FREEMASONRY"

ETC. ETC.

 

LONDON

 

WILLIAM RIDER & SON, LTD.

CATHEDRAL HOUSE, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.

1922

 

 


 

Open ye gates, receive the fair who shares

With equal sense our happiness and cares:

Then, charming females, there behold

What massy stores of burnish'd gold,

Yet richer is our art;

Not all the Orient gems that shine,

Nor treasures of rich Ophir's mine,

Excel the Mason's heart

True to the fair, he honours more

Than glitt'ring gems, or brightest ore,

The plighted pledge of love;

To every tie of honour bound,

in love and friendship constant found,

And favoured from above.

 


 

CONTENTS

                                                                                                                        PAGE

                        INTRODUCTION …………………………………. Ix

      CHAPTER                      

            I.            ADOPTIVE MASONRY ……………………………………………………. 1

            II.            THE FENDEURS …………………………………………………………..12

            III.            EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND COUNT CAGLIOSTRO………………… 29

            IV.            RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY. …………………………………… 38

            V.            RITUAL OF FREEMASONRY FOR LADIES…………………………… 55

            VI.            WOMEN FREEMASONS OF THE PAST………………………………. 78

            VII.            THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR……………………………… 100

            VIII.            MODERN FEMALE FREEMASONRY……………………………..……141

            IX.            THE GRAND ORIENT OF THE NETHERLANDS     

                        ON THE QUESTION  ……………………………………………….……169

 

A LETTER FROM THE GRAND MISTRESS OF THE FEMALE FREEMASONS TO GEORGE FAULKNER, PRINTER ………….…185

 

INDEX ………………………………………………………………...……195

 


 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Secret societies have always held a fascination for both sexes, despite the fallacy that women cannot keep a secret. Women, it is claimed by Masonic historians and writers, have always been rigidly excluded from the ranks of Orthodox Masonry both Operative and Speculative, although, as will be seen in the course of the following pages, the barriers have been pierced on more than one occasion.

 

The first Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, published in 1723, expressly stipulated that no woman should be admitted as a member of a Masonic Lodge. In this edition Dr. Anderson stated that

 

"the learned and magnanimous Queen Elizabeth, who encourag'd other Arts, discourag'd this; because, being a Woman, she could not be made a Mason, tho', as other great Women, she might have much employ'd Masons, like Semiramis and Artemisia."

 

Dr. Anderson also goes on to say:

 

"Elizabeth being jealous of any Assemblies of her Subjects, whose Business she was not duly appris'd of, attempted to break up the Annual Communication of Masons, as dangerous to her Government. But as old

 

ix

 

 

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Masons have transmitted it by Tradition, when the noble Persons her Majesty had commissioned, and brought a sufficient Posse with them at York, on St. John's Day, were once admitted into the Lodge, they made no use of Arms, and returned the Queen a most honourable Account of the ancient Fraternity, whereby her political fears and doubts were dispell'd, and she let them alone, as a People much respected by the Noble and the Wise of all the polite Nations, but neglected the Art all her Reign.“

 

In an edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1738, Dr. Anderson gives further particulars of this incident in the following words

 

"Now Learning of all Sorts revived, and the good old Augustan Style began to peep from under its rubbish. And it would have soon made great progress if the Queen had affected Architecture. But hearing the Masons had certain secrets that could not be reveal'd to her (for that she could not be Grand Master) and being jealous of all Secret Assemblies, she sent an armed force to break up their annual Grand Lodge at York, on St. John's Day, 27th December, 1561. But Sir Thomas Sackville, Grand Master, took care to make some of the chief men sent Free‑Masons, who then joining in that Communication, made a very honourable report to the Queen, and she never more attempted to dislodge or distrust them, but esteem'd them as a peculiar sort of men that cultivated peace and friendship, arts and science, without meddling in the affairs of Church and State. “

 

Queen Elizabeth is credited with being the only woman initiated into the Order of Buffaloes.

 

The pages of history show that in past ages

 

 

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                 xi

 

women had their own secret societies. In some instances man was excluded as rigorously as woman is excluded from modern Orthodox Freemasonry. In others, men were admitted on equal, or almost equal, terms with the gentler sex.

 

The Eleusinian Mysteries were introduced by Eumelpus in 1356 B.C., and were founded in honour of Ceres and Proserpine, and anyone violating the Oath taken on admission and revealing the secrets to the uninitiated was punished with death. The like punishment was meted out to uninitiated intruders at the ceremonies. Into these Mysteries both sexes were eligible for initiation, and there was no age limit.

 

The Greek festival of the Thesmophoria held in the month of Pyanepsion (October) in honour of the goddess Demeter lasted for five days, and only women were permitted to take part in it. They had to undergo a solemn preparation for the Festival, preparation extending over nine days, during which time they kept apart from their husbands and purified themselves in various ways. The sanctuary, where the Mysteries took place, was at Kalamai. The days were spent in bathing in the sea, the Mysteries being celebrated at night. One of days was spent in fasting, when the women sat on the ground, wearing mourning attire and singing dirges. Swine were also offered in sacrifice the infernal gods. Participation in the Festival

 

 

 

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was limited strictly to married women who were full citizens.

 

Gibbon, in his History of Rome, records a female Order in the fourth century. It was customary for the Roman ladies annually to celebrate in the house, either of the Consul or Praetor, certain rites and ceremonies in honour of a goddess. In what the adoration consisted, as no man was ever permitted to be present, or even to be made acquainted with the nature or tendency of the function, it is impossible to say. At the appointed time the vestals came, and so cautious were they as to privacy that the house was carefully searched, all male animals were turned out of doors, and even statues and pictures of men were covered with thick opaque veils. The only attempt made to violate the caution of the Roman matrons at the celebration of this secret ceremony occurred during the Praetorship of Julius Caesar in 692. His third consort, Pompeia, was united to him more from policy than inclination, and notwithstanding the nuptial vow she had taken, she retained an admirer, Clodius, belonging to a noble family in the annals of that republic. Aurelia, the mother of Caesar, discovered the attachment of Pompeia, and to protect the honour of her son, by her vigilance prevented interviews between Pompeia and her lover. At the expiration of the consular year the secret festival was to be performed, as customary, in the house of Caesar, he being the chief magistrate

 

 

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                 xiii

 

at that time, and to his consort belonged the right of presiding at the ceremony. This was a triumph for Pompeia, who conceived the idea of concealing her favourite in the house and gratifying his oft-expressed wish of witnessing the sacred rites. Clodius, by arrangement, disguised himself in the garb of a female and at night proceeded towards the house of his admirer. A confidential servant who was in the secret whispered to Clodius that it was her mistress's desire that he should secret in her chamber. He repaired thither, but tired of waiting he wandered into an adjacent apartment, when he was accosted. Anxious to avoid conversation, he turned away, but was followed and a demand made for his name and the reason of his presence there. As he refused to give my answer or explanation he was arrested and prosecuted at the public tribunal. The Roman criminal code had definitely affixed the punishment of death for any man to be present at the ceremony, but by reason of his influence in the Senate, the certainty of his not having attained to the most distant knowledge of the Mysteries, and his open avowal that his object was solely that he might be kv6ired with a sight of Pompeia, he was acquitted. Pompeia's indiscretion was punished by Caesar's divorcing her, assigning, as a reason, “that his wife ought to preserve herself from the suspicion as well the guilt of crime.“

 

 

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With regard to the androgynous societies, L' Abbe Clavel, in his History of Freemasonry and Similar Societies, Ancient and Modern, published in 1842, says that:

 

"Freemasons embraced these Societies with enthusiasm as a practical means of giving to their wives and daughters some share of the pleasures which they themselves enjoyed in their mystical assemblies. And this, at least, may be said of them that they practised with commendable fidelity and diligence, the greatest of the Masonic virtues, and that the banquets and balls which always formed an important part of their ceremonial were distinguished by numerous acts of charity. “

 

Androgynous Masonry included certain Degrees, among which may be mentioned the "Heroine of Jericho,“ which appears to be the most ancient, for which only the wives and daughters of Royal Arch Masons were eligible; the "Ark and Dove,“The Mason's Daughter, “The Good Samaritan, “The Maids of Jerusalem,“ and "he Mason's Wife, “all of which Degrees were conferred only on the wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers of Freemasons These were practised mainly in the United States of America, and their description does not enter within the scope of the present volume. It may also be mentioned that there is presumptive evidence that in days gone by women were admitted into the Order of Knights Templar.

 

The question as to whether or not women should

 

 

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                 xv

 

be admitted into the ranks of Orthodox Freemasonry cannot here be discussed. As the author is proud to claim membership of Lodges within the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England, any discussion on this point would be unbecoming.

 

In this connection, however, it may be permissible to draw attention to an article bearing on this subject which appeared in the Daily Telegraph of 14th April, 1920, in the course of which the writer said:

 

"One more masculine stronghold has, we are informed, fallen to the monstrous regiment of women. The Grand Lodge of French Freemasons has declared itself in favour of the admission of women to the craft. It is, of course, true that a female Freemason would not be a creature absolutely without precedent. There is respectable evidence for the initiation of a woman in that century momentous in the fortunes of Masonry - the eighteenth.

 

Misogynists may derive what comfort they please from the fact that the traditional woman Freemason was initiated, if anywhere, in Ireland. They can undoubtedly contend that to open the fraternity to women would be a revolutionary change of policy. That the decision of French Freemasons will have much influence on the craft in England is not probable. In France membership has been associated with religious and political opinions which are either antagonistic or irrelevant to the principles of English Freemasonry. The fact, indeed, makes the proposal to admit women gore remarkable, for hitherto women have nowhere given much support to anti‑clerical or anti‑theistic parties. Whether it portends a new orientation of the Grand Orient we will not now inquire. It would be

            B

 

 

xvi                                                                                           WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

impertinent to offer any advice to our Freemasons on a question of the constitution of their own fraternity. The most enthusiastic feminist may be content to admit that there is justification for the existence of societies confined to one sex. Such organisations have existed from the dawn of time, and women have eagerly maintained the exclusiveness of their own. But only an obscurantist would argue that the secrets of any fraternity are endangered by the admission of women. A social system which continually increases the number of women secretaries is sufficient evidence of the folly of that ancient libel.

 

 

The splendid works of charity which are the glory of English Freemasonry may suggest that ' women would be well fitted for membership of the craft. It might be argued, on the other hand, that a society composed of both sexes, however valuable, however s pleasant, would inevitably lose some of the valued qualities of a male fraternity. Just as affectionate and devoted wives have been known to thank Providence ' for the existence of their husbands' clubs, we suspect that many women would prefer the men of their families to enjoy the delights of the Masonic Lodge alone. “

 

Though shut from our Lodges by ancient decree,

In spite of our laws, here woman has part;

For each Mason, I'm sure, will tell you with me,

Her form is enshrined and reigns in our heart.

 

'Twas wisely ordained by our Order of old

To fasten the door, which entrance denies;

For once in our Lodge she would rule uncontrolled,

And govern the Craft by the light of her eyes.

 


 

WOMAN

AND FREEMASONRY

 

CHAPTER I

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY

 

The origin of Adoptive Masonry is placed generally in the seventeenth century, and its author is named as the widow of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV, and sister of Louis XIII of France. After the death of Charles I she is said to have been proclaimed "the protectress of the children of the widow,“ Freemasons in those days being known as "the children of the widow.“ She is said to have formed a society of women, to whom she communicated certain signs and passwords.

 

In 1712, in Russia, Catherine the Czarina obtained from Peter the Great permission to found the Order of St. Catherine, an Order of Knighthood for women only, of which she was proclaimed Grand Mistress. This was a quasi‑Masonic body.

 

In the eighteenth century there were four Grand Mistresses of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which was an emanation of early Masonry. They

 

 

2                                                                                              WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

were the Princess of Rochelle in Italy, the Countess of Maille and the Princess de Latour in France; and the Duchess of Wisembourg in Germany.

 

The Chevalier Cesar Moreau states positively that Adoptive Masonry is of French origin.

 

"What other people,“ he says, “could have raised this beautiful monument of national gallantry to a sex who, in the East, are subjected to the most humiliating dependence; who, in Spain, are guarded in living sepulchres, namely, the convents; while, in Italy, this admirable half of humanity is in the same position; and, in Russia, the husband receives from the father-in‑law, with his wife, the right to flog her at his pleasure? The French know too well how to appreciate the numberless merits of this charming sex to allow themselves to be influenced by any other nation in the happiness of proving to women that they are at all times their idols, from youth to age.“

 

Clavel has recorded a curious anecdote respecting the origin of Female Freemasonry, which Dr. George Oliver finds it difficult to credit. He says that in the year 1741, a burgomaster of Holland having heard of some grotesque exhibition, which professed to be an exposition of Masonic secrets, caused himself to be proposed for admission that he might judge of the correctness of what he had seen; and that he secretly placed his daughter at a window to be a witness of his initiation. The plan succeeded and led to the establishment of Female Freemasonry.

 

In 1771 the Order of Perseverance was established at Paris by several nobles and ladies. It had little of the Masonic character about it, and although, at the time of its creation, it excited considerable

 

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                                                    3

 

sensation, it existed but for a brief period. It was instituted for the purpose of rendering services to humanity. Ragon says that there was kept in the archives of the Order a quarto volume of four hundred leaves, in which were registered all the good deeds of the brethren and sisters, and he claimed that the document remained in existence at his time. Thory says that there was much mystification about the establishment of the Order in Paris. Its institutors contended that it originated from time immemorial in Poland, a pretension to which the King of Poland lent his sanction. Many persons of distinction, and among them Madame de Genlis, were received and became its members.

 

The real date of the establishment of Adoptive Masonry in France, however, may be placed as 1775, when, according to M. Boubée, who is sometimes called the "Father of French Masonry,“ the French ladies, not wishing to remain indifferent to the good done by Freemasons, sought to form Lodges of Adoption, so as the more efficaciously to exercise charity and goodness.

 

At first the Grand Orient of France did not sympathise with the formation of these Lodges of Adoption, and for some time withheld its sanction, but eventually consented to take the oversight on the express condition that each meeting should be presided over by the Master of a regular Masonic Lodge. Immediately several ladies of distinction became active members and propagators, among the number being the Duchess of Chartres, the

 

 

4                                                                                              WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Duchess of Bourbon, the Princess Lambelle, the Countess of Polignac, the Countess of ChoiseulGouffier, and the Marchioness of Coutebonne.

 

On the 11th March, 1775, the Marquis de Saisseval, assisted by several distinguished Brethren, formed the Lodge of Candour under the Constitution of the Grand Orient of France. Fourteen days afterwards ‑ on 25th March, 1775 ‑ this Lodge gave a fete d'adoption, when the Duchess of Chartres, wife of the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, was present. There was also present the Duchess of Bourbon, who then consented to accept the position of Grand Mistress of Adoptive Masonry. Her installation took place on the following day, in the Lodge of St. Anthony in Paris, when the Duke of Chartres presided in his capacity as Grand Master.  Nearly a thousand persons, the elite of French society, are said to have assisted at this function. In 1801 Adoptive Masonry established itself in Holland, where it reigned until 10th June, 1810, when it was peremptorily inhibited.

 

The Adoptive Rite consisted of four Degrees - Apprentice, Companion, Mistress, and Perfect Mistress. The first Degree was purely symbolical and introductory, intended rather to improve the mind than to convey any definite idea of the institution. The second Degree depicted the scene of the temptation in Eden, and the Companion was reminded in a lecture of the penalty incurred by the Fall. The third Degree alluded to the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues as a symbol of a badly regulated Lodge, while Jacob's Ladder was

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                                        5

 

introduced as a moral lesson of order and harmony. The fourth Degree, that of Perfect Mistress, represented Moses and Aaron, their wives, and the sons Aaron. The ceremonies referred to the passage the Red Sea by the Israelites, and the Degree said to symbolise the passage of men from the world of change and discord to a pure land of rest and peace.

 

The officers of a Lodge of Adoption consisted of Grand Master, Grand Mistress, Orator, Inspector, Inspectress, Depositor, Depositrix, Conductor, and Conductress. The sash and collar were blue, with a gold trowel suspended. The principal officers were provided with gavels or mallets, and each member was attired in a plain white apron and white gloves. The Brethren, as distinct from the Sisters, wore, in addition to the ordinary regalia, each a sword and a gold ladder of five rounds, this latter being the jewel of Adoptive Masonry. The business of each Lodge was conducted by the Sisters, the Brethren being looked upon as assistants only. Different descriptive hangings were provided for the various Degrees. In the first Degree, four curtains divided the room into four sections. The west represented Europe; the east, Asia; the south, Africa; and the north, America. Two thrones were erected in the east for the Grand Master and the Grand Mistress; before them was placed an altar, while to their right and left were placed eight statues representing Wisdom, Prudence, Strength, Temperance, Honour, Charity, justice,

 

 

6                                                                                              WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

and Truth. The members sat in two rows, to right and left, at right angles to the two presiding officers ‑ the Brethren, armed with their swords, in the back rows, and the Sisters in the front rows.

 

 

The Adoptive Lodges found many opportunities for the practice of beneficence, in which, particularly, they excelled. The records of the Adoptive Lodge of Candour show that frequently collections were made for the poor and distressed. In 1777, the Duchess of Bourbon presided at a meeting of this Lodge when there was a collection for a brave soldier of the Anjou regiment who had thrown himself into the frozen Rhone and rescued two drowning children. In 1779, through the agency of members of this Lodge, a poor nobleman, without profession or resources, obtained from the King a pension and a lieutenancy. This Lodge was disbanded in 178o, in consequence of Court movements. The Quadruple Lodge of the Nine Sisters was another prominent Adoptive Lodge, which held several fetes for philanthropic purposes. In 1780 a Lodge of Adoption was formed by the Lodge Social Contract to celebrate the convalescence of the Grand Master, the Duke of Chartres. This Lodge had for its first Master the Abbe Bertolio, who was assisted by the Princess Lamballe as Grand Mistress. Among the initiates of this Lodge were the Viscountess of Alfrey, the Viscountess of Narbonne and the Countess of Maille. In common with many others this Lodge was broken up by the Revolution.

 

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                                                    7

 

Adoptive Masonry was seized by the comprehensive mind of the first Napoleon as a means to consolidate his power, and it rose into favour again on the re‑establishment of the Empire. In 1805, the unfortunate Empress Josephine was installed Grand Mistress of the Loge Imperiale d'Adoption des Francs Chevaliers at Strasbourg, when she initiated one of her ladies of honour, Madame F. de Canisy. M. Boubée says that at no period in the history of Adoptive Masonry was there so brilliant a gathering. It was the first occasion on which French Masonry had been honoured with the presence of a sovereign.

 

The Rev. Dr. George Oliver, in his Revelations of a Square, gives an interesting account of a visit he paid to a Lodge of Adoption in Paris in 1808:

 

"The ceremonies are conducted with the utmost decorum. We are, of course, totally ignorant of the dark room, as none but females are admitted to that penetralia, and the preparations are conducted only by females; but when they are completed, and the trials come on, the Novice is conducted through the process by a lady and gentleman together.

 

"On this special occasion it was thought that the Candidate did not possess sufficient fortitude to endure the trials, and she was warned that if she had any doubts as to her power of endurance she had the opportunity of withdrawing. However, she indicated that she was quite willing to proceed, and she was accordingly conducted through the usual trials of fortitude and endured them with the courage of a martyr, and even at last, when placed on the summit of the symbolic mountain, and told she must cast herself down thence into the abyss below, where she saw a double row of bright

 

 

8                                                                                              WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

steel spikes, long and sharp. They were real, substantial spikes, and she would have been killed if impaled thereon.

 

"The word was given to throw herself down, and with a suppressed shriek she made the required plunge. So unexpectedly sudden was her obedience that the guide, who had charge of the machinery, was scarcely allowed time to touch the spring before she fell recumbent at the bottom of the abyss. The machinery is so contrived that at the very moment when the final leap is made the scene changes to an Elysium of green fields and shady trees, bubbling fountains and purling streams, and beneath the velvet herbage is placed a bed of the softest down, to receive the fair body of the exhausted Novice as she falls. In the present instance the lady fainted, and lay for a time without motion, but was soon restored and tranquillised by the application of essences and perfumes, and the soft and soothing influence of delicious music.

 

"Being afterwards introduced into the Lodge, her constancy was rewarded by witnessing and forming a part of the most beautiful and captivating scenes I ever beheld.“

 

Adoptive Masonry found its way into Italy, and the following description of an initiation ceremony appeared in an Italian paper, Correspondence, published in Rome, in 1862

 

"In a room hung with black was raised a table covered with black cloth; on the table was a skull and above it was a lamp, which shed a funereal light. Eight personages: a Worshipful Grand Master, a Worshipful Grand Mistress, a Brother Orator dressed as a Capuchin, a Brother Inspector, a Sister Inspectress, Brother and Sister Deacons, and a Sister Guarder. These dignitaries wore on their breasts each a wide violet ribbon, to which was suspended a little gold trowel. The Grand Master held a hammer which served as his sceptre and marched at the side of the Grand Mistress.

 

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                                                    9

 

The Brethren and Sisters all wore the regulation apron and white gloves. A Candidate was about to be initiated. The Grand Master clapped his hands five times and asked one of the officers: `What are the duties of a Masonic aspirant? ' The answer was given: `Obedience, labour, silence.' The Brother Orator then took the Candidate by the hand and conducted her to the dark room, when, having bandaged her eyes, he read her a homily on virtue and charity. When the bandage was removed she found herself surrounded by the Brethren in a circle, their swords meeting above her head. After another homily, pronounced by the Grand Master, he asked her if she had well reflected before entering a Society which was unknown to her, and then the proselyte took the oath or obligation, as follows:

“I swear and promise faithfully to keep in my heart all the secrets of Freemasonry and engage to do so under the penalty of being cut in pieces by the sword of the avenging angel.' The Grand Master then explained to her the signs and gave her the password of the Order. Then, taking the initiate by the hand, he gave her, in a respectful manner, the five kisses of peace, and handed to her an apron and a pair of gloves.“

 

In 1736, Pope Clement XII launched his famous Bull against the Freemasons, and the people, becoming alarmed, formed another Society on similar lines, but one which would not subject them to the thunders of the Vatican. This Society was known as the Mopses and, according to most writers, it did not become an androgynous Order until 1776, but, in 1745, a work was published at Amsterdam entitled, Le Secret de la Societe des Mopses, which had as frontispiece a plate depicting the reception into the Order of a female, while another female sat in the supreme chair. The Lodge‑room was in the form of a square, or, 'rather, a lozenge,

 

 

10                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

seeing that the cardinal points were at the angles. During the ceremonies the Brethren and Sisters stood in a circle, intersecting the lozenge at each angle, so as to leave the officers of the Lodge without the circumference. There were four great Lights, disposed at the angles. The Master, or Grand Mopse, was placed in a great chair, or throne, before a table in the east, and the two wardens were stationed in the west. In the centre of the Lodge was a Mopse, or the figure of a mastiff, with its head towards the east. On the pictorial design of the Order were two emblems of friendship, viz. two hands joined in fellowship; and a hand holding an open purse, from which another hand was extracting the contents. An altar was placed in front of the Wardens, on which was inscribed a heart within an oval, incense being kept burning upon the altar; on each side of the altar was a hand, as if grasping the altar in love. Females were admitted to all offices within the Order, with the exception of the Grand Mastership, which was held for life by a male. Subordinate to him were the two Grand Mopses, the one a male, the other a female, each governing the Order for six months in alternate succession. The Order grew and flourished, and by the admission of women they evaded the terms of the papal denunciation. The heads of the Germanic Union countenanced the Order and extended their patronage to the scheme, and at Frankfort the Lodges were composed of persons of rank of both sexes.

 

 

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In 1805 the androgynous Lodge of Free Knights and Ladies of Paris held high festival at Strasburg. Lady Dietrick officiated as Grand Mistress, assisted by the Empress Josephine. Two years later the Lodge of St. Caroline held a festival in Paris, which was celebrated with great magnificence under the presidency of the Duchess of Vaudemont. The Prince Cambaceres, then Grand Master, was present, together with many of the nobility, both male and female, including the Princess de Carignan; the Countesses de Giraudin, de Roucherolles, de Laborde, de Bondy, etc.

 


 

CHAPTER II

THE FENDEURS

 

The Order of Fendeurs, or Forest Masons, possessed legends claiming a high antiquity. One professed to trace the Order back to the time of Alexander the Great, which was the ground for the introduction of a Degree called the "Knight of Thebes.“The Fendeurs were, in all probability, a branch of the Carbonari, or Charcoal Burners, a political league which made its appearance in the twelfth century.

 

There was a revival in 1747 by the Chevalier Beauchaine, when the Order became so popular that ladies and gentlemen of the highest distinction and rank considered it an honour to be permitted to join it. It had a successful career until the restoration of the monarchy, when it was disbanded.

 

The Chantier, or Lodge, was held in the daytime. In summer it was held in a broad garden walk, adorned with trees, and in the winter in a large room adorned with branches of trees, or hangings representing a forest and the various occupations of the Fendeurs. When the sun set on their labours, they lighted a moving transparency of the sun in the east

 

12

 

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             13

 

and a number of coloured lamps concealed in the branches.

 

The seat for the Master, or Père Maître, as he was called, was placed in the east, and was a great block of wood, called the Block of Honour. In front of it was placed a log of oak, with a woodcutter's axe and two wedges, one of iron and one of wood. To the right was a large tree stump, on which were placed the Constitutions of the Order, a stone cup, and a small black loaf for every Candidate for initiation, together with an envelope containing five sous, a pair of white gloves, a russet‑coloured sash edged with green, a small gilt axe on a ribbon, a box whistle on a rosette, and a carpenter's apron. Behind the Master's seat was placed a holly bush.

 

To the north were placed as many blocks as there were candidates, a crown of oak leaves being placed on each block.

 

In the south and north were arranged in the form of a circle as many faggots as there were Fendeurs present, while bundles of wood and beds of leaves or turf were also carelessly arranged.

 

Two blocks of oak, before each of which was placed a large log, were in the west. Beside each log was placed a wooden axe with a long handle, as well as two wedges, one of iron and one of wood. In the centre of the Chantier were placed a number of saws, axes, wedges, with chips, branches, and leaves.

 

At one time, says Ragon, in his Manuel complet de la Mafonnerie d'Adoption ou Maconnerie des Dames, four huts were erected towards the east.

 

 

14                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

The but to the right of the Master was made with three poles stretched apart, and held one to another by hoops. At the point of junction was a little vessel of water. It was furnished with straw mats and became the but of Cousin Hermit, dressed as a monk. He had for seat a stool, and in front a block on which was a stone money‑box and a book of meditations. In front of the block and underneath the water was a cushion for the Candidate to hear on his knees the exhortation of the Hermit. To give proof of his charitable disposition he was told to put the five sous, which had been given him, into the money‑box. Holding the cord leading to the bucket, Cousin Hermit said: "Be washed and purged from all the filth which accompanies the Briquet and may the protecting virtue of the Fendeurs be your guide and safeguard,“ and at the same time he upset the water over the Candidate.

 

The second but belonged to Cousin, Winedresser. It was made of leaves and well covered in. At the top projected a stick which was covered with a cabbage as a sign. Inside were two tressels and a barrel of wine for the refreshment of the Cousin by order of the Master. The honour of occupancy of the third but was reserved for the most frivolous member of the company, who took the name of Mère Cateau and the costume of a woman, with a peasant woman's mob‑cap, a jacket, a red or blue petticoat, a fichu, a white apron, and a great golden cross and heart. Near to it was a wooden stool, a bucket full of water, a board crossed over it, some

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             15

 

linen in suds, soap, and a round stick. In front was a faggot for the Candidate, who, emerging from his washing lesson, found himself covered with soap.

 

The fourth but was opposite the Winedresser's. It was made of earth, and with a long and broad straw bed. The occupant of this was known as Cousin Bear.

 

Both men and women were admitted to the Order, and the Oath taken by a female Candidate was as follows:

 

"I promise and swear on my word of honour, on the symbol of cleanliness, in the presence of the Pere Maitre and the worthy cousins of this Chantier, never to betray the secrets of the worthy Cousins or Companions, and if I fail in my promise I consent to be soaked, beaten and twisted like a bundle of dirty linen; then to be cast to the bottom of the vat of the worthy and benevolent Cousin Cateau, then to be exposed for forty days in the deepest Forest, to live on acorns only, like a sow, and to be devoured by wild beasts.“

 

The following was the ceremonial adopted in the opening of a chantier:

 

Père Maître: -  “Chief of the Wood‑yard, Cousin Elm and Cousin Oak! See if the bar is in place, the tools well sharpened, and what sort of weather it is.“

 

Answer: -  "Pere Maitre, the sun is shining to hearten us for work, the bar of the Chantier is in place, and the tools are well sharpened. “

 

Père Maître: -  “Therefore we can get to work. Announce to the good Cousins that the Chantier is open. “

 

Answer: -  “Cousins; I give you notice on behalf of the Père Maître that the Chantier is open.“

 

All shout three times "A l’ Avantage" and then "Vive les Fendeurs.“ While this is being done Cousin Elm goes out and, on returning beats la douelle and whistles,

 

 

16                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

the beats and whistles being repeated by all, in turn, with the exception of the Père Maître.

 

Père Maître: -  “Cousin Oak, go and see what it is. “

 

Cousin Elm having made pretence to go out again returns with Cousin Oak.

 

Cousin Elm. “Good luck, Père Maître, good luck.“

 

Père Maître. “Good luck, good Cousin, good luck. Whence comest thou?"

 

Cousin Elm. "From the Royal Forest, Père Maître, from the Vente d' Honneur, whence come all the worthy Cousins, good comrades Hewers.“

 

Pere Maitre: -  “Whom didst thou meet in the forest?"

 

Cousin Elm. “I met good Briquets and Briquettes.“

 

Père Maître: -  "What didst thou do with them?"

 

Cousin Elm. “I shut them up in the but under the guard of the Aspen till you should give command concerning them.“

 

Père Maître: -  “Cousin Aspen, are they safe?"

 

Cousin Aspen. "They are, Père Maître,  I answer for them to you.“

 

Père Maître: -  "Go and fetch them one by one.“

 

All present then sing:"Strike, Hewers, strike down to the heart of the tree. “

 

 

RECEPTION OF CANDIDATE FOR INITIATION

 

A whistle is heard outside, which is repeated by all, excepting the Père Maître.

 

Père Maître: -  “Cousin Elm, what is it now?”

 

Cousin Elm. “Some one knocks at the Chantier.“

 

Père Maître: -  "Go and see who it is.“

 

Cousin Elm. “Père Maître, it is Cousin Aspen, who brings us a Briquet (i.e. Candidate).“

 

Père Maître: -  “Bring him (or her) in.“

 

The Candidate is brought in and placed before the Père Maître, who says: "What has made thee dare to come in our forests?"

 

Candidate (prompted). “Père Maître, the sincere

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             17

 

desire to be received as a good Cousin, a good Comrade Hewer.“

 

The Père Maître asks the Candidate several questions, which if answered satisfactorily, he says: "Send him flying.“ When this command has been obeyed, the Père Maître says: "Cry his sale.“ The Candidate is then made to run three times round the Chantier, while the Cousins shout :"A l' Avantage.“

 

Père Maître: -  “The sale of the Briquet is cried. Is anyone opposed to the sale?"

 

All. "No, Père Maître: - “

 

Père Maître: -  “Show him the green leaf.“

 

The Père Maître then addresses the Candidate as follows:

 

"So thou desirest to be one of us!; It seems to me that thou wilt have to lower thy views, for thou seest that we are poor country folk to whom work does not give polish, but who are more sincere than courtiers. We are of one heart and one mind; work is nought to us, we are used to it. He who has done thee harm will find it changed to good. We will defend thee as thou must us in danger. Thou seest our garments, our dwelling, and our food. They show the simplicity and the uprightness of our hearts. The sun rises always serenely for us, and the earth never refuses us her gifts, sickness is ever far from us, because we drive from our huts idleness, softness, and daintiness. This, in a few words, is the condition of our Society., It is thine, if thou art resolved to live as we do. If thou feelest any repugnance thou canst say so. I will make means easy for thee to depart from this Forest, safe and sound, under a trusty guard, who will put thee in thy way.“

 

Candidate (prompted). “Père Maître , I consent to all.“

 

Père Maître: -  “Let him choose a godfather."

 

The Candidate is then led to the various huts in turn, at each of which he is made to work. He then returns to the Père Maître.

 

 

18                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Père Maître: -  “Art thou content?"

 

Candidate. “Yes, Pere Maitre: - “

 

The Oath or Obligation is then taken.

 

Pare Maitre. “Art thou content? Wilt thou be faithful?"

 

Candidate. “Yes, Père Maître. “

 

Père Maître: -  “Cousin Oak, let the Candidate be seated on the Log of Honour.“

 

The Candidate is then seated on the log, crowned with ivy and flowers, given wine to drink and black bread to eat, the Cousins meanwhile singing:"Long live the Fendeurs.“

 

The Père Maître then gives him a piece of parsley, saying:

 

"Respect the stem from which this springs; use the fruit sparingly and destroy it neither in root nor branch.“

 

The plant is then put in his buttonhole, his regalia is given him, and he is instructed in the various duties of a Cousin by Cousin Oak.

 

 

THE ORDER OF FELICITY,

 

or, to quote its French title, “L'Ordre des Felicitaires, “the Order of the Happy People, is claimed by some writers, particularly Clavel, as the original French androgynous institution. Clavel, in his Histoire pittoresque de la Franc‑Maconnerie, says:

 

"We do not know who was its inventor; but it made its first appearance in France, and is evidently a product of French wit. The rules of this Masonry, however, were only definitely settled after 1760, and it was recognised and sanctioned by the governing body of Masonry in 1774. At first it assumed various names and rituals, which have not reached us. In 1743, it had some nautical emblems and a vocabulary; and the Sisters used to make the fictitious voyage to the Isle of Felicity, under the sail of the Brothers and piloted by

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             19

 

them. It was then the Order of the Happy Ones, which comprised the Degrees of Cabin‑boy, Captain, Commodore, and Vice‑Admiral, and had for Admiral, or Grand Master, M. Chambonnet, its author.“

 

The date of its institution is given variously as 1730, 1742, 1743, and 1744, and Ragon also claims that its founder was M. Chambonnet, with some other sea officers. All the emblems of the Orders together with the ritual expressions, were nautical in character. In the Oath or Obligation, the Candidate pledged himself to preserve the secrecy of the ceremonial of initiation and never to moor a vessel in any port where there was already a vessel of the Order. If the Candidate was a female, she swore never to receive a foreign vessel into port.

 

Woodford, in Kenning's Masonic Cyclopadia, says that the sign of the Order was an anchor suspended from three silken cords. It did not last for long owing to a quarrel which occurred in 1745 when a new society was formed. The first account of the Order seems to be given in L' Antyopophile ou le Secret et les Misteres de l'Ordre de la Felicite, devoiles; pour; le bonheur de tout l' Univers. A. Arctopolis, 1746. Its word of greeting is said to have been the Hebrew Shalom Alechem, or “Peace be with you.“

 

The Boston Evening Post of 9th January, 1743, had, in its Roman letter, the following reference to the Order:

 

"We hear from Avignon, that a Society composed of persons of both sexes, has been lately formed there, under the name of `Knights and Knightesses of the

 

 

20                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Order of Felicity'; and as this Society has made a great noise, by reasons of the ceremonies performed at the admission of members into it, M. Joseph de Guyon de Crochans, Archbishop of that city, has published a mandate against it, wherein he expresses himself to the following purpose:

 

"That he cannot conceal the extreme uneasiness he is under at the repeated and circumstantial informations that have been given him concerning this society, the design of which can neither be the service of God nor a new engagement tending to greater perfection That he leaves it to the civil magistrates to inquire whether such associations are not destructive to the real good and repose of civil society; and that he exhorts the faithful in his diocese to be upon their guard against a society so suspicious on account of the frivolous and indecent ceremonies, to say no worse of them, that are observed at the reception of its members.“

 

The Order which, for a long time, conducted its proceedings without reproach numbered at first many noblemen and distinguished women amongst its members. Afterwards, however, the meetings became so grossly immoral in character, females being, in some cases, passed through the various degrees practically in a state of nudity, that within two years of its foundation it was dissolved, to be succeeded, in 1745, by

 

 

L'ORDRE DES CHEVALIERS ET CHEVALILLRES

DE L'ANCRE

 

This Order preserved the principal features of the Order of Felicity. The same four Degrees were conferred; only the passwords and regalia were changed, the anchor again becoming the jewel of the Order.

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             21

 

 

THE COMPANIONS OF PENELOPE, OR THE PALLADIUM OF LADIES

 

Very little is known of this Order, beyond the fact that it is believed to have been established in Paris in 1740 by "seven wise men. “At initiation the Candidate was conducted by two members of the Order into the centre of the Temple, where was a table, on which was a white cloth, on which were three candles around a statue of Minerva. The following obligation was taken on initiation:

 

"I swear and promise on my honour to keep locked within my breast the knowledge that I may now acquire and never to speak of it save to Companions of the Order of Penelope or to the Companions of Ulysses.“

 

 

THE FEUILLANTS, OR DAMES PHLEIDES

 

were established in Brittany in the middle of the eighteenth century. The sign was made by raising the hands to a level with the eyes, the palms turned upwards, and the five fingers joined. The grip was given by shaking hands with the fingers interlaced, the shake being given three times reciprocally. The password or phrase was: "Have you gathered the roses?" to which the response was: "Also the grapes.“

 

 

THE KNIGHTS AND NYMPHS OF THE ROSE

 

This Order was founded in Paris in 1778 by M. Chaumont, private secretary to Louis‑Philippe of Orleans, at the request, it is said, of the Duke of Chartres. It was an androgynous Order: the male

 

 

22                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

president was known as the Hierophant and the female president as the High Priestess. Men were initiated by the Hierophant and women by the High Priestess. The obligation was as follows:

 

"I swear and promise in the name of the Maker of the Universe, Who has the power to renew unceasingly at His pleasure His most excellent work, never to reveal the secrets of the Order of the Rose. If I prove false to my oath, may the mysteries add nothing to my pleasures, and instead of roses of delight may I find only the thorns of repentance.“

 

The temple of intiation was known as the Temple of Love. It was decorated in a very handsome manner and ornamented with devices of gallantry. Love‑knots were traced on the floor and on the carpet which surrounded the throne of the High Priestess, on which the Candidates for initiation stood during the ceremony. The initiation ceremony was very similar to that used in the Lodges of Adoption, but the following question was asked: "What age are you?" to which the Candidate, if a male, replied "The age to love,“ and, if a female "The age of pleasing and loving. “Perfumes were offered to the statue of Venus by the Candidate on being conducted to the altar. In 1780, there was a grand festival of the Order in Paris, when the ceremony of the initiation of a Nymph of the Rose was performed in the presence of the Duke of Chartres.

 

 

THE DAMES OF MOUNT TABOR

 

made their appearance in France about 1810. The professed object of this Order was to afford succour

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             23

 

to distressed females of good character. The usual amusements at their periodic meetings were the recital of poetry, music, speeches, and, not infrequently, dancing. The Order had nine Degrees, divided into two classes, moral and historical. They were as follows: 1. Novice Ecossais; 2 (moral), Novice Mason 3 (historical), Novice Mythologist 4 (moral), Discreet Fellowcraft; 5 (historical), Biblical Fellowcraft 6 (moral), Mistress Adonhiramite 7 (historical), Historical Mistress 8 (moral), Moral Mistress; g Grand Philosophical Mistress.

 

 

THE ORDER OF LIBERTY,

 

of which Moses was claimed as founder, admitted both men and women. The members wore in their buttonholes a chain with a jewel representing the two tables of the Law, but, instead of the ten commandments, the jewel had two wings to signify Freedom, with the motto: Virtute dirigit alas. On the reverse side was an M for Moses, with the date 6743. The command: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is said purposely to have been omitted from their rules.

 

 

THE ORDER OF MEMPHIS,

 

sometimes called the Ancient and Primitive Rite, which had the power of admitting women, was established in Paris about the year 1838 by Jacques Etienne Marconis. This Rite had originally ninety-one Degrees, but they were afterwards increased to ninety‑seven. Its success was not great and it was

 

 

24                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

merged into the Grand Orient of France in 1862. It has been worked in England within recent years, but it has now fallen into disuse. It ceased to be recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.

 

 

THE INDIFFERENTISTS

 

was an Order which existed in France in the middle of the eighteenth century. Mdlle. Salle, a famous danseuse, was for a time its president. Men and women were admitted to the Order, the Rites of which were of a quasi‑Masonic character. The badge was an imitation of an icicle. The members took an oath to fight against Love, whose power they renounced.

 

 

THE SOCIETY OF THE CHAIN

 

was a society on the Adoptive principle, which was founded in Denmark in 1777. It founded and maintained at its own expense the Asylum for the Blind at Copenhagen, said to have been the largest and best managed of all such institutions in Europe.

 

Among other Orders and Societies may be mentioned: The Order of Knights and Ladies of joy, founded in Paris in 1696, under the protection of Bacchus and Venus, whose printed statutes are still in existence; the German Order of the Rose, founded in Germany in 1784, by Grossinger, on the collapse of the Order of the Rose; the Order of the Lovers of Pleasure, founded by some young officers of the French army on 25th December, 1808, a

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             25

 

military Order said to have been much favoured by Napoleon I.

 

The celebrated impostor, St. Germain, gave a check to androgynous Masonry by the establishment of his great Lodge at Ermonville, where scenes of the grossest licentiousness were exhibited. Every woman becoming a member became the common property of the brotherhood, with the exception of the one appropriated by St. Germain. She was known as the virgin and alone had the privilege of not being delivered over to the Adamites, until the leader fixed his choice on some other female member of the Order.

 

In a modified form Adoptive Masonry still exists, but it has not flourished under the Republic and its operations have been confined, until recently, to France. The system has been rejected by the Grand Lodge of England and by most of the Grand Lodges of the Overseas Dominions. A writer in the Freemasons' Quarterly Review of 1837 was, however, very eulogistic of the movement. He wrote concerning it:

 

"Adoptive Masonry stands a bright monument to female secrecy and fidelity, and proves how wrong all those are who fancy a woman is not to be trusted. There is not in the whole system of Adoptive Masonry a single step with which the most ascetic moralist could find fault: on the contrary, all is pure, all is beautiful; it is the brightest jewel with which the sombre records of Masonry are spangled.“

 

The Masonic ladies used a symbolical language at their fêtes. Thus a Lodge was called Eden;

 

 

26                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

doors, barriers; the degrees, a ladder; glasses, lamps; wine, red oil; water, white oil; bottles, pitchers.

 

Mr. J. S. Tuckett, in a paper read before the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, recently, said that the earliest effort in France was undoubtedly that of the Order of Felicity. But androgynous Societes Burlesques were by no means a new invention. L'Ordre des Egyptiens, founded at Metz about 1635, is described in the Memoires of the Abbe Arnauld; L'Oydye des Coteaux is referred to by Boileau, La Bruyere, and by Des Maizeaux in the Vie de Saint‑Evyemonde; L'Ordre de la Boisson, founded at Arignor in 1700, published its journal Les Nouvelles de l'O de la B; Le Regiment de la Calotte appeared at about the same time and added several words derived from its observances to the French language; L'Ordre de la Monche d Miel, founded by the Duchesse de Laine in 1703, possessed its Medal of Membership inscribed L. Bar. D. Sc. D. P. D. L. 0. D. L. M. A. M., of which an engraving may be found in the Recreations Numismatiques of Tobiesen, Duby, 1786. These societies had their Grand Masters, Grand Mistresses, Trinkets, Tokens, Jewels, and Medals, and exacted an oath or promise from their Candidates, but‑and this is what marked a new departure in the Order of Felicity there is no indication that they worked a ritual or conferred any Degrees. In no sense were they "Secret Societies" or even "Societies possessing Secrets,“ which is by no means the same thing.

 

 

THE FENDEURS                                                                                                             27

 

There were also several Orders of Knighthoods formed at various periods, most, if not all, of which had their forms of initiation and some had rituals also. The most important of these which conferred the dignity upon woman as well as men were: The Order of the Torch, though this was for women only, was founded by Don Raymond, of Barcelona, in recognition of the bravery of the women who defended Tortosa against the Moors. Members of the Order had precedence of men, were exempted from all taxes, and, on their husband's deaths became possessed of all apparel and jewels left by them. The Order of Our Lady of Mercy, founded by James I, King of Aragon, admitted women as well as men; the members spent their lives in collecting alms and redeeming Christian slaves. The Order of the Cross of Jesus Christ, or the Knights of the Militia of St. Dominic admitted both sexes; it was founded to resist the progress of the Albigenses. The Order of the White Eagle, created by Vladislaus V of Russia; the Order of St. George of Burgundy, formed for the purpose of guarding some relics of St. George the Martyr; the Order of the Bee, in France; and the Order of the Cross of the South, instituted in 1822 by Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil; while among the Orders for women only are the Order of the Celestial Collar of the Holy Rosary; the Order of the Ladies Slaves to Virtue; the Order of the Star Cross (Austrian); the Order of St. Anne (for single women); the Order of St. Elizabeth (Bavarian); the Order of Maria Louisa

 

 

28                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

(Spanish); the Order of St. Ann (Bavarian); the Order of St. Isabella (Portuguese); the Order of Louisa (Prussian); the Order of Theresa (Bavarian); while England has an Order of the Imperial Cross of India, instituted in 1878 for ladies only. In 1856 a branch of the Order of the Daughters of Jericho was inaugurated in England, but apparently had only a brief existence.

 


 

CHAPTER III

EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND COUNT CAGLIOSTRO

 

IMMEDIATELY after the downfall of Napoleon, societies were formed in various European countries, chiefly by exiles, for the promotion of Italian independence. Even Egypt became a centre of this propaganda, and, under the auspices of Mehemet Ali, who aspired to render himself independent of the Sublime Porte, an Egyptian rite was established under the name of the "Secret Egyptian Society.“ In the Lodges of Alexandria and Cairo alone, the Greek and Arab women numbered more than three hundred.

 

Closely bound up with this Egyptian Masonry was the celebrated unprincipled adventurer, claimed by some writers to be the well‑known Joseph Balsamo, known as the Count Cagliostro, who imposed upon our Masonic forefathers, as he did upon the rest of the world. In 1776 he was initiated into Freemasonry in the Esperance Lodge, No. 269, which was attached to what was known as the Rite of Strict Observance: This Lodge met at the King's Head Tavern in Gerrard Street, Soho, W., and was composed mainly of French and Italian Brethren.

 

29

 

 

30                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

His entry into the Craft was made through the friendship of Comte de Sainte Germain.

 

Shortly before quitting London, Cagliostro purchased some manuscripts, the property of one George Coston, who was a total stranger to him. These documents treated of Egyptian Masonry, and on these documents Cagliostro founded the system which ultimately spread to every part of the world and contributed to the notoriety of the author. In this system he promised to conduct his followers to perfection by means of moral and physical regeneration; by causing them to find the primal matter or philosopher's stone, and the acacia which consolidates in man the powers of the most vigorous youth and renders him immortal, by teaching him how to procure the pentagon, which restores man to his primitive state of innocence, forfeited by original sin.

 

According to another account Cagliostro was a disciple of a Jutland merchant who had lived for some time in Egypt, and who, in 1771, began to initiate candidates into the supposed ancient Mysteries of Memphis. He remained some time in Malta, though the only Mysteries he appears to have taught there were the tenets of Manes. Cagliostro certainly became one of the members of an Illuminati Lodge, established in Paris in 1781 by Savalette la Lange, other members being St. Germain, Mesmer, and Raymond. This Lodge is supposed to have been founded on the revelation of Swedenborg, and corresponded, by means of

 

 

EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND CAGLIOSTRO                                                                     31

 

accredited agents, with all the European branches of the Order. Two other Lodges were formed in Paris at the same time, one being aristocratic, called the Lodge of Candour; the other philosophical, known as the Nine Sisters. Like many other Lodges they secretly taught Republicanism.

 

In Courland, Count and Madame Cagliostro established Masonic Lodges in accordance with what they claimed to be the sublime rites of Egyptian Masonry, which Cagliostro claimed it was his mission to restore; and in Paris he prosecuted with great vigour his plans to resuscitate Freemasonry according to the Egyptian rite. A Lodge was formed first, however, at Lyons, to which was given the name of "Triumphant Wisdom,“ and this was regarded as the mother Lodge of the rite. Its patent was as follows:

 

 

HONOUR, WISDOM,

UNION,

BENEFICENCE, COMFORT.

 

"We, Grand Copt in all Eastern and Western parts of Europe, Founder and Grand Master of Egyptian Masonry, make known to till who may read this that during our stay at Lyons many members of the Lodge of the Orient and Ordinary Rite, which has adopted the distinguishing title of `Wisdom,' have expressed their ardent wish to place themselves under our rule, to be enlightened in true Masonry.

 

"We are pleased to accede to their wish, etc., etc. “

 

Madame Cagliostro became Grand Mistress of the Lodge of Isis, which, in 1784, counted among its adepts some of the most prominent of the French titled women.

            D

 

 

32                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

As Grand Copt, Cagliostro was solemnly adored; he was invested with the power of commanding angels, invoked on all occasions, and everything was accomplished through the force of the power which he claimed was imparted to him by the Deity. The ritual included the recitation of the Veni Creator Spiritus, the Te Deum, and certain of the Psalms of David, but in the Psalm Memento, Dontine, David, et omnis mansuetudinis ejus, the name of Cagliostro was substituted every time that of David occurred. All faiths, Protestant, Catholic, non‑Christian, were admitted, and the men who were elected to the rank and position of Master took the names of ancient prophets and the women those of Sybils.

 

On 7th August, 1785, there was a great ceremony of initiation in a mansion in Rue Verte, Faubourg Saint‑Honore, Paris, when thirty‑six females were admitted into the Order. Each initiate had to contribute the sum of one hundred louis, to undertake to abstain from all intimacy with mankind, and to submit to everything which might be imposed upon them. On entering the first apartment of the mansion, the ladies were obliged to disrobe and to put on a white garment with a coloured girdle. The candidates were separated into six groups of six each, each group wearing different coloured girdles. They were then conducted into a temple, lighted from the roof, and seated upon thirty‑six arm‑chairs upholstered in black satin. Madame Cagliostro, attired in white, was seated on a throne, and, when the light was lowered, she commanded the candi‑

 

 

EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND CAGLIOSTRO                                                                     33

 

dates to uncover the left thigh to above the knee, to raise the right arm, and to rest it upon an adjacent pillar. The Grand Mistress then delivered an oration which advocated the emancipation of womankind from the shameful bond imposed upon them by man. At the conclusion of the oration, the candidates were conducted to separate apartments, each of which opened on to the garden. There they were visited by male admirers, but, having regard to the oath taken, they refused to enter into any conversation with them and spurned all overtures, and, after a time, the thirty‑six were conducted once more into the temple. Within a short time, the vaulted roof opened suddenly and Cagliostro, seated on a golden sphere, as naked as he was born., holding a serpent in his hand, and with a flaming star on his head, descended into their midst. The Grand Mistress announced that this was the Genius of Truth, the divine Cagliostro, who had come to initiate them into the secrets of Freemasonry.

 

Cagliostro, or the Grand Copt, as he described himself, then ordered them to dispense with all their clothing. If they were to receive the truth, they must be naked as truth. The example of dispensing with clothing was set by the Grand Mistress and followed by the thirty‑six candidates. Cagliostro then delivered his address, at the conclusion of which he was hauled up on his golden sphere through the opening in the roof. The ladies clothed themselves and the evening terminated in an elaborate banquet, when the initiates were joined by

 

 

34                                                                                WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

their male acquaintances, notwithstanding the obligations they had taken.

 

Cagliostro asserted that this particular brand of Masonry was instituted by Enoch and its teachings promulgated by Elijah. The sole qualification for membership was a belief in God. The Obligation taken by candidates was as follows:

 

"I swear before the Eternal God, the Grand Mistress, and before all who hear me, never to write or cause to be written anything that shall pass under my eyes, condemning myself in the event of imprudence and to be punished according to the laws of the grand founders and of all my superiors. I likewise promise the exact observance of the other six commandments imposed upon me: that is to say, love of God, respect for the sovereign, veneration for religion and the laws, love of my fellow‑creatures, an unbounded attachment to our Order, and an unquestioning submission to the rules and code of our ritual as may be communicated to me by the Grand Mistress.“

 

On the initiation of a candidate, the Grand Mistress breathed on her face from the forehead to the chin, saying:

 

"I thus breathe upon you to cause the Truth possessed by us to germinate and penetrate within your heart; I breathe upon you to fortify your spiritual part; I breathe upon you to confirm you in the faith of your Brethren and Sisters, in accordance with your undertaking. We greet you as a lawful daughter of Egyptian Masonry of this Lodge. We desire that you be recognized as such by all the Brethren and Sisters of the Egyptian ritual, and that you enjoy the same prerogatives as they. Lastly, we impart to you the supreme pleasure of being henceforth and for ever a Freemason.“

 

 

EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND CAGLIOSTRO                                                                     35

 

On admission each woman was presented with two pairs of gloves and a cockade. One pair she kept for her own use and the other pair with the cockade she was instructed to give to the man for whom she had the greatest regard.

 

The ceremony of the Third Degree was rendered with great pomp and grandeur. On that occasion a young, innocent girl, to whom was given the name of columba (dove), was introduced, and the Grand Master claimed to impart to her the power he possessed of communing with spiritual beings. These spirits, or angels, were said to be seven in number, governing the seven planets and surrounding the throne of the Eternal One, their names being Azrael, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Ariel, Zobiachel, and Anachiel. The girl, who was clothed in a long, white robe, which was adorned with blue ribbons, and wearing a red scarf, was shut up in a tabernacle which was placed on the altar of the temple. From a window in this tabernacle she gave the replies to the questions asked her, which related generally to the fitness of the candidates for advancement to the Degree.

 

The emblems used in Egyptian Masonry were the triangle, the septangle, the trowel, the compasses, the square, the gavel, the death's head, the cube, the rough ashlar, a wooden bridge, Jacob's ladder, the phoenix, the globe, and Father Time.

 

The following advertisement from Cagliostro appeared in the Morning Herald in November, 1786:

 

 

36                                                                                WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

TO ALL TRUE MASONS:

 

"In the Name of 9, 5, 8, 14, 20, 1, 8 [Jehovah]9, 5, 18, 2o, 18 [Jesus].

 

"The Time is at hand when the Building of the New Temple, or New Jerusalem, 3, 8, 20, 17, 8 [Church] must begin; this is to invite all True Masons in London to join in the Name of 9, 5, 18, 20, 18 [Jesus] the only one in whom there is a Divine 19, 17, 9, 13, 9, 19, 23 [Trinity] to meet to‑morrow evening the 3rd instant, 1786 (or 5790), at Nine o'clock at Riley's, Great Queen Street; to lay a plan for the laying the first stone of the foundation of the true 3, 8, 20, 17, 8 [Church] in this visible world, being the material representative Temple of the Spiritual 9, 5, 17, 20, 18, 11, 5, 12 [Jerusalem].

 

"A Mason, and member of the new 3, 8, 20, 17, 8 [Church].“

 

Cagliostro celebrated the festival of his Order on St. John the Evangelist's day, which was the day on which, later, he was committed to a Roman prison. His reason for adopting this day was, according to his own account, because of the close affinity that existed between the Apocalypse and the workings of his ritual.

 

Cagliostro's practices were detected by two disguised familiars of the Inquisition at Rome, whom he had imprudently admitted into his confidence. He was condemned to death, but the sentence was ultimately commuted to perpetual imprisonment. He was sent to the Chateau St. Angelo, whence he attempted to escape by a singular stratagem. He petitioned to be permitted to do penance for his offences, and for a priest to receive his confession, which was granted. Con‑

 

 

EGYPTIAN MASONRY AND CAGLIOSTRO                                                                     37

 

fession being over, he requested the Capuchin to inflict the scourge; but, after a few stripes, Cagliostro sprang upon the Friar with the intention of strangling him and making good his escape in his garments. The Capuchin, however, was too quick for him and succeeded in keeping him in play until the keepers of the prison came to his assistance. Cagliostro died in the Castle of St. Angelo, and his so‑called Egyptian Masonry perished with him.

 

It is only just to add that a copy of the ritual of Egyptian Masonry as practised by Cagliostro and his wife, Lorenza Feliciana, is in the possession of the Universal Order of Co‑Masonry, the teaching of which is of a profound morality, containing no suggestion of any indelicate procedure as asserted by some writers.

 

Mr. A. E. Waite, in his recently published Encycloædia of Freemasonry, quotes from the rituals of Egyptian Masonry in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. According to these Rituals there were three Grades or Degrees: Apprentice, Companion, and Master, the Lodge being opened with prayer in each Degree. The Adoptive Grades formed a separate branch of which Madame Cagliostro was Grand Mistress.

 


 

CHAPTER IV

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY

 

THE following Ritual of Adoptive Masonry is translated, for the first time, from a French document issued in 1783.

 

 

ADOPTIVE MASONRY

 

There is wanting in the Order of Freemasonry the pleasure of the company of the fair sex, the members of which are always an ornament to the most reputable societies. Adoptive Masonry enables Brethren to secure this signal favour.

 

 

DECORATION OF THE LODGE

 

The Apprentices' Carpet, on which is traced a diagram of the Lodge, is placed in the centre of the temple. On it is placed the Noah's Ark, floating on the waters; the Tower of Babel; and Jacob's Ladder. Behind the Grand Inspector is placed a table covered with a black cloth, on which a skeleton is laid. Behind the Grand Master, a little above his head, stands the Destroying Angel, holding a naked sword in his right hand and an iron chain in his left hand. By the side of the Grand Master are two stools, on each of which is placed a pan filled with rope ends, spirits of wine, and salt, wherewith to make a flame. These pans are sometimes placed on stools in the centre of the temple. By the side of the table which is behind the Grand Inspector are placed two Brethren, wearing masks which cause them to look repulsive; their hats are fixed firmly on their

 

38

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            39

 

heads and each holds a torch lighted by means of powdered sulphur and refined pitch.

 

 

ARRANGEMENT OF THE LODGE

 

The President of the Lodge is addressed as Grand Master, He wears suspended from his neck a blue or black cord, from the bottom of which hangs a small trowel. He wears his hat in Lodge, holds a naked sword in his left hand and a trowel in his right. Each Brother also carries a naked sword in order to form the arch of steel, referred to later on in the Ritual. The Grand Inspector is placed in the west of the Lodge; but, unlike the Grand Master, does not wear his hat. The Brethren also remain with heads uncovered throughout the proceedings, but the Sisters have their heads covered. The Grand Inspector wears a blue cord round his neck from which is suspended a small hammer. The Brethren and Sisters arrange themselves in oblong form around the Lodge, each wearing a white apron and having a small trowel suspended from a blue ribbon which is worn around the neck.

 

 

RITUAL FOR THE OPENING OF THE LODGE

 

Grand Master: -  "Brethren and Sisters, assist me to open this Lodge of Apprenticed Adoptive Masons.“(These words are repeated, first by the Sister Inspector and then by the Brother Inspector.)

 

Grand Master: -  "Sister Inspector, what is the first duty of a Mason?"

 

Sister Inspector. “To see that the Lodge is properly tyled to prevent the admission of the uninitiated. “

 

Grand Master: -  "Then, my dear Sister, assure yourself that this has been done.“

 

Sister Inspector. “Brother Inspector, will you see that the Lodge is properly tyled and report to me?"

 

The report having been given,

 

Sister Inspector. “Grand Master, the Brother Inspector reports that the Lodge is properly tyled.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you an Apprenticed Mason?"

 

Sister Inspector. "I believe so.“

 

 

40                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Grand Master: -  "If you believe it, why are you not certain?"

 

Sister Inspector. “Because an Apprentice is certain of nothing.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of a Mason?"

 

Sister Inspector. “To listen, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "At what time do Masons begin to work?"

 

Sister Inspector. “At the moment of awaking.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What time is it now?"

 

Sister Inspector. “The moment for awaking and the hour for working.“

 

The Grand Master gives five raps on the pedestal and says:

 

"Sister and Brother Inspectors, give warning to the Brethren and Sisters in your neighbourhoods that this is the moment for awaking and the hour for working, and that I am about to open a Lodge of Apprenticed Masons.“

 

This injunction having been obeyed by these Officers, the Grand Master gives a further five raps with his trowel on the pedestal and says:

 

"My dear Brethren and Sisters, I declare this Lodge of Apprenticed Adoptive Masons open in the name of T. G. A. 0. T. U., in the names of our lawful superiors, and in the name of this respectable assembly.“

 

This formula having been repeated by the two Inspectors, all the Brethren and Sisters give the sign of Jacob's Ladder, clap their hands five times, and repeat five times the word "Vivant.“

 

 

CEREMONY OF THE FIRST DEGREE

INITIATION OF APPRENTICES

 

It is essential that all ladies who present themselves for initiation should be in good health, of good repute, and that one of the Brethren of the Lodge should give a guarantee of fitness,

 

 

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The Candidate must, on admission to the precincts of the temple, be placed in a darkened room, which must not be illuminated with more than one faint light, and in which a skull shall be placed in such a position that the Candidate cannot fail to observe it. She is waited upon by the last admitted initiate, who asks her if it is of her own free will and after mature reflection that she seeks admission into an Order of such high repute. These questions being answered satisfactorily she asks her if she is in good health, because she will pass through some very trying experiences, which, however, will not be in any way improper or revolting to the most virtuous person.

 

The Candidate is then told, as the first test of her discretion, to remain in the darkened room and not to attempt to leave. The door is then closed upon her and she is left to her own reflections for a time.

 

The Sister returns after an interval, when she urges the Candidate to exhibit much firmness. The left garter of the Candidate is removed and replaced by a blue ribbon of a yard and a quarter in length. Her right cuff and glove are also removed. Her money, jewels, and trinkets are taken from her, and she is informed that they will be given or sold for the benefit of the poor. The Candidate is then blindfolded, told to place her trust in God, and she is conducted to the door of the temple, on which she is told to give five raps.

 

The door is opened by the Brother Inspector, who asks the question: "Who knocks?"

 

Director of Ceremonies. "An unenlightened who seeks to be adopted by us.“

 

The door of the temple is closed and the request, made through the Director of Ceremonies, is repeated to the Grand Master, who requests the Sister Inspector to ask the Candidate for her name, age, religion, occupation, and the name of her guarantor; and to inform the Candidate of the qualifications essential for her adoption. The Sister Inspector, on her return to the temple,

 

 

42                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

gives these particulars to the Grand Master, who asks the Brother who stands as sponsor if he knows the Candidate well and if he believes she has the necessary dispositions for admittance into the Order.

 

Satisfactory assurances in this regard having been given, the Grand Master says:

 

"Brethren and Sisters, do you consent to the adoption of Madame (or Mademoiselle) N. . . .? Do any object?"

 

If the answer is unanimously in the affirmative, the Grand Master says:

 

"Sister Inspector, give admission to the Candidate.“

 

The Candidate, accompanied by the Director of Ceremonies and her guide, then enters and is placed in front of the Grand Master, who addresses her upon the objects of the Order into which she seeks admission. At the conclusion of the Oration he asks her

"Madame (or Mademoiselle), what is your desire?"

 

Candidate. "To be initiated as a Mason.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What opinion have you formed of Masonry? Tell me frankly your opinion of the Order.“

 

The reply to this question is given by the candidate in her own words.

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you willing to pass through the ceremonies, both moral and physical, which are a necessary condition to admission: reflect well, because there is still the opportunity for you to retire, should you so desire; but in another moment it will be too late.“

 

Candidate. "I am.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you willing to make a sacrifice of your jewels for the benefit of the poor?"

 

Candidate. "I am.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you willing to submit to trials by fire, water, and blood?"

 

Candidate. "I am.“

 

The Grand Master then directs the Brother Inspector to conduct the Candidate on the five mysterious journeys.

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            43

 

At the end of each journey the Grand Master asks the Brother Inspector if he has observed any trembling on the part of the Candidate, and at the termination of the fifth journey, the Grand Master says:

 

"Do you still persist in your desire;; the trials to follow are more severe?"

 

Candidate. “I do.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Brother Inspector, cause the Candidate to advance five steps under the arch of steel.“

 

In order to form this arch of steel all the Brethren kneel on the floor of the Lodge, raising their swords. This having been done, the Grand Master says:

 

“Brother Inspector, cause the Candidate to pass through the trial by fire.“

 

The Candidate is then conducted twice round the lighted braziers.

 

Grand Master: -  "Cause her to purify herself by passing through the water.“

 

The Candidate is then told to wash her hands.

 

Grand Master: -  "Do you still persist in your request?"

 

Candidate. “I do.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Will you sign this declaration in your blond?

 

Candidate. “I will.“

 

Grand Master: -  " Brother Surgeon, do your duty.“

 

A request is here made for mercy, which is granted by the Grand Master.

 

Grand Master: -  "If it is still your wish to continue, listen to the words of the Brother Orator.“

 

ADDRESS ON THE INITIATION OF APPRENTICES

 

Man is born with the instinct of charity and fellowship engraven in his heart; the seeds of these two qualities are sown by the paternal favour of the Creator, and man in practising these precepts, before under‑

 

 

44                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

standing the utility and necessity of a bond which mitigates the severity of our condition, sows flowers on the thorny path of our life. The first feeling of man on leaving the hands of his Creator must, undoubtedly, be that of His existence. So long as he is alone his heart has no other view; but so soon as he has beholden that charming creature which loving, powerful Nature has framed to be his companion, the germs of beneficence are

developed; he forgets, so to speak, his existence and abandons the love of himself in order to transfer it to her who waits on his pleasure.

 

The foundations of society were therefore laid in the Garden of Eden, and it was in that delightful sojourn, the asylum of virtue, innocence, and peace that beneficence and all the other sociable virtues were practised in all their purity by our first parents for so long as they were both contented with their strength, thinking only of enjoying the sweet fruits of their union, their happiness was without bitterness and they enjoyed in their hearts the ineffable blessings of terrestrial felicity. Unhappily evil approached very closely to the happiness. Adam and Eve were the first to discover, though too late, this sorrowful truth, by transmitting to their posterity the bitter fruits of their disobedience, curiosity, and weakness. Their hearts, like Noah's Ark, floating at the mercy of the winds on the waters of the abyss which covered the surface of the earth, yielded with like ease to any impression. Society and pride, sustained by all the other passions, ever since then have triumphed over obedience and direction, which have no other support than weakness and plunge our happiness into humiliation and misery.

 

This allegory of the Fall of Man through weakness and curiosity you can trace, Madame, in a striking and forcible manner in the sad condition of our degeneration, but we offer, at the same time, the means of reparation, which, though it may depend on our feeble nature, are the means we find assembled in order or admitted under the emblems which we discover when we look closely, and of which I will give you the explanation.

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            45

 

You see first o all, Madame, in this Lodge of Apprentices, the Ark of Noah, the Tower of Babel, and the Ladder of Jacob, drawn in picture. The Ark of Noah represents the heart of man, the eternal plaything of the passions, like the Ark floating on the waters of the Deluge; and we learn that we ought so to fortify our souls by the precepts of virtue that in the midst of this tempest we may, like Noah and his family, be saved from shipwreck. The Tower of Babel is the emblem of the pride of man who desires to oppose his weakness to the eternal decrees of Providence, and who, for the fruits of his labours, will reap only shame and confusion, from which he is not able to guard himself except by presenting the prudent heart which is the characteristic of a Mason. On the other side of the picture you will see a ladder, the meaning of which may seem to be quite mysterious. It teaches us that the means of arrival at true happiness, like to that of which Jacob dreamed and which is represented by the steps, ought to be grounded on the love of God and neighbour, just as the steps of the ladder rise upwards and connect earth with heaven. All these things are secured by the practice of caution, strength, constancy, and the precepts of Masonry. These are, Madame, the mysteries to which I would to‑day call your attention.

 

My heart will call to mind with the sweetest emotion this solemn day on which you were initiated, through our feeble ministrations, into the most sublime and reputable Order of Masonry. May you, Madame, spend happy days with those who, like you, ask great favours from T. G. A. 0. T. U., and may you taste a succession of pleasures as intense and as pure as those which we experience every time that we call you by the beloved name of Sister.

 

The Address being ended, an acclamation is made:

 

Grand Master: -  “Madame, the pleasing things which ‑you have heard have, no doubt, encouraged you to request that you may be received amongst us. If that is your desire, approach.“

 

 

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The Candidate is then brought to the pedestal, where she kneels.

 

Grand Master: - "Destroying angel, bring the chain which you reserve for incautious Masons of both sexes. Madame, I am compelled to attach this chain to you order that you may recall unceasingly that which you have promised. You wish to be admitted into a most reputable Order in which there is nothing contrary to religion, to the State, or to virtue. The firmness which you have displayed in the trials which you have undergone, the probity which you have shown, and your known virtue are sure guarantees to us of your manner of thinking: perfect this good work and be persuaded that repentance will never attend your attempt.

 

"Place your hand, Madame, upon this Book of Truth and repeat after me the following Obligation, which we bind you for ever to the most ancient and most reputable Order in the world.“

 

OBLIGATION

 

"I................ promise, on my word of honour in the presence of T. G. A. 0. T. U. and of this respectable assembly, faithfully to guard, conceal, and retain in my heart the secrets of Masons and of Adoptive Masonry; moreover, to listen, to obey, to work, and to keep silent, under the penalty of being struck with the sword of the Destroying Angel, and of being despised and disgraced. May my mind by its virtues be rendered worthy of so reputable a Society. I promise, moreover and undertake to sleep this night with [here the Grand Master pauses for a moment] the garter of the Order as T. G. A. shall help me.“

 

The Obligation taken, the Grand Master rises and touches the Initiate with the trowel on the right eye the right ear, the nose, the mouth, and the breast saying:

 

"By the power which I have received from this respectable Lodge, I receive you as an Adoptive Mason.“

 

The Director of Ceremonies then takes away the chain. The Grand Master gives a rap on the pedestal

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            47

 

with his trowel, and all the Brethren take their swords in their hands.

 

Grand Master: -  "Brother Director of; Ceremonies, conduct the newly initiated Sister to a convenient spot where she may receive her reward.“

 

When this has been done, he says:

 

"What do you ask, Sister, because it is with true pleasure that I address you by the term ` Sister ' instead of that of ` Madame'?"

 

Answer: -  "To see the light.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Brother Director of Ceremonies, you will give her the fifth rap. Brethren and Sisters to order.“

 

The Grand Master then gives five raps with his trowel, and the Director of Ceremonies restores the Candidate to light by taking off the bandage, her face being turned towards the skeleton.

 

Grand Master: -  “Look with horror on her condition, the result of sin. Consider what she has been, what she is, and what she will become.“

 

At this juncture the two Brethren with the repulsive masks come and stand on either side of the skeleton, their torches being aflame.

 

Grand Master: -  “Leave her to make serious reflections upon her present state so that she may pass from death to life.“

 

After a moment the two Brethren turn her sharply round to face the East, so that she may see the splendour of the Lodge. All the Brethren are holding their swords in their hands, the points being directed towards the newly initiated.

 

Grand Master: -  "Sister, all these swords which you see are drawn in your defence, if ever you should have cause for their assistance. Approach, Sister, to receive the insignia of the Order.“ This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

The Brother Inspector then leads her by five steps to the Grand Master.

 

E

 

 

48                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Grand Master: -  "Brethren and Sisters, you have been witnesses of the great cautiousness of our newly initiated Sister.“

 

The Grand Master takes from underneath the pedestal (or altar, as it is known) a crown of flowers, which he places on the head of the Initiate, as a reward for her discretion. He then hands her the apron of the Order, saying:

 

"This is to remind you of the candour which as a Mason you must have.“

 

He then hands her the gloves, saying:

 

"The whiteness of these gloves, which are intended for you, indicate what should be the purity of your actions.“

 

He then gives her a pair of men's gloves, saying:

 

"This respectable Lodge has asked me to hand you these gloves in order that you may pass them on as a present to the Mason whom you esteem most highly.“

 

He then hands to her the garter of the Order, saying:

 

"This garter is of white skin and has written on it in letters of gold: VIRTUE, HONOUR, SILENCE.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Sister Inspector, take away; the blue ribbon and fasten the garter in its place.“

 

The Grand Master then gives the Initiate the kiss of association.

 

Grand Master: -  “We have for our mutual recognition two signs and two passwords. The two words are Feix, Feax, which signify `Academy' or `School of Virtue.' The password which we adopt for mutual recognition is 'Etamie.' It signifies `Amity,' for we know that amity which has virtue for its base leads to true felicity.“

 

The Director of Ceremonies then introduces the Initiate to the Brethren and Sisters present. When this has been done, and she has been tested in the passwords and grips by the Grand Master, her money and

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            49

 

jewels are returned to her by the Grand Master, who says:

 

"My dear Sister, we deprived you of all metals and trinkets, because they are the emblems of vices. You sacrificed them, but the Lodge is content with your submission and have charged me to return them to you, exhorting you to employ them in good works and, above all, in the relief of your Brethren and Sisters who may be in want.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Brother Director of Ceremonies, conduct the Sister to the West, in order that she may listen to the Instruction.“

 

 

INSTRUCTION OF AN APPRENTICE

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the first care of a Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To see that the Lodge is properly tyled.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Are you an Apprenticed Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “I believe so.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why do you not say that you are sure?"

 

Answer: -  “Because an Apprentice is sure of nothing.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of all Masons?"

 

Answer: -  “To obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Where were you admitted?"

 

Answer: -  “In a place inaccessible to the uninitiated.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How do you know that you are an Apprenticed Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “By that which all the most reputable Masons have.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is it that the most reputable have?"

 

Answer: -  “Two signs and two passwords.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Give me the signs.“

 

These are given.

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the significance of this sign?"

 

Answer: -  “The Ladder of Jacob.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Whither does this ladder lead?"

 

 

50                                                                                            WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

Answer: -  “To felicity.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How do you respond to the first sign?”

 

Answer: -  "By a second, which consists of bringing the thumb and little finger to the nostrils.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Give me the passwords.“

 

Answer: -  "Give me the first and I will give you the second.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Feix.“

 

Answer: -  “Feax.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the meaning of these two words?"

 

Answer: -  “They form one only and mean an Academy or School of Virtue.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is this school?"

 

Answer: -  “Masonry.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How were you received?"

 

Answer: -  “By five knocks.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How were you introduced into the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  “Blindfolded.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why?"

 

Answer: -  “In order that I might learn that before I attained to the sublime mysteries it was necessary to overcome curiosity and that I might learn the ignorance of the uninitiated when speaking of our mysteries.“

 

Grand Master: -  "How did you gain access to our mysteries?"

 

Answer: -  "Through an arch of iron and steel.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What did this arch represent?"

 

Answer: -  "The strength and stability of the Order.“

 

Grand Master: -  "How did you obtain access to a Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  “By knocking five times on the entrance door.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Where were you received?"

 

Answer: -  "Between the Tower of Babel and the Ladder of Jacob and at the foot of Noah's Ark.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does this Tower of Babel represent?"

 

 

RITUAL OF ADOPTIVE MASONRY                                                                            51

 

Answer: -  “The pride of the children of the earth which we can overcome by presenting a cautious mind, which is the characteristic of all true Masons.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What does the Ladder of Jacob represent?"

 

Answer: -  “This ladder is very mysterious: the two sides represent the love of God and our neighbour, and the steps symbolise the virtues secured by a beautiful life.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What does the Ark of Noah represent?"

 

Answer: -  “The heart of man agitated by his passions, as the Ark was swayed by the waters of the Deluge.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What quality ought we to bring to the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  "A horror of vice and a love of virtue.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What do you call those who are not Masons?"

 

Answer: -  “The uninitiated.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How do you treat those who are not Masons, but who are worthy to be such?"

 

Answer: -  “All virtuous men and women are our friends, but we only recognise men and women who are Masons as our Brethren and Sisters.“

 

Grand Master: -  “To what ought we to apply ourselves?"

 

Answer: -  “To the purification of our morals.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of all Masons?"

 

Answer: -  “To listen, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is that you hear?"

 

Answer: -  “The explanation of our mysteries.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the quality of our obedience?"

 

Answer: -  “Free and voluntary.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the aim of our work?"

 

Answer: -  “To make us useful and agreeable to our Brethren and Sisters.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In what are you silent?"

 

Answer: -  “In the mysteries of Freemasonry.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  “Why were you introduced by five raps?"

 

Answer: -  “To bring to our remembrance the five points of Masonry, which are the love of our neighbour, the desire of meriting the esteem of our Brethren and Sisters, the wish to oblige them, cautiousness, and obedience.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the password?"

 

Answer: -  “Etamie, which signifies amity, in order to teach us that amity is the basis of virtue and leads to true felicity.“

 

 

MANNER OF CLOSING A LODGE

 

Grand Master: -  "At what time do we close the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  “At the hour to rest.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What time is it now?"

 

Answer: -  “It is the hour to rest.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Brother Inspector and Sister Inspector, ask the Brethren in your neighbourhoods if they have aught to propose for the benefit of the Order.“

 

The command having been obeyed, a collection is made for the benefit of the poor and distressed. This custom is never omitted, each one contributing according to his or her ability.

 

Grand Master: -  “Brother Inspector and Sister Inspector, advise the Brethren and Sisters in your respective neighbourhoods that, seeing it is the time to rest, the hour for ceasing to work has arrived.“

 

The Grand Master then gives the command for the Brethren to stand to order, and each Brother takes his sword in his hand.

 

Grand Master: -  “Brethren; and; Sisters,; we; have listened, we have obeyed, we have worked, and we are silent :; since this is the hour to rest, the Lodge is closed.“

 

These words are repeated by the two Inspectors; the usual signs and acclamations are given, and each one says five times: "Vivant!"

 

 

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MANNER OF OPENING A LODGE

 

Grand Master: -  “At what time do Masons begin work?"

 

Answer: -  “At the moment of awaking.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the duty of a Mason?

 

Answer: -  "To see that the Lodge is properly tyled.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Sister Inspector, command the Brother Inspector to see that this duty is performed.“

 

This being done, the Brother Inspector says:

 

"Grand Master, the Lodge is properly tyled.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What time is it?"

 

Answer: -  “The time for awaking and the hour for working.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Sister and Brother Inspectors, inform the Brethren and Sisters in your respective neighbourhoods that this is the time for awaking and the hour for working.“

 

This being done, the Grand Master gives five raps with his trowel and says

"Brethren and Sisters, in the name of T. G. A. O. T. U.; in the name of our recognised superiors; and by the power invested in me by this assembly I declare this Lodge of Apprenticed Adoptive Masons open.“

 

The Sister and Brother Inspectors also give five raps with their trowels and say:

 

“Brethren and Sisters, this Lodge of Apprenticed Adoptive Masons is open. “

 

At a signal from the Grand Master all the Brethren and Sisters give the sign of Jacob's Ladder and the acclamation by saying five times: "Vivant!"

 

Grand Master: -  "Sister Inspector, are you a Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “I believe so.“

 

Grand Master: -  "If you believe it, why are you not sure?"

 

 

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Answer: -  “Because an Apprentice is not sure of anything.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of a Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To listen, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "For the first proof of your obedience, Sister Inspector and Brother Inspector, request the Brethren and Sisters in your respective neighbourhoods to trim their lamps for a ceremony I propose to carry out.“

 

These words are repeated by the Sister and Brother Inspectors, who, when all the lamps are trimmed, reply:

 

"Master, all the lamps are trimmed.“

 

The Grand Master then gives the call to order. The Brethren and Sisters stand when the Grand Master gives the command to work, by saying:

 

"Raise your right hand to the lamp; raise the lamp, blow the lamp; quicker; blow out the lamp. “

 

NOTE. ‑ This is the formula adopted at the drinking of toasts, the drinking of wine being known as the trimming of the lamp. In the days when this ritual was in vogue it was customary always to honour five toasts at the banquets which followed the Lodge meetings. The first was the King and Royal Family; the second, that of the Sister Duchess of Bourbon, the Grand Mistress and the Officers of the Grand Lodge; the third, that of the Grand Master of the Lodge; the fourth, that of the Sister and Brother Inspectors; and the fifth, that of the Initiates. Sometimes toasts were added for the Visitors and Sisters and Brethren in distress.

 


 

CHAPTER V

RITUAL OF FREEMASONRY FOR LADIES

 

The following Ritual of Adoptive Masonry differs from the preceding document. It was published in 1791, in the French language, from which it is now, for the first time, translated.

 

This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

 

FIRST DEGREE

 

PREPARATION OF THE LODGE AND OF THE CANDIDATE

 

The Sisters and Brethren are convened in a spacious apartment, brilliantly lighted with wax candles, five of which are placed in the south, while five others are placed on a pedestal in the north, and arranged in such a manner as to illuminate a picture illustrating the angel expelling Adam from the Garden of Eden:

 

The Grand Master, wearing white gloves and apron, his breast decorated with a silver ladder pendent from a white ribbon, and holding a silver trowel in his right hand, takes his seat in the north part of the Lodge. The Grand Inspectors, wearing white aprons and gloves, are placed at right angles to the Grand Master: -  One has a silver hammer and the other a miniature silver Tower of Babel, pendent from white ribbons from their breasts.

 

(The northern situation of the Grand Master is in accordance with the traditional belief that this is the most appropriate situation for one whose duty it is to impart knowledge.)

The Sisters and Brethren wear embroidered aprons and, during the ceremony of initiation, the former sit to right and left of the Grand Master's throne, while

 

55

 

 

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the latter, holding white wands in their hands, arrange themselves in an oblong, from north to south, in order to receive the Candidates for initiation.

 

The Grand Master instructs one of the Sisters (who is assisted by a Brother), preferably the Sister who has proposed the Candidate for initiation, to see that the Candidate is properly prepared. This preparation consists first of depriving her of all jewellery and money, the intention being that she shall be reminded of the fact that intellectual worth only is considered of value by the members of the Order. A white veil is then thrown over her head and, blindfolded, she is conducted by the Brother to the entrance of the Lodge.

 

 

MANNER OF OPENING THE LODGE AND OF INITIATING A CANDIDATE

 

The Grand Master commands attention by clapping his hands in a peculiar manner five times, an act which is repeated by the Inspectors. Both Sisters and Brethren rise and the Grand Master addressing the junior Inspector says:

 

"What is the duty of every Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Brethren and Sisters, may we hear and may we obey. Let us work and let us be silent.“

 

All the members and visitors salute the Grand Master and intimate their obedience to his commands by clapping their hands five times.

 

The Candidate is admitted by five taps at the door, and the Brother who acts as her guide hands her over to the charge of an Inspector who conducts her round the Lodge and leaves her standing in front of the Senior Inspector, who asks the question:

 

"What is the cause of this intrusion?"

 

Answer: -  "A lady desires to become a Mason.“

 

This is communicated to the Grand Master who asks the Candidate:

 

"Has curiosity any share in your request?"

 

 

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Answer: -  "No.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you willing to be rid of the prejudices common to your sex? If so, we are willing to admit you to our ranks.“

 

Answer: -  "I am.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In order that you may be enabled to persevere in those sentiments, Brethren and Sisters, assist the Candidate and conduct her to the entrance of the Temple of Virtue.“

 

The veil is then removed and the Candidate is welcomed by the members of the Lodge who signify their willingness to admit her into their company by striking their aprons with their hands.

 

The Brethren with their wands then form an arch under which the Candidate passes, and advances by slow, measured steps to the pedestal. She kneels on a cushion and with her right hand placed on a Masonic apron, repeats the following obligation, word for word after the Grand Master.

 

 

OBLIGATION

 

"In the presence of the Creator of All, Things, and of the members of this Lodge, and by that honour, which is the distinguishing characteristic of a virtuous woman, I promise to keep strictly and truly the secrets of Masons and Masonry under the penalty of being excluded from the company of my friends here on earth and from Paradise hereafter.“

 

The approbation of the members is intimated by the striking of their aprons with their hands. The Candidate then rises and is invested by the Grand Master with an apron and a silver ladder, and he addresses her as follows:

 

Grand Master: -  "You are now, Madame, an initiated Mason, and as such I can entrust you with the sign, the grip, and the password. Give me the pleasure to address you as a Sister and as such to salute you with the kiss of peace.“

 

 

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INSTRUCTION IN THE FIRST DEGREE

 

The principal part of this catechism is undertaken generally by the Grand Master or some other Brother proficient in the science, but the original intention was that every member should, in turn, take part in the answers.

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of an initiated Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you an apprenticed Mason?

 

Answer: -  "I believe so.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Are you not certain?"

 

Answer: -  "It is prudent to be doubtful of everything and certain of nothing.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In what manner were you admitted into the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  "I was blindfolded.“

 

Grand Master: -  "For what reason?"

 

Answer: -  "To intimate that my curiosity could not be gratified, and that I could only attain to the knowledge of the sublime mysteries if possessed of the fortitude to persevere.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Where were you received as an Apprentice?"

 

Answer: -  "Between the Ladder of Jacob and the Tower of Babel.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does that Ladder signify?"

 

Answer: -  "Its meaning is mysterious; but, so far as I can understand it, I conceive that the duty of all mankind is indicated by it.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Will you explain your meaning?"

 

Answer: -  "It is emblematic of prudence and justice.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Into how many parts is the figure divided?"

 

Answer: -  "Five.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What are they?"

 

Answer: -  "Two external sides and three internal steps.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  "Be more explicit and inform the Lodge in what manner prudence and justice are depicted.“

 

Answer: -  "Prudence is indicated by one of the external parts, which is held to illustrate the veneration and love due to our Creator. His justice is indicated by the other side, which is also held to be symbolical of the attention and love due to our neighbours.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What do the steps indicate?"

 

Answer: -  "The moral virtues, the practice of which will lead us to immortality.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does the Tower of Babel represent?"

 

Answer: -  "The pride of the children of the earth. The only preservative against that destructive passion is the inner exercise of temperance.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How do you arrive at this knowledge in Masonry?"

 

Answer: -  "Through the Arch.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does that Arch represent?"

 

Answer: -  "Unity and Strength.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Give the sign of an initiated Mason to your Sister.“

 

(The forefinger and thumb of the right hand are applied to the left ear of the Sister.)

 

Grand Master: -  "Give her the salute also. “(A salute on the left cheek.)

 

Grand Master: -  "Give me the password.“

 

Answer: -  "Amice.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does that word denote?"

 

Answer: -  "Benevolence.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is meant by Benevolence?"

 

Answer: -  “Masonry.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is worn by an initiated Mason?"

 

Answer: -  "The symbol of Jacob's Ladder.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Whither will that ladder lead?"

 

Answer: -  "To felicity.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  "And what is the duty of an initiated Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent.“

 

 

SECOND DEGREE

 

PREPARATION OF THE LODGE

 

The Brethren and Sisters who have already passed the Second Degree only are permitted to be present for the purpose of forming a Lodge for the admission of the Candidate. They assemble in a convenient room, in the centre of which is placed a tree, on which is fruit.

 

The only light in the room is supplied by means of spirits of wine and salt, placed on a pedestal. On the east side of the Lodge is a star; on the west a painting of death; on the north a representation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; while in the south is placed a buffet with wines, sweetmeats, etc.

 

The Officers, Brethren, and Sisters are placed in the same order as in the previous degree.

 

A silver chain of considerable length and a bracelet engraven with the words, “Virtue and Silence, “are placed on the pedestal.

 

 

PREPARATION AND INSTRUCTION OF THE CANDIDATE

 

The Initiate is conducted by a Brother or Sister to an ante‑room, where she is received by the Sister Inspector, who hands to her a white ribbon, which is fastened round her right arm, by means of which she is led into the Lodge. Previously to this, however, the Inspector asks her if she is willing to submit to the trial belonging to the Second Degree, that of Companion, and a reply in the affirmative being received, she is blindfolded and handed over to the care of the Brother Inspector, who notifies the fact to the Lodge by giving five shouts.

 

Grand Master: -  "What is your request?"

 

Answer: -  "An initiated Mason is desirous of being admitted as a Companion and offers herself voluntarily

 

 

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for the purpose of undergoing the trials necessary to attain to the knowledge of the Second Degree.“

 

Grand Master (to Candidate). “Know that in order that you may attain to this dignity to which you aspire it is essential that you display fortitude, for if the least fear is evinced by you, it may possibly cause you to be rejected. “ (To Inspector.) "Lead the Candidate to the pedestal in order that she may behold the danger of her situation"; (at this moment the veil is removed). (To Candidate.); "Behold the trials to which you are exposed. Travel towards the West and behold the nature of your existence and remember that the charms of beauty will not avail when your sun is set. The picture now before you is a true representation of what you must come to. May this picture never be effaced from your memory. As there is no true picture without a shadow, observe in the East a light: that is emblematical of the star of life. “

 

The Candidate is then conducted to the pedestal. Here she is told to kneel.

 

Grand Master: -  “Have you infringed your vow as an initiated Mason?"

 

Answer: -  "I have not.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Will you persist in keeping inviolate the obligation you are about to be entrusted with, as well as the one you have taken already?"

 

Answer: -  “I hope so to do.“

 

The Grand Master then places a silver chain round her neck, saying:

 

"You are not, Sister, to suppose that this chain is an emblem of slavery; on the contrary, it points to the union of friendship which, as a Companion, you are to evince for all members of the Order.“

 

OBLIGATION

 

"I promise by the penalty attaching to my former vow never to speak of the secrets of this degree, to be a friend to the whole of the human race, to abstain from eating the core of apples, to wear the bracelet of the

 

 

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Order, to sleep with it this night, and never to reveal the secret which that bracelet implies.“

 

The Candidate then rises and is divested of the chain and ribbon, and invested with the bracelet of the Order.

 

Grand Master: -  “Notwithstanding your vows, I anoint your lips with the seal of discretion, that being the only security in Masonry. Receive likewise this fruit, refresh yourself with it, but reject the core: you will then become One of Us.“

 

The new Companion tastes the fruit, the members as a body saluting her with cries of "Eve.“

 

The Grand Master then seats the Companion on his left and, giving the signal for silence, addresses her as follows:

 

"The silence of Masonry is as honourable as it is ancient; the password of this degree is as ancient as the Creation, and its antiquity is proved beyond the possibility of doubt. The honour, therefore, which is attached to it, which you will hereafter experience, is beyond your comprehension at present or my power to express. You ought peculiarly to rejoice in your present situation, for many have attempted to attain to the knowledge of this degree, but have been rejected, and the disappointed Candidates thus withdrawn have experienced a shame seldom known to human beings except on such humiliating occasions.“

 

INSTRUCTION IN THE SECOND DEGREE

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the duty of a Companion Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To obey, to work, to hear, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Are you a Companion?"

 

Answer: -  “Give me an apple and I will prove it.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How were you received as a Companion?"

 

Answer: -  "By the anointing of my lips and by tasting the fruit.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  “With what were your lips anointed?"

 

Answer: -  "The seal of discretion.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the meaning of this sign?"

 

Answer: -  “It is to teach us that the lips of Masons are never to be opened to reveal our mysteries except to those who, upon examination, prove to be One of Us.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does the fruit signify?"

 

Answer: -  “It implies friendship as we all partook of the same upon our admission to this degree.“

 

Grand Master: -  “As you assemble as Sisters, what is its further significance?"

 

Answer: -  “The essence of stability.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In what way?"

 

Answer: -  “In our having virtue as the basis of our superstructure.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How did you arrive to the dignity of a Companion?"

 

Answer: -  "By means of a tree.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Where was the tree?"

 

Answer: -  “In a garden.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What was the name given to this garden?"

 

Answer: -  “Eden, the same as that in which Adam and Eve were placed at the Creation.“

 

Grand Master: -  “In what part of the garden was the tree, to which you allude, placed?"

 

Answer: -  “In the centre of it.“

 

Grand Master: -  “By what name was it called?"

 

_ Answer: -  "The tree of knowledge of good and evil.“

 

Grand Master: -  “By what was the garden bounded?"

 

Answer: -  “By a river.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What does this river represent?"

 

Answer: -  "The stream is indicative of the rapidity of the human passions, which are to be restrained only by Masonry.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What became of Adam and Eve?"

 

Answer: -  “They were expelled from the garden.“

 

Grand Master: -  “For what reason?"

 

Answer: -  “For their disobedience to the commands of their Maker they forfeited their inheritance.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  "What lesson is inculcated by their conduct?"

 

Answer: -  “It teaches us that should any one of us violate the vows we have taken as Companions the consequence will be that we shall be refused admission to the Order.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why is a Companion forbidden to eat the cores of apples?"

 

Answer: -  "Because the core is supposed to be the seed of the forbidden fruit.“

 

Grand Master: -  “I present you with this apple and desire that you will prove to this Lodge that you are a Companion Mason.“

 

The Companion takes the apple, from which she abstracts the core, which she places on the pedestal.

 

Grand Master: -  “Why was the serpent introduced into the garden?"

 

Answer: -  “The serpent is an emblem of eternity as well as the symbol of the origin of evil.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Why is this emblem placed in so conspicuous a part of the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  "As we are at present only in a state of probation it is a monitor to us to be diligent in our vocation so that we may merit by our conduct here a greater degree of happiness beyond.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why should you be reminded of the origin of evil?"

 

Answer: -  “In order that we may recognise the necessity of seeking for happiness.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Where is happiness to be found?"

 

Answer: -  “In Masonry.“

 

Grand; Master. "What; is; the; principal; aim; of Masons?"

 

Answer: -  “To make each other happy.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the duty of a Companion Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To obey, to work, to hear, and to be silent.“

 

At the conclusion of the meeting a supper is provided, and when the Companions are seated the Grand Master

 

 

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calls upon the newly admitted Companion to rise, when he addresses her as follows:

 

"Before you partake of the refreshment provided in honour of your reception, it is necessary that the mysteries of the Degree to which you have been admitted should be explained to you. The representation of death is that of the state of man after his fall, owing to the lack of discretion in the female who was created to be his companion in Paradise. As the oracles of truth have declared the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, but as the day of wrath is also declared to be accompanied by a day of mercy, I therefore now cordially welcome you into this Second Degree, that of felicity, in the hope that the present company will be to you as a second Paradise. From this day we admit you to our table and request your participation in our refreshments, which are emblematical of the tree of life and of the essence of Masonry. “

 

 

THIRD DEGREE

 

The Third Degree in Masonry being regarded as of the highest importance it is very rarely granted, and the ceremony is worked only on particular and special occasions. It is regarded as the highest indiscretion to entrust any but the most worthy with secrets and favours which are the property only of the worthiest of the sex.

 

The Companion who aspires to the Third Degree must be proposed at the last but one of the two Lodges preceding that when she desires to be admitted. This condition is obligatory and can on no account be dispensed with. The object of the proposition being considered at two meetings of the Lodge is to give ample opportunity for any objection against the Candidate being brought forward, and that every member of the Lodge may be made acquainted with the proposition, notice of the proposal is sent to every member of the Lodge.

 

At the second meeting a ballot is taken for the Candidate, and if in her favour the Grand Master

 

 

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requests the member who proposed the Companion to desire her attendance at the next meeting. If the ballot is not in her favour, the proposal cannot be made again.

 

 

OPENING OF THE LODGE

 

The temple in which this Degree is conferred is generally reserved for this special purpose. The tapestry and decorations, however, are of so costly a character that many Lodges have to resort to the expedient of having them represented on canvas.

 

The temple is brilliantly illuminated. At the north end of the room is depicted a rainbow, which extends from the eastern to the western extremities, and in the centre is a representation of the sun, encompassed by the moon and stars. On the west side of the temple Europe is represented by a lady in a very rich habit of several colours, seated between two crossed cornucopias, the one filled with all kinds of grain and the other filled with black and white grapes. She holds a miniature temple in her right hand and, with the forefinger of the left hand, she points to representations of sceptres and crowns, a horse amid trophies of arms, and a book with an owl seated above it. Several musical instruments are placed close to the picture, as well as a pallet and pencils. Adjacent is a representation of Noah's Ark, resting on a mount, with the dove entering it with an olive branch in its mouth. Jacob's Ladder, reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it, is also depicted.

 

Africa is represented by a blackamoor woman, almost naked, with an elephant's head for a crest, a necklace of corals and coral earrings, and a scorpion by the side of her ear. She holds in her right hand a cornucopia, while ears of corn are in her left hand. A fierce lion stands by her on one side, while a viper and a serpent are on the other.

 

In the east Asia is represented by a female clad in a rich embroidered vestment and wearing a garland of various flowers and fruits. She holds in her right hand

 

 

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branches with sprigs of cassia, pepper, and cloves, and in her left hand a smoking censer, while by her side is a kneeling camel. Near by is a model or picture of the Tower of Babel and an angel with a trowel in his hand preventing the sons of Nimrod from proceeding with that structure. There is also represented the town of Gomorrah in flames with Lot's wife transformed into a pillar of salt.

 

America is represented by a naked woman of tawny aspect, having a loose veil on her shoulders and wearing round her body an ornament of feathers of divers colours. She holds in one hand a bow; on her left is a human head pierced with an arrow, a lizard lying on the ground by her feet.

 

A pedestal covered with an embroidered cloth is placed in the centre of the temple. The subjects of the embroidered work are representations of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, which is on the surface of the pedestal, while on the part which hangs in front of the pedestal is a picture of the pit into which Joseph was cast by his brethren. A gold salver is placed on the pedestal, which holds a silver box which encloses the form of a human heart, with tools wherewith to shape it. A red velvet cushion with gold tassels is placed on the carpet near to the centre of the saloon.

 

The officers of this Degree consist only of the Grand Master and his Deputy, the latter holding a naked sword in his right hand during the ceremony. The jewel of the Third Degree is a sword.

 

Every member on initiation is presented with a silver trowel which is worn afterwards on the left breast, and admission into the Lodge is refused unless the member displays this jewel.

 

The Grand Master is placed in the north part of the Lodge, the Deputy near to the pedestal, while the rest of the assembly are placed in an oblong running from north to south.

 

The Candidate is received in an ante‑room by the sister who proposed her, by whom she is blindfolded and conducted to the door of the temple.

 

 

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MODE OF RECEPTION

 

The Candidate being placed comfortably and every preparation for the ceremony of reception being made, the Deputy Grand Master commands attention and order by presenting the sword, the emblem of his office, to the Grand Master, who draws his trowel across the point.

 

The Deputy Grand Master then perambulates the Lodge, exacting the same compliment from every one present. After this is done he takes his accustomed seat, and when his sword has been placed in an erect position, the Grand Master declares that the Lodge is formed and that the Candidate may enter. The Candidate is conducted to the left of the Grand Master's chair, when she is informed that the dignity of this Degree is so great that she will not be blindfolded during any part of the proceedings in order that she may be fully cognizant of its solemnity. The silver ladder which is worn by the Grand Master is then taken from his breast and placed on the carpet in front of him.

 

Grand Master: -  “Sister Companion, ascend the Ladder of Jacob.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the position of a sister?"

 

Answer: -  "At the summit of felicity. “

 

Grand Master: -  "Take off the Candidate's shoes and let her kneel at the altar of Isaac.“

 

Then, addressing the Candidate, he says:

 

"It is in consideration of your merit that you are placed in this position, for you are about to receive the highest honour it is in our power to confer. You have become One of Us; now place your hand on this salver and be made perfect by repeating the promise to continue in your perseverance.“

 

The sword is now taken from its position and held by the Deputy Grand Master over the Candidate's head, while she repeats the following obligation:

 

 

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"I promise in the presence of the Masons now assembled, and by the sword now held over my head, that I will not divulge the secrets of Masonry, neither what I now know nor what shall be communicated to me, in consequence of this present undertaking, except to those who have already taken this obligation.

 

"I promise also to protect and succour every one now present on all and every occasion, according to the ability granted to me by Providence.

 

"I promise these things upon my word and honour. If I fail, may shame and infamy be my portion and may I be pointed at as unworthy of the respect and esteem inseparably attendant upon worthy Masons.“

 

The point of the sword is then presented to the Candidate and is kissed by her, when she is commanded to rise.

 

Grand Master: -  “It is required of every sister on admission to this Degree that a present be made by her to the Lodge in return for the favour conferred. You will be assisted in your choice by the Deputy Grand Master, but your own industry will, no doubt, produce the proof of your ingenuity which will be worthy of our acceptance.“

 

The Deputy Grand Master then hands to her a box of tools and superintends the work which has been previously decided upon.

 

At this point refreshments are frequently introduced, after which the Candidate produces the model of a heart, which is formally examined by all the members of the Lodge.

 

Grand Master: -  “A heart has been produced. Sister, you have consummated the great mystery of Masons. The heart is the great secret of Masonry. Our science has no other object save to regulate the passions. In a state of nature the heart is cruel and ungovernable. Our art, as Masons, effects the change, and we become the reverse of that inhospitable condition. We are, as you have experienced, kind and cheerful, meek and humane. Advance and receive the reward due to your work and

 

 

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skill. You are invested with this trowel as the key to the Third Degree. This will admit you to our assemblies and now, at this particular moment, demands from us our secrets. The sign of this Degree is given by drawing the trowel across the point of the sword, and then kissing the point of the sword, as at your reception. The password of this Degree is Esther.“

 

The Grand Master then delivers the following address to the Candidate:

 

"Sister: Your admission into this Degree having made you on an equality with us all, it only now remains for me to describe and explain to you the symbols on the tapestry, which will conclude the ceremony of reception into this Degree. Every blessing that we enjoy is derived from the Providence of our Creator, and this Providence is fittingly depicted by the sun, moon, and stars. The rainbow which encompasses these luminaries is to remind us that vice once caused the world to be deluged and that our conduct as members of this Society is to be such as not to incur the repetition of the Divine vengeance.

 

"The Ark of Noah is introduced for the express purpose of proving that the faithful Mason will always be provided for, let the winds, the waves, and the storms of the world rage ever so high. A place of refuge will never be wanting for the wise, the virtuous and the good. The Tower of Babel is emblematic of the false strength of those who are deficient in the science of Masonry, and the messenger with the trowel indicates that one moment of Divine direction can put to nought and confusion the works of men. The sacrifice of Abraham is a proof that no temporal enjoyment should supersede the supreme dictates; and that when our duty requires us to act we should acquiesce willingly in the Divine will. The sleep of Jacob is a similitude of our condition after death and his after conduct of the respect due to the Creator from the sons and daughters of mortality. The city of Gomorrah in flames is presented to our view and shows the inevitable destruction of the vicious, and the trans‑

 

 

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formation of Lot's wife is at once applicable to what your position would have been had your inclinations prevented you from aspiring to this dignity. The pit into which Joseph was cast by his brethren would also have been applicable to your condition, had not your merits prevented your refusal at the ballot, for, in that case, your situation would have been like to that of Joseph, as not only would you be absent from your friends at this gathering, but you would have the mortifying reflection of knowing that you had been rejected.

 

"In order to demonstrate the universality of our science, representations of the four quarters of the globe are introduced. Europe is depicted as a lady in a very rich habit, and the various ornaments that surround her are emblematic of her arts and arms generally and show that she is first in point of consequence and the principal part of the world. Asia is depicted by a heroine wearing a garland of flowers and fruits, thus intimating that this quarter of the globe produces delightful things necessary for human life, as shown by the garment in which she is decked, particularly the profuseness of the rich materials in which it abounds; the bundle of spices in her right hand and the distribution of them to other parts of the world; the censer holds some of the pleasant‑smelling gum which the continent produces; while the camel is an animal peculiar to this region. Africa is represented by an almost naked woman, thus showing that the continent does not abound in materials for clothing; while the elephant's head, the lion, the viper, and the serpent are characteristic of the animals having their habitation there. America is depicted also by a naked woman, as showing the condition of the earliest inhabitants. The bow and quiver denote that the natives live by hunting; the human head pierced by an arrow indicates that many are cannibals; while the lizard on the ground is an animal inimical to the human race.

 

"In this manner we communicate the knowledge derived from the mode of reception of Candidates to this Degree, and thus, you will, in turn, communicate it to others,“

 

 

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CATECHISM OF THE THIRD DEGREE

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the duty of a Mason?"

 

Answer: -  “To work, to hear, to obey, and to be silent.“

 

Grand Master: -  "How long is it since you reached this Degree?"

 

Answer: -  “Seven months and more.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Who assisted you in your benevolent undertaking?"

 

Answer: -  “One who was well conversant with the Degree.“

 

Grand Master: -  “By what name do you distinguish him?"

 

Answer: -  “The Deputy Grand Master.”

 

Grand Master: -  “Who presided in the Lodge on that occasion?"

 

Answer: -  “The Grand Master.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Give further proof of your attainment.“

 

Answer: -  “I know how to ascend the Ladder of Jacob.“

 

(Reference is here made to the plant bearing that name which will be known to students of Botany.)

 

Grand Master: -  “Probably the ladder to which you refer is the ladder of the novitiate.“

 

Answer: -  “The construction is materially different.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Describe the ladder which you have ascended.“

 

Answer: -  “The foundation is on the earth and it ascends to felicity. The rungs are at equal distance so as to form regular steps to the summit.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What are the materials of which this ladder is composed?"

 

Answer: -  “Such as have existed from time immemorial and such as will exist to the end of time.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What name is given to the base?"

 

Answer: -  “The footstool of the Almighty.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How many steps are there?"

 

Answer: - “They are innumerable.“

 

 

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Grand Master: -  “How were you enabled to take the first step?"

 

Answer: -  "By the exercise of sensibility.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is this exercise of sensibility?"

 

Answer: -  "The union of souls truly noble.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What principle does it teach?"

 

Answer: -  “That as I had fought and obtained happiness, so it is my duty to communicate it to others.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What enabled you to ascend the second step?"

 

Answer: -  “A conscious dignity of spirit.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What name does the world generally give to this principle?"

 

Answer: -  “Honour.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is its Masonic description?"

 

Answer: -  "It enjoins Masons to be strictly just where no public law can compel, to fulfil our engagements in an equitable manner, and to hold as sacred the trust reposed in us.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What enabled you to ascend the third step?"

 

Answer: -  "The practice of sincerity.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In what does that consist?"

 

Answer: -  "Not in deceit and guile, but in social wellbeing, the outcome of a generous mind.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What exchange do those of a contrary principle experience?"

 

Answer: -  “They barter kindness for a shadow of joy and are deceived more than they are able to deceive.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What enabled you to ascend the fourth step?"

 

Answer: -  “Experience.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Its utility?"

 

Answer: -  “The control of the passions, preventing us from judging wrongfully.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What are the effects of experience?"

 

Answer: -  “A conduct void of reproach and such as to merit esteem here and initiation beyond.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What enabled you to ascend the fifth step?"

 

 

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Answer: -  “The knowledge I had obtained through the medium of Masonry.“

 

Grand Master: -  "In what manner?"

 

Answer: -  “By; the cardinal virtues which were allegorically represented in the First Degree which, when united, signify wisdom.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Explain this union.“

 

Answer: -  “It is impossible to exercise the practice of temperance without having a due preparation of fortitude or to be in the possession of prudence without that of justice.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Having ascended the step of wisdom is it necessary to delineate the remainder individually?"

 

Answer: -  “It is not, for so soon as mortals arrive at that step, the difficulties of the ascent are dissolved and the path to felicity made clear.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What is the signification of Noah's Ark in the Deluge?"

 

Answer: -  "It refers to the heart of man in an uncultivated state.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why did Noah build it?"

 

Answer: -  “As a refuge for himself and family.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How came he to obtain the knowledge of the approaching Deluge?"

 

Answer: -  “By attendance at the Grand Lodge of Masons over which the Creator presided.“

 

Grand Master: -  "When did he enter the Ark?"

 

Answer: -  “So soon as he perceived the waters overflow the usual boundaries.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What moral does this convey to us?"

 

Answer: -  "That it is our duty to frequent Lodges in order that the precepts inculcated there may teach us to avoid vice, which will, when true Masonry is neglected, occasion the destruction of the world a second time.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Of what material was the Ark?"

 

Answer: -  “An incorruptible wood called cedar.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What lesson does the employment of this wood inculcate?"

 

 

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Answer: -  “That the secrets of Masonry cannot be penetrated by envy and that the malice of its enemies recoils on to the breast of its propagators.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What was the form of the boards of the Ark?"

 

Answer: -  "Every one was placed on a true level.“

 

Grand Master: -  "The intent of this form?"

 

Answer: -  "To prove the quality of Masons and that their unity is the mainspring of their happiness.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why is the Tower of Babel introduced into the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  “As a warning against pride, which is totally at variance with the genuine dictates of the science.“

 

Grand Master: -  "To whom did it owe its origin?"

 

Answer: -  "The rebellious Nimrod.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What was his object in erecting so high a structure?"

 

Answer: -  “To create for himself a name among men and to make himself equal to God.“

 

Grand Master: -  “How long was the building carried on?"

 

Answer: -  "Until it pleased the Creator to frustrate his design by the introduction of foreign languages, the use of which threw the workmen out, in consequence of which they separated, left their work and travelled, and finally settled in various parts of the world.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What became of the edifice?"

 

Answer: -  “Being deserted by the human race, in process of time it became the habitation of wild beasts.“

 

Grand Master: -  "What lesson is to be derived from this incident?"

 

Answer: -  "To give respect to the promises of God, to place our whole confidence in Him alone, to divest ourselves of false pride, and to work, having truth for our foundation and wisdom for our superstructure.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Is there not a further lesson to be derived?"

 

_Answer: -  “It is that a Lodge is badly formed whenever concord and obedience are absent, and that when

 

 

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such conditions prevail it will inevitably fall into confusion.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What lesson is inculcated by the rainbow?"

 

Answer: -  “That harmony prevails in a well‑conducted Lodge.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What does the town in flames represent?"

 

Answer: -  "The horror which every good Mason feels at the recollection of the abominable crime that brought the fire from heaven.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What does the sleep of Jacob represent?"

 

Answer: -  "The peace and tranquillity in the breast of every worthy Mason.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Why is an Initiate deprived of light at her reception?"

 

Answer: -  "To convey to her the darkness of the uninitiated in respect to Masonry.“

 

Grand Master: -  “Why do we assemble ix Lodges?"

 

Answer: -  “Because as often as we meet we renew our friendship.“

 

Grand Master: -  "Is there any other inducement?"

 

Answer: -  “That we may communicate to each other our secrets.“

 

Grand Master: -  “What is the duty of a Mason outside the Lodge?"

 

Answer: -  “To work, to hear, to obey, and to be silent.“

 

The answers to the first and last questions in the catechisms of the three degrees should receive particular attention. They are as follows:

 

First:               Hear.               Obey.             Work.             Silent.

 

Second:         Obey.             Work.             Hear.               Silent.

 

Third:              Work.             Hear.               Obey.             Silent.

 

Hence, the primary duty of an Initiate is to hear; that of a Companion, to obey; and that of a fully-admitted Mason, to work; but of members of all Degrees, to be silent.

 

 

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In concluding the catechism the Grand Master demands the compliment to the sword as at the reception, and the members are dismissed with the words:

 

"The Lodge is perfect and may it ever so remain. As we met so let us part, with goodwill to all. We congratulate one another. Let us reverence the jewel of the Order and depart in peace.“

 


 

CHAPTER VI

 

WOMEN FREEMASONS

 

The Ladies claim Right,

To come to our light,

Since the Apron they say is their bearing;

Can they subject their will,

Can they keep their tongues still,

And let talking be chang'd into hearing?

 

This difficult task

Is the least we can ask,

To secure us on sundry occasions

When with this they comply,

Our utmost we'll try

To raise Lodges for Lady Freemasons.

 

Although the Ancient Charges of Freemasonry do not admit of the admission of women into the Craft, there are authenticated instances where, as the result of accident or design, women have been duly initiated. The most prominent instance is that of Hon. Elizabeth St. Leger, or, as she afterward became on marriage, the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, who is referred to sometimes, though erroneously, as "the only woman who ever obtained the honour of initiation into the sublime mysteries of Freemasonry.“

 

She was a daughter of the first Viscount Doneraile. He was a very zealous Freemason, and, as was the

 

78

 

 

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custom in his time, the middle of the eighteenth century, held a Lodge occasionally in his own home, when he was assisted by members of his own family, any Brethren in the immediate neighbourhood, and any Masonic visitors to Doneraile House. This Lodge was duly warranted and held a number on the register of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

 

The story runs that one evening, when a man named Coppinger was to be initiated, Miss St. Leger hid herself in a room adjoining that used as a Lodge room. This room was undergoing some alterations, and she is said to have removed a brick from the partition with scissors and, through the aperture thus created, witnessed the ceremony of initiation.

 

What she saw appears to have disturbed her so thoroughly that she at once determined upon making her escape; but she failed to elude the vigilance of the Tyler, who, armed with a sword, stood barring her exit. Her shrieks alarmed the members of the Lodge, who came rushing to the spot, when they learned that she had witnessed the whole of the ceremony that had just been enacted.

 

After considerable discussion, and yielding to the entreaties of her brother, it was decided to admit her into the Order, and she was at once initiated, and in course of time became "Master" of the Lodge.

 

According to Milliken, the Irish Masonic historian, she was initiated in Lodge No. 95, which still meets at Cork, but there is on record that she was a subscriber to the Irish Book of Constitutions, which appeared in 1744, and that she frequently attended,

            G

 

 

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wearing her Masonic regalia, entertainments that were given under Masonic auspices for the benefit of the poor and distressed. She afterwards married Mr. Richard Aldworth, of Newmarket, and when she died, at the age of eighty in 1773, she was accorded the honour of a Masonic funeral. She was cousin to General Antony St. Leger, of Park Hill, near Doncaster, who, in 1776, instituted the celebrated Doncaster St. Leger races and stakes. Two female descendants of the same family became the wives of James Anthony Froude and Charles Kingsley.

 

Helene, Countess Hadik Barkoczy, who was born in 1833, was the sole heiress of Count Johann Barkoczy, and being the last of her race was permitted by the Hungarian Courts to take the place of a son. She succeeded her father on his death in 1871, in the extensive Majorat of Barkoczy. In 1860 she married Count Bela Hadik, aide‑de‑camp to the unfortunate Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. With her inheritance she came into the possession of an extensive Masonic library. She was a highly educated lady, and made the Masonic literature her earnest study; and having mastered the statements concerning almost every Degree in Freemasonry, an ardent admiration for the Masonic idea was aroused. in her. She was well acquainted with some Freemasons., through whom she endeavoured to gain admittance into the Craft. Her desire was granted, and in 1875 she was duly initiated in the Lodge Egyenloseg, in Unghvar, holding a warrant from the Grand Orient of Hungary. On hearing of this

 

 

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glaring violation of the statutes the Grand Orient of Hungary instituted proceedings against the Brethren who had been guilty of this "breach of the Masonic vow, unjustifiably conferring Masonic Degrees, doing that which degrades a Freemason and Freemasonry, and for knowingly violating the statutes. “The judgment of the Council was given at their meeting on 5th January, 1876, when all the accused were found guilty. The Deputy Master of the Lodge was condemned to the loss of all his Masonic rights and expulsion from the Order for ever; the officers to have their names struck off the lists and the other members of the Lodge to be suspended for a space of three, six, or twelve months. But still the question remained as to whether the duly initiated Countess could and ought to be looked upon as a regular Freemason and whether she could claim all the rights of a member of the Fraternity. On this point the Grand Orient of Hungary decided in their meeting held on 10th March, 1876, as follows:

 

1. The Grand Orient declares the admission of the Countess Hadik Barkoczy to be contrary to the laws, and therefore null and void, forbids her admittance into any Lodge of their jurisdiction, under penalty of erasion of the Lodge from the rolls, and requests all Grand Lodges to do the same.

 

2. The Countess is requested to return the invalid certificate which she holds within ten days, in default of which measures will be taken to confiscate immediately the certificate whenever produced at any of the Lodges.

 

 

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Madame de Xaintrailles, the wife of General de Xaintrailles, was a member of an Adoptive Lodge, and it is said that she was afterwards initiated into Craft Masonry. This event is said to have occurred at the close of the eighteenth century, but the whole story rests entirely upon tradition. The story is told by Clavel in his Historie Pittoresque de la FrancMafonnerie, but neither date nor place is mentioned:

 

"Although the rule which forbids women admission to Lodges is absolute, yet it has once been infringed under very remarkable circumstances. The Lodge of Les Freres Artistes, presided over by Bro. Cuvelier de Trie, was giving a fête d'Adoption. Before the introduction of the ladies the Brethren had begun their ordinary work. Among the visitors who were waiting in the ante‑chamber was a young officer in the uniform of a Major of cavalry. He was asked for his certificate. After hesitating a few moments he handed a folded paper to the Senior Deacon, who, without opening it, proceeded to take it to the Orator. This paper was an aide‑de‑camp's commission issued to Madame de Xaintrailles, wife of the General of that name, who, like the Demoiselles de Fernig and other Republican heroines, had distinguished herself in the wars of the Revolution and had won her rank at the point of the sword. When the Orator read to the Lodge the contents of this Commission the astonishment was general. They grew excited and it was decided unanimously that the bearer should be admitted at once into the Order. Madame de Xaintrailles was acquainted with the decision of the Lodge and asked if she would accept the hitherto unprecedented favour. Her reply was in the affirmative. 'I am a man for my country,' she said, 'I will be a man for my Brethren.'; The initiation took place, and from that time Madame de Xaintrailles often assisted in the work of the Lodge.“

 

 

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According to the records of the Lodge Sine6rit6 held at Klattau, Bohemia, the charter of which was recalled in September, 1780, a Women's Lodge was formed as an auxiliary, the membership of which was confined to the wives of the members of the parent Lodge. An exception to this rule was made in favour of the Baroness Chanowsky de Langendorf, who is described as "the most honest, virtuous and fairest lady. “This Female Lodge worked under the name of the "Three Crowned Hearts"; but, with the exception of its by‑laws, no records of any kind concerning the activity of the Lodge have been left. A Master Mason managed the Lodge as its Master, the office of Treasurer also being filled by a Master Mason, but, with these exceptions, all the other officers were women. The by‑laws stipulated that the members should be "God‑fearing, humble, discreet, modest, honest, of righteous heart, obliging, as well as charitably inclined towards the poor.“ The initiation could not take place when the candidate was in delicate health. The petitions were passed upon by the Master as far as proposition fees were concerned in accordance with the petitioner's circumstances or means, while the amount of dues was fixed by the candidate herself. The underlying purpose of the Lodge was purely moral and virtuous. In addition to impressing upon the members the observance of secrecy, they were also strictly admonished to observe peace, harmony, union, and unblemished behaviour, with the exclusion of haughtiness and arrogance. They were also strictly

 

 

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charged not to utter words of slander or commit defamatory acts, nor were they permitted in any circumstances to indulge in illicit love affairs. The funds of the Lodge were devoted entirely to the assistance of distressed members. The Constitutions and By‑laws of this Lodge are now in the archives of the National Museum in Prague. The formation of the Lodge contributed in no small degree to the difficulties which afterwards befel the parent Lodge, the majority of which members were army officers belonging to the Prince Coburg Regiment of Dragoons.

 

In 1894 (according to the Daily News of 11th July of that year) two newspapers, one at Rome and the other at Bonn, denounced a certain lady as a Grand Mistress of a Ladies' Lodge of Freemasons. As a result of this publicity a Catholic priest at Friburg, in Switzerland, refused to allow her to receive the Holy Communion, in consequence of which action she brought a law‑suit against him for damaging her reputation and demanded four hundred pounds as compensation. Her claim was, however, rejected by the Swiss Courts.

 

Mrs. Beaton, a Norfolk lady, it is said, contrived to conceal herself behind the wainscotting in the Lodge room, where she learned the secret of the First Degree before she was discovered, upon which she herself was, initiated. The only reference to the occurrence is to be found in A General History of the County of Norfolk (2 vols., 1829) in the following passage:

 

 

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"Died in St. John's, Maddermarket, Norwich, July, 18o2, aged 85, Mrs. Beaton, a native of Wales. She was commonly called the `Freemason,' from the circumstances of her having contrived to conceal herself one evening in the wainscotting of a Lodge room, where she learned the secret, the knowledge of which thousands of her sex have in vain attempted to arrive at. She was, in many respects, a very singular character, of which one proof adduced is, that the secret of Freemasons died with her.“

 

The Palladian Lodge, No. 120 on the Roll of the United Grand Lodge of England, is said to have once numbered a woman among its members. It is a tradition of the Lodge that in 1770 a Mrs. Havard was proposed as an honorary member and was initiated in order that she might have the necessary qualification. There is, however, no record of such initiation to be found in the books of the Lodge, which was warranted in 1762.

 

In connection with the subject of women Initiates, mention must be made of the case of the famous Chevalier D'Eon. D6on de Beaumont, to give the name in full, was born at Tonnerre, in Burgundy, on 5th October, 1728, and in 1755 received an appointment at the Court of Louis XV. After a successful career in the diplomatic world, in 1764 doubts began to be expressed very freely as to his sex. So notorious did the matter become that between 1769 and 1777, a scheme of "Insurance on the sex of M. le Chevalier (or Mlle. la Chevallière) D'Eon" resulted in policies to the amount of ₤120,000 being effected.

 

While the discussion was at its height, the

 

 

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Chevalier was initiated as a Freemason in La Loge de 1'Immortalite, a French Lodge under the English Constitution, bearing the number 376 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England. The Lodge was constituted in 1766, and its headquarters were at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand. He proceeded to the Third Degree in January, 1769, and in the same year was appointed junior Warden of the Lodge. Fearing that an attempt to kidnap him might be made by those who had effected policies on the issue, he was sheltered by Earl Ferrers at Staunton Harold, near Ashby‑de‑la‑Zouch. Earl Ferrers, in 1762 and 1763, held the position of Grand Master of England. In 1777 an action was brought by a policy‑holder against an insurance broker to recover the sum secured by the policy, when two witnesses swore that in Court that, of their own personal knowledge, the Chevalier was a woman. All doubt, however, was set at rest by D'Eon's own admission that "he" was a woman. The King of France commanded that the Chevalier should "resume the garments of her sex,“ and the command was obeyed. To her credit, let it be said that she never again attempted to enter a Masonic Lodge, but, after her death, there was found the manuscript of an essay on "Freemasonry and Quakerism,“ in which she said:

 

"What I say here about Masonry is not meant to win the Gold or Silver Medal, advertised in the London Courier Francais, but only to win, in my heart, a prize graven on the Masonic Compass and Triangles, each point of which, like the Trinity, rests on Truth, Virtue, and Benevolence, common foundations of Equality and

 

 

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Justice between brothers by birth and by Christianity, as between Brethren by Masonry, enlightened by the Sun of Truth, inasmuch as this is the Truth held by the primitive Christians of Jerusalem and Antioch. But since the Greek, Latin, Gallican, and Anglican Churches have organized themselves into formidable bodies, they deride, individually and collectively, the sombre Society of good Quakers, who are good only at whining, snivelling, and having no power among them; while the Freemasons have established themselves in worshipful Lodges, in order to laugh, drink, sing at their ease, and display benevolence towards their Brethren and Fellows dispersed over the Earth, without infringing the Laws of Moses or of the Covenant. They spread sunshine, God's consolation, and true happiness in the heart of all human beings capable of appreciating simple Virtue. The happiness of Mankind and the well‑being of the Material Worlds are to be found in Nature, Reason, Truth, Justice, and Simplicity, and not in huge bodies compiled by Philosophy and Divinity.“

 

The story, in all probability apocryphal, is told that at the time of the promulgation of the Bull of Benedict XIV in 1751, the Empress of Austria, desiring to satisfy herself that none of her sex were admitted into Masonic Lodges, visited a Lodge in company with one of her ladies, both disguised as men. Having satisfied herself on the point, she retired.

 

There is a tradition attached to the Melrose Lodge that, after removing from Newstead, the meetings were held in hired rooms for some years. It is said that about this time the Lodge could boast of a lady member. This matron, a true daughter of Mother Eve, somehow obtained more light upon the hidden

 

 

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mysteries of Freemasonry than was deemed ac all expedient; and, after due consideration of her case, it was resolved that she must be regularly initiated into Freemasonry. This is said to have been done with the best results‑the initiated ever remaining a true and faithful Sister among the Brethren. The lady's name is given as Isabella Scoon, and it is said that she was so impressed with the solemnity of her obligation that she ever afterwards distinguished herself in works of charity.

 

The following paragraph appeared in the Edinburgh Courant of 2nd December, 1772:

 

"A few nights ago a regular Lodge of Freemasons was held at the Star in Watergate Street, in the city of Chester, when a woman who lodged in the house, concealed herself in a press in the Lodge room in order to satisfy a painful curiosity she had a long time imbibed of discovering the reason of their secret meetings; but the ever wary and careful fraternity, making a timely and secret discovery of the place of her concealment, assembled themselves within her hearing, and after repeating the punishment which they always inflict on every person when they detect prying into their secrets, opened the press and took her out, almost dead with apprehension of what she was to suffer, which had such an effect on the humanity of the Brethren then present, that they unanimously agreed to dismiss her, without doing her any injury other than severely reprimanding her for her folly.“

 

The Masonic Lodge held at this particular house at that time was the principal Lodge in the Chester Division of the Operative Freemasons. That body has certain officers known as "Searchers,“ and their duty is to search the Lodge room, together with all

 

 

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other rooms under, over, or adjoining the Lodge room, and the tradition is that the woman was discovered by the Searchers before the Operative Lodge was opened.

 

The following curious advertisement appeared in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle of 6th January, 1770:

 

"This is to acquaint the public that on Monday, 1st inst., being the Lodge or monthly meeting‑night of the Free and Accepted Masons of the 22nd Regiment, held at the Crown, near Newgate, Mrs. Bell, the landlady of the house, broke open the door with a poker, by which means she got into an adjacent room, made two holes through the wall, and by that stratagem discovered the secrets of Masonry, and knowing herself to be the first woman in the world that ever found out the secret, is willing to make it known to all her sex. So that any lady that is desirous of learning the secrets of Freemasonry, by applying to that well‑learned woman (Mrs. Bell) who has lived fifteen years in and about Newgate, may be instructed in all secrets of Masonry.“

 

The following advertisement appeared in the Publick Advertisey of 7th March, 1759:

 

 

FOR FEMALE SATISFACTION

 

"Whereas the Mystery of Freemasonry has been kept a profound secret for several ages, till at length some men assembled themselves at the Dover Castle, in the parish of Lambeth, under pretence of knowing the secret, and likewise in opposition to some gentlemen that are real Freemasons, and hold a Lodge at the same house; therefore, to prove that they are no more than pretenders, and as the ladies have sometimes been desirous of gaining knowledge of the noble art, several regular made Masons (both Ancient and Modern) members of constituted Lodges in this metropolis have thought proper to unite in a select body at Beau

 

 

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Silvester's, the sign of the Angel, Bull Stairs, Southwark, and style themselves Unions, think it highly expedient, and in justice to the fair sex, to initiate them therein, provided they are women of undeniable character; for though no Lodge as yet (except the Free Union Masons) have thought proper to admit women into the Fraternity, we, well knowing that they have as much right to attain to the secrets as those Castle humbugs have thought proper so to do, not doubting but they will prove an honour to the Craft; and as we have had the honour to inculcate several worthy Sisters therein, those that are desirous, and think themselves capable of having the secret conferred on them, by proper application, will be admitted, and the charges will not exceed the expenses of our Lodge.“

 

The following advertisement appeared in various English newspapers in the early part of  1762:

 

"C. LOGE C.

 

"Avertissement aux dames, etc. ‑ Pour vencre que les Frances Massons ne sont par telles que le public les a representées en particulier la sexe feminine, cet loge j uge a propos de recevoir des femmes aussi bien que des hommes.

 

"N.B. ‑ Des dames seront introduits dans la loge avec la ceremonie accoutumée ou le serment ordinaire et le real secret leur seront administrées. On commencera a recevoir des Dames, Jeudy, 11 de Mars, 1762, at Mrs. Maynard's, next door to the Lying Inn Hospital, Brownlow‑street, Lond Acre. La porte sera ouverte a 6 heures du Soir. Les Dames et Messieurs sont priees de ne pas venir apres Sept. Le prix est ₤I Is. “

 

Lady Morgan, in her Diary, published in 1859, claimed to have been initiated in a Lodge in Paris. Under a date in January, 1819, she wrote:

 

"Well, here I am, a Free and Accepted Mason, according to the old Irish Masonic song. When we drove to

 

 

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the solitude of the Rue Vaugirard, Faubourg St. Germaine, we found the court of the Hotel de Vilette and all the premises full of carriages: Belle et Bonne magnificently dressed in white satin and diamonds, with Voltaire's picture round her neck, set in brilliants, received us in the salon with a sort of solemn grace, very unlike her usual joyous address. Madame la Generale Foy, the wife of the popular militaire, stood beside her; his Royal Highness Prince Paul of Wurtemberg, the Bishop of Jerusalem, Talma, Count de la Rochefoucault, in full dress, looking very like his illustrious ancestor of Les Maximes; Denon, the Count de Cazes, pair de France (brother to the premier, the Duc de Cazes), General Favier, and many others whom we knew, were assembled, and muttered their conversation in little groups. At half‑past eight they all proceeded to hold the Chapter for the installation of the Dames Ecossaises du Temple, according to the programme, we, les Dames Postulantes, remaining behind till we were called for. I really began to feel some trepidation, and the stories that I had heard from my childhood upwards, of the horrors of the trial of a Masonic probation, rose to my mind, red‑hot poker included. At nine o'clock we were summoned to attend the `Overture de la Cour des Grands Commandeurs.' When the battants were thrown open, a spectacle of great magnificence presented itself. A profusion of crimson and gold, marble busts, a decorated throne and altar, a profusion of flowers, incense of the finest odour filling the air, and, in fact, a spectacle of the most scenic and dramatic effect ever presented itself. Such of the forms as are permitted to reach the ears of the profane are detailed in the programme. We took the vows, but as to the Secret, it shall never pass these lips, in holy silence sealed.“

 

The most recent instance of a woman claiming to be initiated into a regular or orthodox Masonic Lodge is that of Mrs. Catherine Babington, whose

 

 

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biography was published by her son, J. P. Babington himself a member of Lee Lodge, No. 253, Taylorsville, N.C., U.S.A., the third edition of which was issued in 1912. Mrs. Babington was the only daughter of Charles and Margaret Sweet, and was born at Princess Furnace, Kentucky, on 28th December, 1815. Near her grandfather's house the Freemasons are said to have met in the upper story of a building in a room designed for a church, in the corner of which an old‑fashioned pulpit had been erected and under which it is said she concealed herself from time to time during a period of a year and a half, and where she frequently saw and heard the various Degrees conferred. Finally, the story goes on, one of her uncles, named Ulen, who had left his rifle in the ante‑room, went back to get it, and saw his niece emerging from her place of concealment. When they got home he and his brothers summoned her before them to find out what she had learned about Freemasonry. Having ascertained the extent of her information, the question arose as to what was to be done. And the story runs: "Accordingly a suitable uniform of red flannel was made and she was taken to the Lodge where she was obligated as a regular Mason, but not admitted to membership.“ The day she took the obligation was the first and last time she was ever inside a Masonic Lodge (where she could be seen) while it was at work. She knew Masonry and kept herself posted up until a short time before her death; but she never attempted to visit a Lodge. On one occasion, it

 

 

WOMEN FREEMASONS                                                                                                      93

 

is related, while they were considering her case in the Lodge, she was met on the outside by a pair of masked men, who demanded that she should tell them what she knew about Masonry. Relating the incident to her uncle she is reported to have said:

 

"They might kill me, but they could never make me tell anything about Masonry.“ Many incidents are told of her use of Masonic signs and words in her travels through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and other States; but many of these are seemingly improbable, if not impossible. Mrs. Babington died in Shelby, N.C., where she was buried, and the Shelby Aurora, which was owned and edited by a member of the Craft, describing the funeral, stated: "At her death she was the only female Mason in the United States and was well versed in the workings of the Lodge.“

 

Mr. Charles Purton Cooper, F.R.S., a well‑known Freemason of his day, sent the following communication to the Freemason's Magazine, which appeared in that periodical of 4th April, 1863:

 

"In the autumn of 1831, whilst on a visit of importance to the domaine of La Favee, near the village of St. Eusebe des Fois, in Burgundy, then belonging to myself, but now belonging to my grandson, Arthur, Viscount Delagueriviere, I became acquainted with an octagenarian lady, the Countess de G..., owner of another domaine in the neighbourhood. The Countess, finding I was a Mason, spoke with singular delight of her ' reception au grade d'aprenti ' in a Paris Lodge about 1780, and regretted that a sudden and lasting change of residence ‑ France to Italy ‑ had prevented her proceeding to a higher Degree. Her early days had

 

 

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been spent with her mother and grandmother at Dijon, both of whom had been members of Lodges there‑one of La Loge la Concorde and the other of La Loge les Arts réunis.“

 

Mr. John T. Thorp, in one of his volumes of Masonic Papers writes:

 

"The following is vouched for by a distinguished Mason and a personal friend of the writer: ` A traveller in South America, being in temporary difficulties, and in urgent need of counsel and assistance, endeavoured to discover some Freemason to whom he could appeal with confidence for advice and direction. Being far from any large town, no Lodge was held in the locality, nor could he discover anyone who was a member of the Craft. After many fruitless enquiries, he was at length advised to apply to a widow lady of wealth and position, who resided in the neighbourhood, as she was believed to be a member of some secret society. He accordingly called upon the lady in question, and found her well acquainted with all the secrets of the three symbolic Degrees, she and her husband having belonged to a Lodge of Freemasons many years before. The traveller received the advice and assistance he required to extricate himself from his temporary difficulties and went on his way grateful and rejoicing.'"

 

A writer in Tit Bits of 9th January, 1892, says:

 

"During the winter of 1887‑8 I was at Port Mahon in one of Her Majesty's ships and with others received an invitation to visit the Freemasons' Lodge on shore. We accepted the invitation and on being ushered into the Lodge after the usual ceremonies, were rather surprised to see several ladies seated in the Lodge and wearing the regalia of the Order.

 

"In the working of the Lodge the ladies took exactly the same share of the work as their sterner Brethren would have had to have done had there been no ladies to take upon themselves the work, and they did their

 

 

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duty in quite as good a manner as men would have done. Two of the ladies had infants in arms, so there were at least two cousins in that Lodge.

 

"At the conclusion of the ceremonies I conversed with the Master of the Lodge, who was a Spanish military officer exiled during the Carlist troubles, and he informed me that quite a number of ladies on the island (Majorca) were Freemasons, that the Order was worked more after the system of the society of Oddfellows, and that they were peculiarly a benefit society among themselves, helping each other out of the Lodge funds when necessity compelled‑in fact, working the affair in a manner in which a great many people begin to think Freemasonry should be worked.

 

"I have been in various Lodges in and about the world, but this is the only time that I was ever in the company or knew of any living ladies who had been regularly initiated into the mysteries of the Craft. As I previously said, I was not the only Englishman present, so that in case of any doubt about the foregoing I can forward the names of the other Masons who saw this uncommon sight.“

 

In 1875, according to a correspondent of The Freemason in the issue for the 13th March of that year, a female Tyler officiated to one of the regular Lodges in the West of England.

 

The MS. “Constitutions of the Freemasons, “bearing date 1693 have occasionally been quoted in support of the contention that at one time women were admitted into the Masonic Guilds. One of the clauses runs:

 

"The one of the elders taking the Booke, and that he or shee that is to bee made a Mason shall lay their hands thereon, and the charge shall be given.“

 

In the same manuscript there is more than one reference to the "Dame" as well as the Master.

 

H

 

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From the records of the Lodge of Operative Masons held at Mary's Chapel, Edinburgh, it is evident that the widows of Master Masons could, to a limited extent, occupy the position of "Dame" or "Mistress" in a Masonic sense.

 

"Edr. 17 of Apryle, 1683. The whilk day, in presence of Thomas Hamiltone deakone and John Harvy warden, and remnant masters of the masone craft, in corroborations of the former practise quhich was of use and wont amongst them, it is statute and ordained that it shall be in tyme or in no wayes leithsome for a widow to undertake workes or to imploy jurneymen in any maner or way, but if such work as ancient customers of the deceased husbands or any other ouner who may out of kyndnesse offer the benefite of their work to the sd widoes be ofered unto them, than and that caice it shall be leithsome to them to have the benefite of the work, providing alwayes that they bespeake some freeman by whose advyse and concurrance the worke shall be undertaken and the jurneymen agreed with, quhich freeman is hereby charged to be altogether inhibited to participate of the benefite arriessing from the sd work, under the paine of doubling the soume reaped and arriessing to them by the sd work unjustly and to the prejudice of the sd widoues, and contrare to the intent of the masters mette for this tyme; and lykewise to underly the censure of the deakon and masters in all tyme coming, if they shall think it expedient to punish them for their malversations and circumventions of the said widoues. Written and subscribed by order and with consent of the deakon, warden, and masters by Ar. Smith, Clerk.“

 

The following story is told in the recently published History of the Tongariro Lodge, No. 705, New Zealand, which is under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England:

 

 

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"The landlord, who was a member of the Lodge, had a sister living in the house. She was an elderly lady with a great thirst for knowledge, and she determined to find out all about Freemasonry. Accordingly she went to this disused part of the building and succeeded in removing a knot from the wooden partition, and from this spy‑hole was able to witness unobserved some portion of the proceedings. She did not, however, possess the gift of silence, and one evening, while serving behind the bar, told a gentleman who at that time was not a member of the Craft, although he afterwards became a Mason and subsequently occupied the Master's Chair in the Lodge. The good lady was especially impressed with the Third Degree, which she described as ` very dreadful.' She stated she was going again that night, and that it was her intention to enlarge the hole in order to get a better view. She informed her hearer that there was not a great deal to see until the Lodge had been opened about half an hour. There was to be ` a third' that night, and if her friend would join her in about half an hour he might take his turn at the peep‑hole. Unfortunately for her plan, her brother, who was standing near, though unobserved, overheard this conversation, and when the old lady had climbed up to her accustomed place, he crept softly behind her, and, taking a firm grip on her ear, conducted her without any ceremony to her rightful place behind the bar. Unlike the Hon. Elizabeth St. Leger, she was not initiated into Freemasonry, so could not equal this famed lady.“

 

In the St. James' Gazette of 17th December, 1903, it was reported that:

 

"a woman aged twenty‑nine has been sentenced to thirteen months' imprisonment at Montpellier for having contrived to penetrate into the Masonic Temple at Cette, and for having endeavoured to initiate herself into the mysteries of the Craft.“

 

On the occasion of the installation of the late King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) as Grand Master

 

 

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of English Freemasons, at the Royal Albert Hall, on 28th April, 1875, two barmaids were discovered hidden on the glass roof. They were duly discovered, owing to the vigilance of the Stewards, and conducted off the premises a full hour before the Grand Lodge assembled.

 

The following is an extract from a letter which appeared in the Freemason's Magazine and Masonic Mirror of 21st October, 1865:

 

"I have seen the admission of women into the learned professions, especially in America, and with a remarkable, and I believe, unique instance in England of female initiation into the mysteries of the Craft. I am not prepared to say that the time is not at hand when the other sex may, with advantage, be admitted as fellow labourers in our Lodges, or, at any rate, in Lodges of their own formation.

 

"Of course, there are many who could urge endless objections. An innovation;; but where is the stride onwards that has not been opposed? '"Married men, no doubt, would object, as a rule, to such a novel proceeding, but the more intelligent would surely discard from their minds such fears of a secret ascendancy. Common sense and daily experience show that there are occult laws constantly in operation which correct noiselessly, but effectually, the abuses of systems, and that we cannot exclude the competition of labour when the hour predestined comes.

 

"But amongst women there is a very powerful and natural prejudice against our Craft. Its exclusiveness as regards men is, of course, the cause. Women argue, and plausibly, that there cannot be much good where they are shut out from the light of any particular department of knowledge.

 

"Amongst themselves, though without a name or charter of incorporation, a very noble species of moral Freemasonry prevails, and which is often displayed

 

 

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towards the humblest, at times when even the most cynical could not suggest a selfish or sinister motive.

 

".. I do not say that it would be in all cases advisable to make such an innovation, but there could be little doubt that some women would be found an honour to Masonry, and by their example would give the best and most practical contradiction to the fallacious and mischievous insinuations contained in the Pope's recent Encyclical.“

 


 

CHAPTER VII

 

THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR

 This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

The Order of the Eastern Star is believed to be the fifth largest fraternal organisation and the largest female Order in the world. It had in 1917 nearly 900,000 members and its membership roll is increasing at the rate of 50,000 a year. It does not claim to be a Masonic Order, although its membership is restricted, in the case of men, to those who are already members of the Masonic Brotherhood, and, in the case of women, to those whose nearest male relatives or connections are Freemasons of good standing. It is the custom of the Chapters of the Eastern Star to hold their meetings in the Lodge rooms or temples of Masonic Lodges, when such permission can be obtained, but the Order does not come under the category of "Adoptive Masonry.“ The term "Adoptive" implies the power of government and control, and this is not exercised by any Masonic body in regard to the Order of the Eastern Star.

 

The Order is believed to have taken its rise in the United States of America in 1778, but it did not attain any degree of eminence until 1850, when it was revived by Rob. Morris, a prominent American

 

100

 

 

ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR                                                                         101

 

Freemason. The various units were known as "Constellations,“ and in 1855 a "Supreme Constellation" was established, though it does not appear to have had a long life. The Order itself, however, continued to flourish and in 1874 a serious attempt was made to organise a Supreme Grand Chapter, which, two years later, was crowned with success. District or Provincial Grand Chapters have since been established in all quarters of the globe and is making great headway in Scotland. England stands practically alone in her aloofness from the Order.

 

The utmost care is evinced in the admission of candidates. The fee for initiation and the annual subscription are moderate, averaging twelve shillings and five shillings respectively, and a certain proportion of each is devoted to beneficence. The Order is doing a noble and unselfish work and it was the first to establish a Masonic Home in Kansas, charging itself also with the furnishing of the Home on its erection. In the various States of America members are, at their own expense, building cottages, furnishing, and supplying them with every need, and, in some instances, constructing hospitals and maintaining them.

 

When the Eastern Star Chapter is held in the Masonic Lodge room or temple it is the custom to make no charge for rent, light, or heating. A Candidate for initiation must be recommended by two members from personal knowledge. A committee of three is then appointed to report upon the applica‑

 

 

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tion at the next meeting, when a ballot is taken for the admission of the applicant, and this ballot must be unanimous.

 

The main object of the Order of the Eastern Star is to give practical effect to the beneficent purpose of Freemasonry, particularly in provision for the wives, daughters, widows, mothers, and sisters of members of the Craft, and, at the same time, inculcate various principles. These principles are five in number, represented by the five Degrees of the Order and said to be read by the enlightened in the cabalistic motto of the Order ‑ F.A.T.A.L. They are as follows:

 

1. Fidelity to vocations of right and duty. This is the teaching of the Degree of Jephthah's daughter, as set forth in judges xi. 30‑40.

 

2. Obedience to the demands of honour and justice in all conditions of life. This is the teaching of the Degree of Ruth and is set forth in Ruth i. 16, 17.

 

3. Fidelity to kindred and friends. This is illustrated in the Degree of Esther and set forth in Esther iv. 2., vii. 2‑5.

 

4. Trustful faith in the hour of trial. This is the teaching of the Degree of Martha and set forth in the character of Martha.

 

5. Heroic endurance of the wrongs of persecution when demanded in the defence of truth. This is illustrated in the character of Electa, or "the elect lady" as shown in the narrative recorded in the Second Epistle of St. John,

 

 

ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR                                                                                     103

 

The badge of the Order is a five‑pointed star, the first point being blue with a sword and veil to represent Adah, or Jephthah's daughter. The second is yellow with a sheaf of barley to represent Ruth. The third is white and bears a crown and sceptre to represent Esther. The fourth is coloured green and has a broken column to represent Martha. The fifth is red, with a golden cup to represent Electa.

 

In the Manual of the Order of the Eastern Star the following historical essay on the foundation and aims of certain secret institutions appears:

 

"Secret societies imitating Freemasonry for the admission of females as members were first organised in France during the early part of the eighteenth century, and still exist there and in other parts of Europe, as a distinctive rite. By the term ' Adoptive Masonry' is implied that system of forms, ceremonies, and explanatory lectures which is communicated to certain classes of ladies, who, from their relationship by blood or marriage to Master Masons in good standing, are entitled to the respect and attention of the entire Fraternity. These ladies are said to be adopted into the Masonic communion because the system of forms, ceremonies, and lectures above referred to enables them to express their wishes, and gives satisfactory evidence of their claims in a manner that no stranger to the Masonic family can do. To the organisations thus established for the initiation of females the French have given the name of `Adoptive Masonry,' Maconnerie d'Adoption, and the Lodges are called Loges d'Adoption, or 'Adoptive Lodges,' because every Lodge of females was obliged to be adopted by, and under the guardianship of, some regular Masonic Lodge. One of the first of these Societies was the ' Order of Perfect Happiness,' for so we may be permitted to translate the name ‘Felicitaires; which; they; adopted. This; Society

 

 

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assumed a nautical character in its emblems and its vocabulary. It was divided into the four degrees of `Cabin Boy,' ` Master,' `Commodore,' and 'Vice Admiral.' What little information we have been enabled to obtain from a very brief notice of its ritual leads us to believe that it was not of a character to merit countenance. It did not long retain its existence, for two years after its formation it gave place to the ` Knights and Heroines of the Anchor,' which was, however, but a refinement of the original Society, and preserved its formula of initiation and nearly all its ceremonies. In 1747, one Beauchaine, the Master of one of the Parisian Lodges, instituted a new Society, which he called ` L'Ordre des Fendeurs,' or `The Order of Wood Cutters.' This institution borrowed its principal ceremonies from the Society of the Carbonari, or Coal‑burners, which had been previously established in Italy. The place of meeting of the Wood‑cutters was called the Wood Yard, and was supposed to represent a forest;; the presiding officer was called `Father Master,' and the male and female members were called `Cousins.' The Society became at once exceedingly popular, and the most distinguished ladies and gentlemen of France united themselves to it. It was consequently the cause of the institution of many similar societies, such as the Order of the Hatchet, of Fidelity, etc. In consequence of the increasing popularity of the numerous secret associations which, in their external characters and mysterious rites, attempted an imitation of Freemasonry ‑ differing, however, from that Institution, of which they were, perhaps, the rivals for public favour, by the admission of female members ‑ the Grand Orient of France, in 1774, established a new rite, called the ` Rite of Adoption,' which was placed under the control of the Grand Orient. Rules and regulations were thenceforth provided for the government of these Lodges of Adoption, one of which was that no men should be permitted to attend them except regular Freemasons, and that each Lodge should be placed under the charge and held under the sanction and

 

 

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warrant of some regularly constituted Masonic Lodge, whose Master or, in his absence, his Deputy, should be the presiding officer, assisted by a Female President or Mistress. Under these regulations a Lodge of Adoption was opened in Paris, in 1775, under the patronage of the Lodge of St. Anthony, and in which the Duchess of Bourbon presided, and was installed as Grand Mistress of the Adoptive Right. Many systems of Adoptive Masonry have from time to time been introduced in the United States with varied success, none of which, however, seem to possess the elements of permanency, except the Order of the Eastern Star, which was established in this country during the year 1778. The success of this Order, therefore, corresponds in its beneficence and usefulness with the extent of Freemasonry. Its obligations are based upon the honour of the female sex, and framed upon the principles of equality and justice; that whatever benefits are due by the Masonic Fraternity to the wives, widows, daughters, and sisters of Freemasons, corresponding benefits are due from them to the members of the Masonic Fraternity. The theory of the Order of the Eastern Star is founded upon the holy Writings. Five prominent female characters, illustrating as many Masonic virtues, are selected, adopted, and placed under Masonic protection. The selections are

 

"1. Jephthah's daughter, illustrating respect to the binding force of a vow.

 

"2. Ruth, illustrating devotion to religious principles.

 

“3. Esther, illustrating fidelity to kindred friends.

 

“4. Martha, illustrating undeviating faith in the hour of trial.

 

"5. Electa, illustrating; patience; and; submission under wrongs.

 

"These are all Masonic virtues, and have nowhere in history more brilliant exemplars than in the five characters illustrated in the lectures of the Order of the Eastern Star.

 

"The honourable and exalted purposes had in view in its dissemination can have no opposition worthy the

 

 

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name. Its effects in winning to the advocacy of Masonry the virtuous, intelligent, and influential lady members of our families are truly encouraging, and stimulate its friends to persevere in a general promulgation of the system. According to the tenets of the Order of the Eastern Star, Adoptive Masonry stands a bright monument to female secrecy and fidelity, and proves how wrong all those are who fancy a woman is not to be trusted. There is not in the whole of the ceremonies of this rite a single point with which the most ascetic moralist could find fault. On the contrary, all is pure, all is beautiful; it is among the brightest jewels which spangles the records of Masonry. As the Adoptive privileges of the lady entirely depend upon the good standing and affiliation of the Brother through whom she is introduced, this system will be a strong inducement, it is thought, to keep a Brother, otherwise inclined to err, within the bounds of morality. A general diffu sion of this rite will tend to supersede the other so‑called female Degrees as being, at the best, but trivial and henceforth superfluous and useless.“

 

The Rules enforced by the Order of the Eastern Star are as follows:

 

1. Not fewer than five ladies who are entitled to receive, or have received, the Degrees should be present at any Communication when the Degrees of this Order are conferred.

 

2. The proper persons entitled to receive the Degrees are

1. All Master Masons in good standing;

 

3. The wives of Master Masons in good standing;

 

3. The widows of Master Masons who died in good standing;

 

4. The sisters of Master Masons in good standing;

 

 

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5. The daughters of Master Masons in good standing;

 

6. Mothers of Masons in good standing.

 

3. Those who are not entitled to receive the Degrees are:

 

1. Unmarried ladies, if under eighteen years of age;

 

2. Half‑sisters or step‑daughters;

 

3. Master Masons who may stand expelled, suspended, or against whom charges may be pending.

 

4. Each person before acquiring a knowledge of the Degrees must be honourably pledged to the observance of the above rules, and to the strictest discretion in regard to the essential secrets of the Degrees.

 

5. A well‑guarded apartment must be secured for conferring the Degrees. No person should aspire to the office of Instructor until he has thoroughly qualified himself for the work by imprinting the lectures upon his memory, perfecting himself in the signs, passwords, and scriptural illustrations, and securing confidence in himself, so that he may not become confused when he rises to address an audience. The Instructor should make the lecture graceful, dignified, and impressive. No one should be allowed to enter the room after the pledge of secrecy has been imparted. Those requisitions being complied with, the Brother who

 

 

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may be acting as Instructor will proceed upon the general plan indicated; that is, he will make allusions, by way of opening, to the history, extent, and purpose of Freemasonry; its claims to the respect and attachment of the ladies, and the practical objects for which the Order of the Eastern Star was instituted.

This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

 

FIRST CEREMONY

DEGREE OF JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER

 

The opening ode, which is sung to the tune of "Just before the battle, mother,“ is as follows:

 

 

Here around the altar meeting,

There the sons of light combine;

Mingled with our friendly greeting,

Is the glow of love divine.

 

For this hall to virtue given,

And our emblems on the wall,

Point us to the Lodge in Heaven

And the Master of us all.

 

Keep in view the Lodge supernal.

Life is love enthron'd in Heav'n,

Where the true light never wavers

And our mortal sins forgiven.

 

In the bonds of Mason's duty

Seek we now the Mason's light,

Forms of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty

Teach us what is good and right.

 

Far be every sinful passion,

Near be every gentle grace;

And so at last this holy mission

Shall reveal our Master's face.

Keep in view the Lodge supernal,

Life is love enthron'd in Heav'n,

Where the true light never wavers

And our mortal sins forgiven.

 

 

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The following verses are then recited by the Instructor:

 

A welcome and a greeting now,

To gentle friends and sisters true,

Around the place where Masons' bow,

And pay their homage due;

On chequered floor, 'neath starry sky,

Welcome, kind friends of Masonry!

To her who finds a Father here,

Or Brother's strong and trusty hand;

To her who mourns the lost and dear,

Once cherished in our band;

To her who husband's love doth own,

Greeting and wisdom every one!

Welcome the light our emblems shed,

Welcome the hopes yon volume gives

Welcome the love our covenants spread,

The wages each receives

And when is past life's toilsome week,

Welcome the home that Masons seek.

 

The address given by the Instructor to the ladies assembled in Lodge is as follows:

 

"Ladies, We meet and welcome you here for a double purpose. First, that we may inform you as to your true relationship to the Masonic Fraternity, and thus remove any prejudices that you may have entertained against us; and, second, to confer upon you the beautiful, instructive, and useful Degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star. Every one present knows that Freemasons set a great value upon their mysteries. They put themselves to much trouble and expense to attend their Lodges, and they prove, by their words and actions, that Masonry is implanted in their affections. It must be plain enough to every wife and daughter and sister of a Mason, that there is something in Masonry, known only to the Brethren, which is very delightful and precious to them. They oftentimes

 

 

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provoke the question, `Of what use is Freemasonry to the ladies?' As it separates man and wife to some extent, by giving the man certain secrets and duties which the wife cannot share, the ladies sometimes take umbrage against Masonry, and even become its enemies, and oppose it violently as something contrary to, the laws of God and man. A little knowledge, however, of the real nature and purposes of Masonry will remove all this, if there is any of it existing in the mind of any lady present. Masons love and cherish their Society above all others, because it is designed to, and does, make them better, wiser, and happier men; better, for it teaches morality, virtue, temperance, economy, charity, and justice to all men; wiser, for it imparts knowledge to them that is weighty, solemn, and important‑knowledge that has been handed down to them from age to age for nearly three thousand years; happier, for it makes them acquainted with, and puts them in social connection with the purest and best men in every section of the country. Is it any wonder, then, ladies, that Masons love Masonry? If a Mason is assailed in character, every other Mason is, or should be, prompt to defend him, if innocent. If he is attacked in person, he finds defenders. If he is distressed for means, poor and in want, having been reduced by misfortune, his Brethren share their abundance with him. If, travelling in a foreign land, he falls sick, or in distress, though all around him may be strangers, the Masons are no strangers to him. They are Brothers, and will be as kind to him as though they had known him all his life. If he dies, the Fraternity will bear his body to its last resting‑place, and drop an honest tear to his memory. But now it is necessary that we should show you why ladies, too, should love Masonry, and should be, as many of them are, its warmest friends and defenders. I will answer the question that is often asked, `Of what use is Masonry to the female sex? '

 

'Ladies, you are connected with Masonry by ties far more intimate and tender than you are aware of, or than I can even inform you of. The widow and the orphan

 

 

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daughter of a Master Mason takes the place of the husband and father in the affections and good deeds of the Lodge. If their character is unjustly assailed, the Brethren are in duty bound to defend them. If they are in want, distressed for the necessities of life, the Brethren will divide their means with them. If travelling at a distance from home they find themselves sick and in want among strangers, they have but to make themselves known as the widow and orphan daughter of a worthy Master Mason, and, lo! The hand of relief is stretched out toward them; the voice of sympathy is heard to cheer them! They are no longer strangers, but friends, dear friends; and thus they are constrained to bless our Society, whose kind deeds are not confined to the narrow limits of home. Ladies, I draw no fancy sketch, I speak of what has happened, of what is happening every day. The widow has been provided with a home, her children educated and reared up to honourable stations, her own heart cheered and comforted by the blessed influences of Masonry. These, then, ladies, are the reasons why we think you should be the most devoted friends that Masonry possesses. To you are given all the advantages of the Society, its shield of protection, its hand of relief, and its voice of sympathy, while we do not require of you any of the labour or expense of sustaining it. The only Masonic privilege denied to you is that of visiting the Lodge, and this would be of no advantage to you, even if it were possible to grant it; but it would awaken the voice of scandal against you from a censorious world, and thus produce far more pain to your kind and amiable hearts than it could possibly afford you pleasure. Females cannot be made Masons. This is a rule that has been handed down with the other rules of Masonry for thousands of years. Each Mason present pledged himself before he was admitted into the Lodge that he would never allow any of the ancient rules of Masonry to be changed, and this is one of them. Therefore we cannot invite you to visit our Lodges. But, as I have said, we can, and do, and will share with you in all the solid privileges and benefits

 

 

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of Masonry, and thus practically unite you with us in this great, this glorious, this heavenly work of doing good. The only objection that can be advanced against what I have said is this: How a lady, travelling among strangers, and finding herself in want of friends, can make herself known as the wife, widow, sister, or daughter of a Master Mason? Unless she has something more than her mere word to offer, those to whom she applies will be slow to believe her statements. The country is full of impostors, women as well as men. Almost every charitable person has been imposed upon, not once only, but many times. The lady, therefore, who has the relationship to Masonry that you possess needs, in such a case, some particular means of recognition; some means of making herself known to Master Masons, which no other person can understand; some method, perfect, modest, and proper, easily practised and easily understood. Is there anything of the sort? I imagine you asking me. Are there any means long-tried and proved, which a lady can learn, and by due practice remember, so that, if suddenly called upon, she can put into use with confidence that it will prove effectual? I answer, there is just such a method, and one principal object of this meeting is to teach you that method. The Order is called the Eastern Star. It has signs and passwords, and means of recognition, which have been tried in a thousand instances, and proved to be exactly what a lady needs in the cases I have mentioned. The signs which are for a lady's use are easily learned and remembered. The passwords which Masons use in answer to the signs are equally so. The other means of recognition, by the aid of the signet, are not easily forgotten, and the whole system is available for practical use at all times when required. And there is one great merit in the Order of the Eastern Star, which, if there were no other, would render it worthy of your favour; it is pure, graceful, and religious. It gives the history of that heroic daughter of Jephthah, doomed to die for her father's sake. It tells of Ruth, the harvestgleaner in the field of Boaz, who forsook all things to

 

 

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dwell among the people of God. It speaks of Esther, that noble daughter of bondage, who so bravely resolved to share the fortunes of the exiles of Israel. It tells us of Martha, mourning the loss of her dearly beloved brother. And, finally, it thrills us with an account of that devoted philanthropist, Electa, who, above all women, suffered for her master's sake the loss of her home, family, wealth, and life itself. But, before I can communicate to you the secrets of the Eastern Star Degree, whereby you can make yourselves known to Masons, it is necessary that each of you should make a solemn pledge of honour that those secrets should be kept inviolably in your possession. For any one of you to go out and expose to others what we so secretly tell you here would not only be fatal to your own character for truth, but would destroy all the advantages of the Order itself. Its great value consists in its being kept in the hands of proper persons. I am happy to inform you that, although many thousands of ladies have received it, and though scattered through every section of the country, no instance is on record of any lady having dishonourably exposed it. Nor, indeed, do we fear that such a misfortune can ever occur. A lady who makes us a pledge of honour, such as I require of you, pledges her very soul; the honour of a woman is more to her than life itself. Those of you, therefore, who give us such security may safely be trusted with our most cherished secrets. The pledge that we require of you is in this form: So many of you, ladies, as will pledge the sacred honour of a woman never to communicate improperly the secrets of the Order of the Eastern Star, will raise your right hands. My Brethren, I have thus far confined my remarks to the ladies, whose coming together on this occasion we may justly feel to be a compliment to us. You know, and can testify, that all my statements as to the principles of Masonry and its advantages to its members are true, and that these ladies do stand in the close relationship to our Fraternity that I have described. I will now explain to you that only wives, mothers, widows, sisters, and daughters of

 

 

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Master Masons‑the sisters and daughters, if unmarried, to be eighteen years of age and upward‑are entitled to receive the Eastern Star Degrees, and that it must never be conferred unless there are five or more such ladies present. So many of you, my Brethren, as will pledge the honour of a Master Mason never to confer or be present at the conferring of the Eastern Star Degrees, except under the restrictions mentioned, will now raise your right hands. Should a lady at any time find herself in distress, and among strangers, she has the undeniable right, and should not hesitate, to make the acquaintance of any Master Mason who may be present, by using one of the signs which I will teach you. Each sign has its appropriate name and explanation, and each has a proper password to be given in answer to it by the Mason who recognises the sign. The first object to which I call your attention is the signet of the Eastern Star. This is prepared with a view to assist the memory after a person has taken the Degrees. You will observe that the star in the signet is five‑pointed, and that each point has a colour of its own, which are blue, yellow, white, green, and red. The names of the five characters - Jephthah's daughter, Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa ‑ are seen in the different points, and their histories make up the Degrees. The emblems ‑ the sword and the veil, the sheaf, the crown and the sceptre, the broken column and the joined hands, on the same points, are illustrative of these characters. The emblems in the several divisions in the centre of the star also allude to the distinguished characters comprising the Degrees:

 

1. The open Bible is appropriate to Jephthah's daughter as the symbol of obedience to the Word of God.

 

2. The bunch of lilies is appropriate to Ruth, as the Lily of the Valley.

 

3. The sun is appropriate to Esther, as the effulgent sun is the symbol of crowned majesty.

 

 

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4. The lamb is appropriate to Martha, as the symbol of innocence, faith, and humility.

 

5. The lion is appropriate to Electa, as the symbol of the courage and power which sustained her during her severe trials.“

 

The following lecture is then delivered to the candidates for this Degree after certain obligations have been taken:

 

"The structure of Freemasonry in its obligations and principles is peculiar, and we, as Master Masons, are taught to respect the binding force of a vow. Therefore, when we find in Bible history a person who submits to wrongs, to suffering, and death, to secure the sanctity of a vow, we seize upon that character as our own. We adopt or surround it with fraternal protection. We hail it as a Masonic character, and we claim whatever credit or honour may be associated with it. Such a character, forcibly delineated, we discover in the book of judges, under the title of Jephthah's daughter; and we have so surrounded the sacrifice of that noble and heroic woman with emblems, legends, and tokens of recognition, as to make of it a section in Adoptive Masonry. The history of Jephthah's daughter, as composing a Degree of the Eastern Star, is thus given:

 

Her father, Jephthah, was a resident of Mizpeh, in the mountains of Gilead, a warrior and a man of decided personal character. Being called upon, in the extremity of his country's trials, to go at the head of its armies and resist the Amorites, its enemies, he prepared his household for a campaign that would perhaps cost him his life, and then committed himself to the protection of God, in solemn prayer. It was an age when religious knowledge was scanty, and man knew but little of his Maker's will. Jephthah thought to propitiate Deity by a vow, such as his forefathers had made when about to depart upon dangerous enterprises. And this is the record of his vow, as found in the iith chapter of the book of judges: `Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh. And

 

 

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Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord and said: If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into my hands, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt‑offering.' It is difficult to explain this vow. It has been conjectured that being a hunter in the mountains of Gilead, Jephthah was accustomed to be much absent from home, and that on his return from those expeditions he was often welcomed by the favourite lamb of his daughter; and that this fact was in his mind suggesting the object of sacrifice, should his present enterprise be crowned with success. This explanation is accepted as the best at our command. Jephthah went forth to battle, expecting, if victorious, to make a thank‑offering to God of the pet lamb of his daughter. The victory was gained, and the warrior returned to Mizpeh, exulting in his success. God had redeemed his people. The thanks and praises of

a grateful nation were showered upon his track. The loving father hastened home to enjoy the congratulations of his neighbours, and still more of his daughter‑his only child. Arrived upon the hill which overlooked his dwelling, he halted, for now the full purport of his vow broke in upon his mind. The Lord had `without fail delivered the children of Ammon into his hands'; he had returned in peace to his house, 'and whatever' came forth of the doors of his house to meet him must be the Lord's, to be offered up for a burnt‑offering. It was but for a moment. The door opened as his eye painfully regarded it. It opened, and something came forth; not a pet lamb, not even a servant or a neighbour; but his daughter ‑ his only child, the object in whom his very existence was bound up. 'Behold,' says the sacred narrative, 'his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances.' Jephthah rent his clothes, and in the anguish of his heart cried aloud : 'Alas, my daughter!; thou hast brought me very low. I have opened my mouth to the Lord and I cannot go back.' Adah was a daughter in every way worthy of that

 

 

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warrior‑sire  ‑  the mighty hunter of Gilead. Casting away the instruments of rejoicing, and changing the merry dance to solemn measures, she answered: 'My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth to the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth.' She had but one request to make, and she was ready for the sacrifice. She asked that she might go among the mountains for two months, and there, with the virgins of Israel, prepare her mind to meet in calmness and resignation her impending doom. The request was granted and during two revolving moons the heroic woman joined in the hymns and prayers of her friends, with which the mountain caves of Gilead became vocal. When the two months had expired, and the day arrived which was to bring this sad affair to a close, a vast multitude gathered to witness the event. Precisely as the sun came on the meridian she was seen, followed by a long train of her friends, winding their way down the mountain side, to the fatal spot where the altar was erected, and her father, with an almost broken heart, was standing prepared to fulfil his vow. She approached him, and with one long kiss of affection, bade him farewell. Taking hold of the thick mourning veil which she wore, he drew it gently over her face, and drew his sword. But she rapidly unveiled herself, and said she needed not to have her face covered, for she was not afraid to die. Her father replied that he could not strike the blow while she looked upon him, and again cast it over her. She threw if off the second time, and turning from him said she would look up to the heavens, so that his hand should not be unnerved by the sight of her face, but that she would not consent to die in the dark. A third time, however, he insisted, and a third time she as resolutely cast it off; this time holding the ends of it firmly in her hands, and then, in hearing of the multitude, she solemnly declared that if this ceremony was insisted upon she would claim the protection of the law, and refuse the fate that otherwise she was willing to endure. She said it was the practice to cover the faces of murderers and criminals when they were about to be put

 

 

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to death; but for her part, she was no criminal, and died only to redeem her father's honour. Again she averred that she would cast her eyes upwards upon the source of light, and in that position she invited the fatal blow. It fell. Her gentle spirit mounted to the heavens, upon which her last gaze had been fixed; and so the deed was consummated which has rendered the name of Jephthah's daughter for ever famous in the annals of Scripture. For hundreds of years, and even down to the days of Samuel ` it was a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah, the Gileadite, four days in the year.'; The colour blue alludes to the cerulean line of the mountains, in whose solitude Jephthah's daughter passed two months while preparing herself for death. The emblem of the sword reminds us of the instrument of her death.“

 

 

SECOND CEREMONY

 

RUTH, OR THE WIDOW'S DEGREE

(The Symbol of the Ripened Grain)

 

The lecture in this Degree is as follows: This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

 

"Freemasonry in; its obligations, emblems, and principles is peculiar, and we, as Master Masons, are taught to respect devotion to religious principles. Upon our first entrance into the Masonic Lodge we testify our faith and trust in God. Atheism will effectually debar any person from becoming a Freemason. Therefore, when we find in history a person who forsakes home, and lands, and parents, and country, through piety to God, we seize upon that character and hail it as Masonic; and we claim whatever credit or honour may be associated with it. Such a character, forcibly delineated, we discover in the book of Ruth under the title of Ruth, and we have so surrounded the piety of that noble and heroic woman with emblems, legends, and tokens of

 

 

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recognition, as to make of it a section in Adoptive Masonry. The history of Ruth, as composing a Degree of the Eastern Star, is as follows:

 

Ruth was of the nation of Moab, an idolatrous people; she married a man named Mahlon, formerly a citizen of Bethlehem, who had taken up his residence in the land of Moab, where he died. He was a worshipper of God, and by his pious example and teaching she was converted to the true religion. A few happy years followed, and then the calamity of widowhood came upon her. Upon his deathbed he solemnly exhorted her, for her soul's sake, to leave the dangerous company in which she would be thrown, and go to the city of Bethlehem, where dwelt the people of God. Immediately after his death she obeyed his pious injunctions. Forsaking her home and friends, she journeyed, in company with her aged mother‑in‑law, to Bethlehem, where she arrived in due time, wayworn and so poor that she was compelled, for her own support and that of her friend, to seek some means of securing a livelihood. There was nothing, however, that she could do, save to go into the barley‑fields  ‑  for it was the time of harvest  ‑  and glean among the poorest and lowest classes of people for support. The very attempt she made at this labour exhausted her strength. She had been reared in luxury, and the toil was too great for her. The sharp stubble wounded her feet; the blazing sun oppressed her brain; the jeers and insults of her companions alarmed and discouraged her, and long before the hour of noon, with only two little handfuls of barley as the fruits of her labour, she sought the shade of a tree to rest herself for a few moments before retiring from the field. At this instant Boaz, the owner of the field, entered. He was a pious and charitable man. None in Bethlehem was so rich; none more beloved and honoured then he. As he entered the field, he observed near the gleaners the form of one differing in garb and manners from the rest, and asked the overseer who she was. In reply he learned that she was a woman from Moab, who had asked leave to glean among the sheaves, but that evidently she was unaccustomed to such labour,

 

 

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for she had been there since the sunrise and had gathered but two little handfuls of barley. This excited the kindly feelings of Boaz, and he went to her to say a word of sympathy, and to offer her relief. As she saw him approach she supposed him to be the owner of the field and come to order her away. Ever since the morning she had met nothing but scorn and reproach, and she looked for it now. Raising her hands, therefore, to show how small were her gleanings, and that she had taken nothing from the sheaves, she placed them meekly upon her breast, as showing her willingness to submit to whatever lot she might be called upon to endure, and cast her eyes upward as appealing to God against the inhumanity of man. It was for God she had forsaken home, wealth, and friends, and the disconsolate widow, alone in the world, had none other to whom she could look for protection. This mute appeal was not lost upon the kind heart of Boaz. He spoke words of sympathy and tenderness to her; he encouraged her to persevere. From the provisions brought for his reapers, he bade her eat and drink. He directed that handfuls of barley should be dropped on purpose in her way by the reapers, so that she might gather an ample supply; and when she returned home to her mother‑in‑law she bore with her enough for their immediate necessities. In a short time Ruth became the wife of Boaz, by whom she had a son, called Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, the father of Solomon, whose wisdom and power are known to every intelligent Freemason. The colour yellow alludes to the ripened grain that composed the barley sheaves of Boaz, who from his sheaves commanded that portions be taken and cast in Ruth's way.“

 

 

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THIRD CEREMONY

 

ESTHER, OR THE WIFE'S DEGREE

 

(The Symbol of the Crown and Sceptre)

 

The lecture in this Degree is as follows:

 

"The principles and obligations of Freemasonry are fraternal, and we, as Master Masons, are taught to respect fidelity to kindred and friends. We are introduced into Freemasonry by a friend, vouched for by a friend, conducted by a friend. Friendly hands support us through life, close our eyes in death, and consign us tenderly to the bosom of mother earth. There is no offence in Masonry more degrading than a breach of friendship. Therefore, when we find in history a person exalted in station, rich in this world's goods, learned and beloved, who casts all these advantages aside in her fidelity to kindred and friends, we seize upon that character as our own. We adopt and protect it. We hail it as a Masonic character, and we claim whatever credit or honour may be associated with it. Such a character, forcibly delineated, we discover in the book of Esther under the title of Esther. And we have so surrounded the efforts of that noble and heroic woman with emblems, legends, and tokens of recognition as to make of it a section of Adoptive Masonry. The history of Esther, as composing a Degree of the Eastern Star, is thus given: Her husband, Ahasuerus, otherwise termed Artaxerxes, was King of Persia, a monarch of vast power, a man faithful to his word, and devotedly attached to his queen‑consort. The heroine Esther was a Jewish damsel of the tribe of Benjamin. The family had not returned to Judaea after the permission given by Cyrus, and she was born beyond the Tigris, about five hundred years before the Christian era. Her parents being dead, Mordecai, her uncle, took care of her education. After Ahasuerus had divorced Queen Vashti, search was made throughout Persia for the most

 

 

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beautiful woman, and Esther was one selected. She found favour in the eyes of the King, who married her with royal magnificence, bestowing largesses and remissions of tribute upon his people. Her matchless beauty having attracted the attention of the King, her virtues secured his love, but her wonderful genius gained his permanent admiration and respect. No woman has ever left behind her a better record of wisdom than Esther. It is a standing tradition among her people that, as Solomon was to man, so was Esther to women, the wisest of her sex. The more intimately the King became acquainted with her mental powers, the more he respected them. There was no problem of State so intricate that she could not aid him to solve. In time she became his confidante, and shared with him in the greatness of his kingdom. These circumstances enabled her in a season of peril to save her nation from destruction. The enemies of the Jews, who were numerous and powerful, had brought false accusations before the King, and persuaded him to utter an edict that, upon a fixed day, the entire race throughout all Persia should be exterminated. The chosen people of God were doomed to be extirpated from the face of the country. The instrument to avert so great a calamity was the heroine Esther. No sooner did she learn this cruel edict than she promptly resolved to save her people, or perish in the same destruction. The King had often admitted his indebtedness to her counsels, and pledged his royal word to grant her any request that she might make of him, even `to the half of the kingdom,' and Esther now resolved to test his sincerity and appeal to him, even at the risk of her own life, to reverse the horrible edict. She attired herself in her white silken robes, placed a brilliant crown upon her head, gathered her maidens around her, and went boldly and in state to the palace of the King at Shushan. It was a day of grand council, a gathering of the governors, princes, and officers of Persia. The dependent nations had sent in their deputations to pay homage and tribute, and the royal guards thronged the ante‑chambers of the palace. It

 

 

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was a standing law of that place that none should enter the King's presence without summons, under penalty of death, and the sentinels, as the Queen passed, reminded her of this and warned her of her danger. But she bade them stand aside, and so, pale and firm, she passed through the vestibule into the great council chamber. The scene was magnificent. The King upon his throne of gold and ivory, the gorgeous equipages of his officers, and the splendour of the apartment itself, all made up a display rarely equalled and never surpassed. Through all the crowd of courtiers Esther boldly passed, and amidst the deadly silence of the observers stood up before the King. Pale with fasting and sleeplessness, but not with fear, her cheeks emulated the whiteness of her silken robes. She fastened her eye fearlessly upon the King, who, angry at the violation of the law, frowned sternly upon her. It was the crisis of her life. The wise woman felt it to be so, and at once reminded him of his former pledges by a method understood between them. She saw his golden sceptre bend towards her, and hastened to secure her pardon by coming forward, kneeling, and laying her hand upon it. Graciously said the King: "What wilt thou, Queen Esther? and what is thy request? It shall be even given thee to the half of the Kingdom.' The admiring crowds applauded the generosity of their monarch, and as he placed her beside him upon the throne gave utterance to loud expressions of admiration at her beauty, discretion, and favour with the King. The sacred narrative informs of the consummate tact with which Esther pursued the advantage she had gained. She achieved a complete success and saved the nation, which to this day keeps an annual festival in her honour. The colour white alludes to the silken robe of Esther, emblematical of the spotless purity of her character. The emblem of the crown reminds us of the queenly state of Esther, and of the manner in which she hailed the notice of the King.“

 

 

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FOURTH CEREMONY

 

MARTHA, OR THE SISTER'S DEGREE

(The Symbol of the Uplifted Hands)

 

The following is the lecture given in this Degree:

 

"The structure of Freemasonry, in its obligations, emblems, and principles, is so peculiar that we Master Masons, above all other men, are taught to respect understanding faith in the hour of trial. The great doctrines of Masonry are all borrowed from the Bible. Our devotion to Masonry is chiefly founded upon this that we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and, therefore, our principles, which are derived from the Bible, were written by the finger of God. Therefore, when we find in history a person whose faith in the Redeemer was so fixed and thorough that even the death of her most beloved friend could not shake it, we seize upon that character as our own. We adopt and surround it with fraternal protection. We hail it as a Masonic character, and we claim whatever credit or honour may be associated with it. Such a character, forcibly delineated, we discover in the book of John, under the title of Martha. And we have so surrounded the appeal of that noble and heroic woman to her Saviour, and her thorough confidence in His omnipotent power, with emblems, legends, and tokens of recognition, as to make it a section in Adoptive Masonry. The history of Martha, as comprising a Degree of the Eastern Star, is thus given: Her brother Lazarus was a resident of Bethany, a man of good standing among his fellow‑citizens, and a friend of Jesus Christ. The family, composed of two sisters, Martha and Mary, with their brother Lazarus, seem to have possessed all things needful for a happy life. Bound up in the love of each other, and blessed with the friendship of Him whom to know is' everlasting life,' the little group were distinguished from their neighbours by a name that proved how their hearts were occupied with Divine things. They were ` the beloved

 

 

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of the Master, the happy household of Bethany.' Upon an occasion when their Divine guest had gone out, beyond the Jordan, upon a mission of charity, Lazarus was taken suddenly and violently ill. The terrified sisters hastened to inform Jesus of the fact by a messenger, who was instructed to say, `Lord, behold he whom Thou lovest is sick.' They reasonably supposed that so tender a missive could not fail of success. But the Saviour returned an ambiguous reply; the' beloved at Bethany' died and was buried. Four days passed; days shrouded with mourning ‑ still the Saviour returned not. The sisters were abandoned to grief, not alone for the loss of their brother, their only earthly protector, but for the unkindness of him upon whom they had leaned as the `Rock of their salvation.'; Yet Martha retained her faith, and trusted in Him yet to come and restore the friend they had lost. At the close of the fourth day, intelligence reached them that Jesus was returning to Bethany. Martha hastened to meet Him, fell on her knees before Him, raised her hands imploringly towards His face, and, with a voice almost suppressed with emotion, cried aloud:  Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died! 'Looking, a moment after, into His face, and animated by the God‑like benignity with which He looked down upon her, she added: `But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee! 'Amazing faith!; Heroic spirit of confidence in her friend!; Though her brother had been four days in the embrace of death and the subject of its corrupting influences, though the weight of watchfulness and sorrow rested heavily upon her spirit as she knelt, her hands wildly raised to heaven, there was a spirit of prophecy in her words which gave them a value altogether their own. Then said Jesus: `Thy brother shall rise again,' testing her faith still further. She replied `I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' Jesus said unto her: `I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and

 

 

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believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?' She answered at once in the tone and spirit of perfect faith: `Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world!' The reward of such faith was soon rendered. Taking her by the hand, and passing by their dwelling, where they were joined by Mary, they went to the sepulchre, and, as every reader of Scripture knows, Jesus raised the dead man to life. The colour green alludes to the resurrection of Lazarus, and, by direct inference, to that final and grander resurrection in the last day. Never does Freemason cast the evergreen sprig into the open grave of his Brother but the coming event is thus beautifully foreshadowed. The broken column is an emblem of the death of a young man in the vigour of life.“

 

FIFTH CEREMONY

 

ELECTA, OR THE BENEVOLENT DEGREE

 

(The Symbol of the Martyr)

 

The lecture in this Degree, given by the Instructor, runs as follows:

 

"The structure of Freemasonry, in its obligations, emblems, and principles, is so peculiar that we Master Masons, above all other men, are taught to respect patience and submission under wrongs. That there will be a day of judgment, when all wrongs shall be redressed by the Divine hand, we firmly believe. Therefore, when we find in history a person whose confidence in God's justice gave her perfect patience and submission amidst the most inhuman wrongs, we seize upon that character as our own. We adopt and protect it. We hail it as a Masonic character, and we claim whatever credit or honour may be associated with it. Such a character, forcibly delineated, we discover in the traditions of our fathers. It is alluded to in the Second Epistle of John, under the title of Electa. And we have so surrounded the submission of that noble and heroic

 

 

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woman under wrong, and her matchless benevolence, with emblems, legends, and tokens of recognition, as to make of it a section in Adoptive Masonry. The history of Electa, as composing a Degree of the Eastern Star, is thus given:

 

She was a lady of high repute in the land of Judaea, of noble family, wealthy and accomplished, who lived in the days of St. John the Evangelist, and was remarkable for her profuse benevolence to the poor. Electa had been reared, as all her neighbours were, a heathen. The idols of Rome were the only gods she knew. Like Ruth, however, she had been preserved from the abominations of the system, and when by good fortune she was enabled to hear from inspired lips the story of Calvary and its Divine victim, her heart readily opened to the influences of the Holy Spirit. She became converted, together with her husband and all her household. She even professed before the world her faith in the despised Nazarene, though well she knew that to do so was to expose herself to reproaches, to persecution, and haply to death. Fourteen years, however, passed away before that great trial came to her. These years became the happier as well as the better years of her life. She gave her great income to the relief of the poor. Her splendid mansion was made the house of abode to weary and persecuted pilgrims. The poorest of the flock, the tattered, the footsore beggar, coming up the great avenue to her door, was met as the father met his prodigal son. She ran out hastily to meet him, took him warmly by the hand, and `welcomed him.' She led him to the best apartment, refreshed him with the richest wine in a golden cup, fed, cheered, clothed her guest, nor suffered him to depart until he was strengthened for the journey. Through all the country her name was famous as ` the beneficent and affectionate Electa.' And all this time she was ripening for the better world, and preparing for a fate which, although protracted, was inevitably to settle upon her. The time of her martyrdom drew nigh. A great persecution began, and any one who had confessed the name of Jesus was required to recant from his faith or suffer the penalty

 

 

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of the law. Electa was visited by a band of soldiers, whose chief officer proposed the test of ` casting a cross on the ground and putting her foot upon it,' whereupon he would report her recantation. She refused, and the family were cast into a dungeon and kept there one year. Then the Roman judge came and offered her another opportunity to recant, promising that if she would do so she should be protected. Again she refused, and this brought the drama to a speedy close. The whole family were scourged to the very verge of death. They were then drawn on a cart by oxen to the nearest hill, and crucified. She saw her husband perish. She saw each of her sons and daughter die on the cruel tree. She was then nailed there, and being about to pass ` to the better land,' she prayed with her expiring breath,  Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!' The colour red symbolises fervency, and alludes to the noble generosity of Electa, displayed towards the poor and persecuted of her faith. The emblem of the cup reminds us of the ardent hospitality of Electa, excited by the view of poverty and distress.“

 

The by‑law of the Constitutions of the Order of the Eastern Star with regard to decorations is very clear and definite. It runs:

 

"Ladies who receive the Degrees of the Eastern Star are entitled to wear, as a decoration, any well‑arranged device, emblematical of the Order, and they are earnestly advised to adopt some appropriate badge, particularly when travelling, because, in case of an accident, their claims to the protection of Masons (if any who may have received the Degrees should be present) would be easily recognised. The pin or brooch, in the form of a five‑pointed star of gold, enamelled, or of precious coloured stones, may be worn, on all occasions, as a dress ornament. The scarf of silk ribbon, three inches wide, the five proper colours woven lengthwise through it, is most appropriate at Masonic festivals, where Masons appear in regalia. The scarf should be orna‑

 

 

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mented with three rosettes: one on the Shoulder (flat, of red and blue‑coloured ribbons), one on the breast (quilled, of blue, white, red, yellow, and green‑coloured ribbons), one at the crossing (flat, of yellow and green-coloured ribbons); each rosette ornamented with a five-pointed gilt star in the centre ‑ the ends of the scarf to be finished with coloured silk fringe. It is to be worn from right to left.“

 

 

The formula of the certificate presented to each Sister who has passed through the various Degrees is as follows

 

 

THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR.

 

"To all enlightened Free and Accepted Masons around the Globe, Greeting, ‑ This is to certify that the bearer............ is Masonically vouched for to us as the (wife, sister, or daughter) of Brother............, a Master Mason in good standing in............ Lodge, No........ at............

 

"She has received under solemn pledges of honour, from one of the patrons of the Eastern Star, all the light of this Order, and she truly emulates the virtues of the immortal characters therein commemorated. So faithful and so true a lady deserves the favourable regards of Freemasons, whose principles she admires, and in whose benevolent work she is ready to co‑operate. She is therefore recommended to the protection and fraternal respect of all Free and Accepted Masons, wherever dispersed.

 

"In testimony whereof we, the representatives of the National Order of the Eastern Star and of the Branch of............ have subscribed our names at........ and caused the National Seal to be affixed the...... day of.......... A.D.......

 

(Seal); .......... National Patron.

 

.......... National Treasurer

........... National Secretary.

 

Virtus Omnia Probilitate.“

 

 

 

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The Order of the Eastern Star was introduced into Scotland in 1861 by Captain Thompson Wilson, of Canada, when Major C. E. Thornton was appointed Grand Superintendent of the Order in Scotland. Afterwards the Order fell into abeyance in that country but was revived in 1874, when the Victoria Chapter was opened on 25th September of that year by Mr. H. S. Shield, Deputy‑Superintendent for Great Britain.

 

The Order of the Amaranth is a body somewhat similar to the Order of the Eastern Star, though it has no relation or affiliation with that body, and dates its origin to a desire for further advancement into the field which the Eastern Star occupies, by those who are fond of the Order. Like the Eastern Star, it is pre‑eminently a ladies' order, though, like the Star, it graciously permits Master Masons to become members of the Order. It cannot lay claim to an antiquity equal to the Star, for it was not founded until 1873. It is not so large or pretentious an Order as the Eastern Star. It numbers something over 10,000 members, has five Grand Courts at New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and Washington, and 119 Subordinate Courts in Minnesota, Oklahoma, British Columbia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, Arizona, Texas, Iowa, Manila, Providence Island, and other places. The presiding officer is a lady known as Royal Matron and the members as Honoured Ladies and Sir Knights. In the Ritual, four ladies form the square and are known as Truth, Faith, Wisdom,

 

 

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and Charity. The teachings of the Order are moral and elevating, and a reverence for Deity and the Bible are cardinal tenets. No one who does not acknowledge the existence of God can become a member of the Amaranth. The initiatory ceremonies are equally beautiful with those of the Star, and no one can leave a court room without feeling that its influences have been pure and elevating and calculated to make its votaries better and happier.

 

Myriads of testimonies as to the value of the work done by members of the Order of the Eastern Star have been forthcoming from time to time, being given voluntarily by prominent Freemasons in districts where the Star has been established. All testify on lines similar to Colonel J. Watrous, who wrote:

 

"The Eastern Star in Wisconsin, and many other States that I might enumerate, has come to be looked upon by Brother Masons as a strong right arm of Masonry. They have ripped up old carpets in Lodge rooms that have seen service anywhere from fifty years to a century; they have cleaned the windows and swept away the cobwebs; they have put in gas or electricity to replace bad‑smelling oil or tallow dips; they have had a leading part in giving to Wisconsin, for instance, twenty or more fine Masonic Temples, up to date; they have introduced a degree of social life into Masonry that astonishes and probably pains the old, old‑fashioned “Mason who wants to be sure that he is down in the valley or up in a mountain, before he whispers anything about a Craft that has blessed the world in a most notable way.“

 

A bombshell fell upon Pennsylvania Freemasons in June, 1921, when the following edict was issued

 

 

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to all Masons within that jurisdiction from holding membership in the Order of the Eastern Star. It was estimated at the time that there were some 20,000 Masonic members of that Order in that State. The edict was worded as follows:

 

"At a conference recently held in the office of the Grand Master, at which were present the, committee on landmarks, the other grand officers, and a representation of the District Deputy Grand Masters, the subject of the following edict was discussed, with only one object in view, namely, the welfare and best interests of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania; and after giving the subject careful consideration, this edict is issued with the full concurrence of all those present.

 

"Whereas, our laws declare that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the Landmarks of Freemasonry; and

 

"Whereas, from a number of reliable Masonic sources, it is now demonstrated that agencies and influences are actively at work in this jurisdiction, through an organisation known as `The Order of the Eastern Star,' and other organisations hereinafter referred to, which organisations have in recent years received as associates in their work, members of this Fraternity, who are now personally identified therewith, and which, as at present conducted, seriously interfere with our long‑established and lawfully recognised procedure; and

 

"Whereas, we cannot acknowledge these organisations, nor be in any manner associated with them, and those of our membership who are in any manner connected with them, or either of them, subject themselves to a contradictory and a divided allegiance; and

 

"Whereas, in the construction of our duty we have always held that whatever is doubtful is dangerous and any introduction of alien agencies must be interdicted as soon as it becomes known; and

 

"Whereas, no Freemason owing allegiance to this Grand Lodge can have affiliation with such bodies

 

 

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without violating his Masonic duty, therefore, such associations must be dealt with by the Grand Lodge as we deal with all organisations inimical to Freemasonry; and

 

"Whereas, we hold fixedly and unalterably that under the Usages, Customs, and Landmarks of Freemasonry in this jurisdiction, we must demand exclusive control over our membership in every relation ordained by this Grand Lodge; and

 

"Whereas, with social or fraternal bodies exercising authority over other agencies for the good of humanity, by whatever name they may be called, or from whatever source they claim to derive their initial authority, we have nothing to do, and have no desire to interfere in any way, leaving them to govern themselves and manage their own concerns in their own way. This Grand Lodge, however, denies the right of any such body, or association, or any member of it, to interfere with the due and orderly management of our fraternal affairs; and

 

"Whereas, all Lodges and members, who are in any manner associated with any organisations not recognised by this Grand Lodge, are acting in an illegal and unconstitutional manner, therefore, any of our members who continue in fraternal relationship with such association, after this notice, may be expelled from their Lodge for gross un‑Masonic conduct; and

 

"Whereas, the edict of the Right Worshipful Grand Master emanates from and through the inherent powers of his office, as well as those conferred by the Ahiman Rezon, and has the authority of Masonic law, which must be absolutely followed by everyone in good Masonic standing; and

 

"Whereas, after thoughtful consideration and careful examination of the whole subject, we have come to the definite and impartial conclusion, that the Order of the Eastern Star, so far as it affects this Grand Lodge, is subversive of the principles and Landmarks of Freemasonry

 

"Therefore, I, John S. Sells, Right Worshipful Grand

7

 

Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, by virtue of the

 

 

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powers and authorities in me vested, do hereby order and direct that those of our membership, who have been misled as to their fraternal duty, by being identified with the Order of the Eastern Star, the White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Amaranths, or any organisation whose membership is comprised of both sexes, and which in any way have, as a pre‑requisite, Masonic affiliation, shall, within six months from the date hereof, sever all relation therewith, and file a stipulation in writing with the Secretary of their respective Lodges, to the effect that they have abandoned all allegiance thereto. The Secretaries are hereby directed to read such renunciation at the next meeting of the Lodge after its receipt, make a minute thereof, and make a special return in each case to the Grand Secretary.

 

"And I further order and direct, that henceforth it shall be unlawful for any Freemason, under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, to become a member of any organisation hereinabove referred to.

 

"This edict confirms decisions by my predecessors in similar situations where such conditions have developed.

 

"The Grand Secretary is directed to furnish to each member of the Lodge, along with a copy of this edict, with instructions to have the same printed in full immediately after its receipt, and a copy thereof sent to each member of the Lodge, along with the notice issued by them for the next meeting thereafter.

 

"This edict shall be read at the next stated meeting of each Lodge, and copied in full in the minutes.

 

"Given under my hand and seal, at the city of Philadelphia, this first day of June, A. D. 1921, A. L. 5921. ‑ John S. Sell, Grand Master“

 

About the same time the matter came up for consideration by the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England, though the synchronisation was not a matter of arrangement it was purely accidental. At a Grand Lodge meeting

 

 

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in September, to quote the report which appeared in The Freemason, it was reported that the Board "has made full investigation of the status of this body in its relationship to Freemasonry, and finds that the Order, which is almost entirely composed of women, but admits men to membership under certain conditions, touches Masonry closely at two points: (1) Membership is restricted to ` Master Masons in good standing in a Masonic Lodge and their wives, daughters, mothers widows, and sisters"; and (2) it is provided in the ritual that there shall preside at the meetings during the conferring of the Degrees an official, styled the Worthy Patron, who has to be a Freemason `in good standing.'

"The latter condition, in especial, is considered by the Board to set up a test the validity of which none but Freemasons can properly judge; and it holds that no such test can be recognised in connection with bodies which, contrary to the immemorial practice of the United Grand Lodge of England, admit women to membership. The source of danger thus indicated is brought home more closely by the knowledge that Secretaries of some Lodges have received a request from women secretaries of Lodges of the Eastern Star, asking for a categorical statement as to whether certain persons named were ` in good standing ' in that particular Lodge ‑ a request to which no Secretary of a Masonic Lodge in such circumstances has a right to reply.

 

"As there are various bodies of great and apparently growing popularity in the United States and some parts of the British Empire which, while not formally claiming to be Masonic, are, at the least, imitative of the Masonic institution, the Board thinks it necessary to state the general principles upon which it feels bound to act in regard to them. The Craft is not concerned with bodies ‑whether composed entirely of men, of women, or of both sexes ‑ which do not claim to be Masonic in either ritual or practice, and do not make Masonry a test of membership or of participation in their ceremonies. But it is clear that a grave risk is incurred by Brethren who

 

 

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enter into association with bodies making Masonry in any way a test of admission to membership, while admitting as members persons who would not be qualified to join a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England.

 

"No Freemason is entitled to attend any non-Masonic meeting at which Masonry by direct implication is introduced, or to participate in any ceremony which is quasi‑Masonic or is held under some pseudo‑Masonic and unauthorised auspices. The Secretary or any member of a Lodge who gives to anyone outside, and particularly to a non‑Mason, information on Masonic matters known to him because of his Masonic connection, commits a breach of discipline which, when proved, will be severely dealt with.“

 

This decision, therefore, places the Order of the Eastern Star under a ban in England as effective as that in Pennsylvania.

 

Of recent years several androgynous and female Orders have been established in the United States of America. In February, 1890, the Social Order of the Beauceant was established at Denver, Colorado. It is both social and philanthropic and the name is derived from the ancient Knight Templar banner, the Beauceant. It appeals specially to the wives and widows of Knights Templar in every city to unite in a Fraternity which is claimed to result in promoting sociability, friendship, and happiness; a deeper appreciation of Templarism, inspiring its members with the same noble impulse to render valiant assistance in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and binding up the wounds of the afflicted. No effort was made to extend the Order until the Knights Templar Conclave in Denver, 1913, when

 

 

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its members played such an important part in the entertainment of the guests that many wives of the visiting Knights being favourably impressed became members with the intention of organising Assemblies in their own cities, which has since been done. This Order is limited exclusively to women, and its ritual is said to be beautiful, impressive, and helpful in everyday life, its theme being Faith, Loyalty, and Love for God, the Order of Knights Templar, and each other. It is claimed for it that it has a strong, true, elevating, and fraternal influence. It now holds an annual Supreme Assembly.

 

The Daughters of the Nile is another exclusively female Order founded more recently in the United States of America. It is really a counterpart of the masculine Order of the Mystic Shrine, but the regal titles sound strange in a great Republic. The presiding officer is known as the Supreme Queen, and her subordinates are called Princess Royal, Princess Tirzah, Princess Badoura, Princess Marshal, Princess Recorder, Princess Banker, and Princess Chaplain, while there are various Ladies in Waiting, a Lady of the Keys, a Lady of the Gates, etc.

 

The White Shrine of Jerusalem was also founded recently, which although not part of the Order of the Eastern Star has a membership taken exclusively from that Order.

 

In 1921 an Order for Girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, known as Job's Daughters, was instituted, for the purpose of banding together the daughters, sisters, nieces, and granddaughters

 

 

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of Freemasons and members of the Order of the Eastern Star, for the betterment of social conditions and the teaching of practical duties. The girls are impressed with the love of home and country, and reverence for the teachings of the Bible. The ritual is based on the life of job as recorded in the Old Testament. Music is scattered liberally throughout the initiatory rite. The Lodges are known as Bethels, and it is hoped to establish them in every country where the Order of the Eastern Star exists. Each Bethel has a Celestial Chorus where spiritual songs are sung, inculcating higher musical traits in the lives of job's Daughters.

 

In all ages the Book of Job, says Miss Ethel T. Mead Wick, the founder and organiser, has been played in our lives by trials, tribulations and suffering, therefore it seems fitting to allow the ancient drama of suffering to be illustrated to our mere young womanhood, by lecture form and drama, so as to impress the fact that lives are not lived without hardships, but to remain steadfast and upright and fearing God as Job did, will eventually receive its great reward with knowledge, power, strength, and abundance of wealth and a family that gives joy.

 

The Grecian costume is the costume which the people wore in the days of Job. In mythology, Minerva was the Goddess of Wisdom, War, and Fine Arts. She was the tutelary deity of Athens, Greece, and is said to have sprung from the head of Jupiter ‑ fully armed for battle.

 

The mortar‑board cap the girls wear means open

 

 

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book, calling attention to knowledge; thus the whole uniform suggests a forward, upward, and onward trend of high ideals.

 

The girl of thirteen to eighteen is neither a child nor a woman. Character is not all told or formed. The plans for the future have not been decided. She is too young to go with parents; too old to remain at home for pleasures all the time, and what shall she do? Job's Daughters solves the question. Meeting at a Bethel with girls of high ideals of their own age, the statements that good parents have repeated to daughters are heard again in the Bethel.

 

The plan of each girl to prepare her own picnic lunch possibly will develop the knack of being a fine cook. The fingers that did not care for sewing may become seamstresses in the sewing they will do for the Masonic homes, and preparing their costumes.

 

The cultivation of public speaking may prove beneficial. The voice which they did not even realise may prove to be a noted artist. As the twig is bent so the tree is inclined. The children of to‑day will be the citizens of to‑morrow. Our to‑days and yesterdays are the blocks on which we build.

 

The emblem of our Order is The Three Daughters. The Open Book on which is inscribed IYOB, taken from the Greek, and Feliae from the Latin. On the one side the Lily of the Valley, the emblem of purity, and on the other, the Horn of Plenty.

 

The Good Book says, “In all the land were no

 

 

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daughters so fair as the daughters of Job" and their father gave them inheritance. Job's Daughters are the relatives of Masons, and their fathers have given them inheritance.

 

The headquarters of the organisation are in Canada.

 

In 1921, also, an androgynous body known as the U.N.I., composed of the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of Freemasons or members of the Order of the Eastern Star, between the ages of fourteen and twenty‑two, was founded in America. There are three Degrees in this Order. Both Freemasons and Eastern Stars are admitted as honorary or passive members.

 

 


 

CHAPTER VIII

 

MODERN FEMALE FREEMASONRY

 

There are to‑day in England three Grand Lodges of androgynous Freemasonry, the oldest of which is that known as the Order of Universal Co‑Freemasonry. It was the first Masonic body which aimed at establishing a world‑wide Order to which women should be admitted on equal terms with men. Its career began in the year 1882, but, in order to trace its history, it is necessary to go back to the year 1879, when several Chapters owning allegiance to the Supreme Council of France of the Antient and Accepted Scottish Rite, at the instigation of the Grand Orient, seceded from that allegiance and reconstituted themselves as "La Grande Loge Symbolique de France.“ One of these Chapters, bearing the name of Les Libres Penseurs, meeting at Pecq, a village of Seine et Oise, in November, 1881, proposed to initiate into Freemasonry, Mlle. Maria Desraimes, a well‑known writer on humanitarian and woman‑suffrage questions, which they did on 14th January, 1882, and for which act the Chapter was suspended. Mlle. Desraimes was instrumental in bringing into the ranks of the Order several well‑known women in France, with

 

141

 

 

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the result that an androgynous Masonic body, known as "La Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise, “was formed on 4th April, 1883, although at that time its jurisdiction extended to one Lodge only, that known as Le Droit Humain, which came into being on the same day, and which, in 1900, adopted the thirty Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. One of the principal workers in the formation of this new Grand Lodge was Dr. Georges Martin, at one time a member of the Lodge Les Libres Penseurs. He gave his strong support to Mlle. Desraimes, and by their united efforts, assisted by Mme. Marie Martin, who, upon the death of Mlle. Desraimes, succeeded to the leadership of the movement; the newly‑constituted Order spread to India and London, at which latter place the Lodge Human Duty was constituted in September, 1902. There are now Lodges in France, Belgium, England, Scotland, India, Australia, South Africa, America, Holland, Java, Switzerland, and Norway.

 

The following is extracted from an official pamphlet written by the Grand Secretary of the Order:

 

"The question is often asked whether the French Masonry, from which we derive our existence, is not atheistic. French Masonry, as a whole, is non‑theistic, though in varying degrees some bodies retain at the head of their documents the formula relating to T. G. A. O. T. U.; others do not. The Grand Lodge of England, and various other Grand Lodges, broke off relations with the Grand Orient of France, which began this new departure, and whose socialistic and anticlerical propaganda did not commend itself to the more

 

 

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conservative English body. Its present practice, before admitting a French Mason to its Lodges, is to require first that his diploma exhibit the sacred formula, and, secondly, that he himself acknowledge the existence of a God as a principle of Freemasonry. This is a more liberal attitude than its former one. There is some extenuation, however, for the French Masons. The movement originated with a motion proposed by a celebrated and much‑respected French Protestant pastor. It was felt that good men of upright life should not be debarred from the privileges of Masonry by obstacles of religious belief. It must also be borne in mind that Continental Masonry, in working for enlightenment and the elevation of the masses, has suffered continual persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

"Our own English Lodges, however, strongly felt that they should keep in line with Anglo‑Saxon Masonry on this vexed point, and our Supreme Council with a wise tolerance recognised that different conditions were suitable for different countries, and readily consented to our wish.

 

"Our Order has the sympathy of eminent Masons in various countries of the world, and the principles for which it labours must sooner or later be recognised. Meanwhile, we state frankly, we are recognised by no other Masonic body, save a few minor bodies who also admit women, although a Co‑Mason is admitted to Lodges in some countries under certain foreign Grand Lodges, instances having occurred within our knowledge in Hungary and Belgium. The Grand Lodge of England does not recognise the Order, and has on one occasion forbidden its followers to visit us. Other bodies are more tolerant and do not interfere with informal visitation. The Grand Lodge of France is willing to `regularise' male Co‑Masons with only the barest formality.

 

"In the meantime we pursue the even tenour of our way, confident that good work will tell in the end and gain recognition for our efforts. The Order is now very

 

L

 

 

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firmly established in the British jurisdiction, and the various Lodges are doing good and useful work. Although a large portion of that work naturally consists in the extension of Masonic privileges to women, we do not stop there; we regard that as a means rather than an end ‑ a means to the larger end of the upliftment of humanity as a whole. So far our British Lodges have chiefly occupied themselves in elucidating the spiritual aspect of Freemasonry, in research into Masonic history or tradition, in the discussion of social reform, and in studying the inner meaning of the ceremonies and ritual, so little understood by Masons at large. But all lines of work intended to promote the welfare of humanity in conformity with the principles of our institution are welcomed and encouraged. “

 

The title "Co‑Masonry" in lieu of "joint Masonry" was adopted in 1905.

 

The Principles of Universal Co‑Freemasonry are set forth in the official documents as follows:

 

Article 1. Universal Co‑Freemasonry in Great Britain asserts, in accordance with the ancient declarations of Freemasonry, the existence of a Creative Principle, under the title of "The Grand Architect of the Universe.“

 

Article 2. It maintains the open "Volume of the Sacred Knowledge" in every Lodge, when duly formed for Masonic purposes.

 

Article 3. It maintains the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry.

 

Article 4. It withholds recognition from all irregular and clandestine meetings, or Lodges not holding proper charters.

 

Article 5. It imposes no restrictions on the free

 

 

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search for Truth, and to secure that freedom exacts tolerance from all its members.

 

Article 6. It is open to men and women, without distinction of race or religion, who are free, of good report, and irreproachable life.

 

Article 7. It pledges its members to obedience to the laws of the country, loyalty to the Sovereign, silence with regard to Masonic secrets, a high standard of honour, and ceaseless endeavour to promote the welfare of humanity.

 

Article 8. Every Freemason belonging to the Antient and Accepted Rite is bound faithfully to observe the decision of the Supreme Council to which he owes allegiance.

 

The Order of Co‑Masonry is more or less identified with the Theosophical Society, of which Mrs. Annie Besant is the President, who is also the Deputy Master of Co‑Masonry for Great Britain and Ireland, M. Eugene Piron being the Grand Master of the Order.

 

The next oldest organisation is that known as "The Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry,“ which was founded in June, 19o8, by a number of members of the Co‑Masonic Order, who became dissatisfied with the form of government, ritual, and interpretation then obtaining in the Order. The Rev. Dr. William F. Cobb was unanimously elected Grand Master, and three Lodges were immediately consecrated. In 1912, Dr. Cobb was succeeded as Grand Master by Mrs. Reginald Halsey, who still

 

 

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holds that position. The organisation has continued to flourish since its foundation and there are now numerous Lodges under its jurisdiction, including one established solely for the purpose of research and limited in membership to Installed Masters of Lodges.

 

The following is extracted from one of the official publications of the Order:

 

"One word as to the ideals which we try to keep before us in Antient Masonry.

 

"We are most anxious that our Order should stand in the future for some definite work in the world, beyond that undertaken within our Masonic Lodges, and further that the Order should come to be recognised as a Guild or Brotherhood of Men and Women consecrated to unselfish work for others.

 

"In the autumn of 1916 this suggestion took a definite form in the inauguration of the Guild of Education as National Service. This organisation trains teachers and social workers on the newest educational lines, and under it the Halsey Training College is recognised by the Board of Education as a Training College for Teachers in Continuation Schools, and other forms of work in connection with the new Education Act. Bro. Millicent Mackenzie, M.A., P.S.G.W., is Hon. Dean of the whole Scheme, and Bro. Margaret Frodsham, B.Sc., is Principal of the Halsey Training College. The Guild is supported by funds raised amongst members of the Order of Antient Masonry. It includes amongst its activities a Lecture and Training Centre in Bloomsbury; a Residential Hostel and experimental Continuation School in the East End, and a Rural Centre and Hostel at Kenton, Middlesex, where teachers are to train in agricultural work on an experimental farm and garden. It is proposed, as the work extends, to start a Central London Hostel for students, and that building will, it is hoped, include a Temple and Offices for Masonic work of the Order.

 

 

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"Our Brethren the English Masons of the Orthodox Obedience, have their magnificent charities, but it has always seemed to me that to add the personal factor to purely financial help, to show personal service and sympathy, is especially, Woman's prerogative, so perhaps it is right and appropriate that the work undertaken by a Masonic Order which includes Women should seek to work on the more intimate and personal lines.

 

"The burning question for us is, of course, the following: Are women, purely because they are women, to have no recognised part in the future, in the building of this great Masonic structure, the domes and towers of which are rising all about us, in every part of this civilised world? Are they to be shut away from the teaching, the inspiration, the ideals of Masonry, from that sense of solidarity which such a Brotherhood brings; may they not put forward their claim to work side by side with their husbands, sons, and brothers at something which has for so long been a source of strength and quickening to many?

 

"The answer to this question is by no means the simple one that some of our friends would have us believe, and in my humble judgment, the ultimate answer rests not altogether with the Orthodox Obedience, but in a sense with the women themselves. What I mean is this ‑ To the intelligent and fair‑minded woman who has studied the history and evolution of her own sex, it can be no surprise that in the Masonic schemes and revival of 1717 and 1813, the average woman and her right to be included were completely ignored.“

 

The third body is that of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, which was founded on 27th November, 1813, with Mrs. J. E. Boswell‑Reid as Grand Master. The founders were a number of members of the Order of Antient Masonry, the second organisation above referred to, who were desirous of making further progress in the Higher

 

 

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Degrees, and the special aim of this third society is said to be to establish the practice of Royal Arch Masonry for Women. It is stated that this Order has grown and is growing by leaps and bounds, and numbers many eminent women among its members, who are scattered in all parts of the world.

 

It is interesting to note that, in 1918, Miss Alicia St. Leger Aldworth, a direct descendant of the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, referred to in the chapter on "Women Freemasons,“ was initiated as a member of the Order of Universal Co‑Freemasonry.

 

Mrs. Tingley, the head of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society of Point Loma, California, U.S.A., is a strong opponent of the admission of women into Freemasonry as well as of the Co‑Masonic Movement. She sets forth her reasons in the following communication:

 

"Let us first state what is my attitude towards Masonry. Many of the happiest recollections of my childhood are associated with my dear grandfather, who was one of the best‑known Masons in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and received some of the highest Masonic honours in these States. It was from him that I received my earliest education. It was from his Masonic books that I learned to read and spell and draw, and from his noble and sweet character I came to regard Masonry as associated with the best in life. In fact, I came to think that all the best men in the world must be Masons.

 

"Now, it does not necessarily follow that this last statement is true, for some of the noblest men I have met have not been Masons. Still, on the other hand, many of the best men I have known have belonged to the Masonic Order, and I have nothing but best results flow from a deep interest in Masonry wherever I have known it, and from my knowledge and acquaintance of

 

 

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Masons I regard Masonry and the principles which underlie it as a great force for good in the world.

 

"I cannot understand how any true woman would wish to intrude into an Order held to be exclusively for men. There are lines of work which I hold are exclusively in the province of men, just as there are lines of work which are exclusively in the province of women. I hold that woman can only yield her full share of influence in the world from a knowledge gained by using and fulfilling her opportunities as a woman, and in her own sphere. I consider that she steps away from her true position and greatly lessens her influence by seeking to invade the sphere of man.

 

"Why should women be disturbed that men have an organisation which is exclusively for men? As I understand Masonry, it seems to inculcate all the virtues - honour, rectitude, chastity, etc. ‑ for this much has often been publicly stated by Masons; and, speaking generally, I have no hesitation in saying:

 

 that, from my experience, the majority of them ‑ to a degree at least try to exemplify these virtues in their lives. There may be some who fall far short of the Masonic ideals ‑ in our present disturbed civilisation it can hardly be expected otherwise ‑ but that cannot be laid as the door of Masonry, but of human frailty, and as a result of men's failing to grasp their higher opportunities in life.

 

"Many a woman has known of the uplifting and refining power, tending towards self‑restraint and nobility and virtue, which Masonry has exercised in the life of brother, husband, or son; and without in any way encroaching on Masonry or seeking to pry into its secrets, every true woman, in the light of the knowledge that is publicly given out by Masons themselves of Masonic principles, can, if she will, help brother, husband, son, or friend to be true to these principles and be a true Mason.

 

"What is needed to‑day by both men and women is a greater respect, first for themselves, in their true natures as man and woman, and following that, a greater respect each for the other‑of women for men and of men for

 

 

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women. Such respect implies no invasion of one another's sphere, but the very contrary, and in fact can only suffer terribly from such invasion. There is a common ground on which men and women can meet, which is pre‑eminently in the home. It is also in the world of art, music, literature, education, and all the highest ideals of social, civic, and national life.

 

"I have had many letters from all classes asking questions as to my attitude in this matter, seeing that the name Theosophy has, most unfortunately and without any warrant, become associated with `Co‑Masonry.' Such association is absolutely unwarranted, and I hold that no true Theosophist will give his adherence or support to `Co‑Masonry.'

 

"The fact that any person or any body of persons should attempt to attach themselves to an organisation from which, by the rules of that organisation, they are excluded, would make me seriously question their motives, and one would probably find such people to be either fanatics or extremely credulous or ‑ (!) Whatever knowledge such people may think they have in the matter, it must indeed be very limited, or rather no knowledge at all, otherwise they would see the absurdity of trying to attach themselves to an organisation in which, in the very nature of things, they would be out of place. If it were possible to conceive of the secrets of Masonry being given to a woman, from my understanding of the matter it could be only through some one unfaithful to his vows as a Mason, and no true self-respecting woman would think of availing herself of such information; nor could it by the nature of things be held to be reliable, for he who is unfaithful in one thing will be unfaithful in others, and I prophesy that this attempt of certain women to seek admission where they do not belong can result only in confusion, disaster, and serious embarrassment for all such women.“

 

The following reply to Mrs. Tingley has been received by the author from Mr. Arnold S. Banks,

 

 

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Grand Treasurer of the Order of Universal Co-Masonry, British Administration:

 

"DEAR SIR,

 

"You were kind enough to invite me to write with reference to certain opinions of Mrs. Tingley regarding Freemasonry, and more particularly the admission of women thereto. I gladly do this, though Mrs. Tingley's remarks appear to me to belong in time and in spirit to a bye‑gone age, and to be singularly deficient in argument or reasons against either the admission of women to Freemasonry in general or against Co‑Masonry in particular.

 

"I find only one statement which may be taken as an argument, namely, `There are lines of work which I hold are exclusively in the province of men, just as there are lines of work which are exclusively in the province of women.' This is obvious; though the true frontier between the two provinces is not necessarily the present boundary, certainly not that which obtained at the time Mrs. Tingley wrote those words. Before 1883 no married woman could invade that exclusive province of man which enabled him and disabled her to hold property. At a later date other exclusive provinces have been opened up ‑ Medicine, the Franchise, various official appointments, the Universities, the Law, the Bar, Parliament‑and yet as regards some of these professions and spheres of work quite definite and solid arguments might be advanced as essential reasons against the admission of women. In the face of these accomplished facts there is and can be no essential reason against their admission into the purely Speculative, Religious, Social, and Charitable Order of Masonry.

 

"There cannot be innovations in the body of Masonry, or departures from the original plan, but it is by no means clear that the original plan is truly represented in all respects by the Charges and Constitutions of United Grand Lodge, or that the clause forbidding the ad‑

 

 

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mission of women was not itself an innovation of more recent date than 'time immemorial.' Certain old documents refer to the admission of women into membership of Masonic Guilds or Lodges.

 

"Mrs. Tingley remarks at some length upon the fact that so many good men are Masons and that 'Masonry and the principles which underlie it are a great force for good in the world.' She then says, very inconsequently, that no true woman would wish to intrude into such an Order. But it is not a case of women wishing to intrude. From a favourable, preconceived opinion of the Order, some of them humbly solicit to be admitted to its mysteries and privileges, to share the light, and at the same time to share the increased responsibilities and power for service which that light brings. How many a Freemason is so fired with enthusiasm and reverence for our Antient and Honourable Fraternity that he would fain see in it the universal religion for mankind! But no! We must exclude from that universal religion full half of the human race, and for ever deny to women the admission which was theirs in the days of the Mysteries, and is theirs by right of modern thought.

 

"Admission to Freemasonry has been for many years accorded to women, equally with men, by the Order of Universal Co‑Masonry.

 

"Many absurd misstatements about that Order have been made in the Press. It has been alleged to be merely 'Adoptive' Masonry, or that it is Bolshevist and revolutionary in tendency; that it confuses the several Degrees, does not impart the usual Masonic knowledge, or differs in some way from Landmarks and essentials, all of which is utterly untrue. Yet perhaps there is one way in which its work does differ, for the banquet plays no part.

 

"Further, it is no more correct to say that it is associated with Theosophy than to say that Grand Lodge of England is associated with Judaism or Christianity or Islam because many Brethren belong to one or other of those Faiths. There is no official connection of Co‑Masonry with Theosophy, and the presumed

 

 

 

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association is, as Mrs. Tingley says, though with different meaning, `absolutely unwarranted.'

 

"I believe that Co‑Masonry is destined to be a mighty force for good in the world, reverently serving T. G. A. 0. T. U., as do United Grand Lodge and other sovereign jurisdictions.

 

"The absence or recognition by Grand Lodge, however, is not a matter to trouble Co‑Masons or to hold the Order back from its high purpose. Recognition in some form is bound to come in time, for the times are moving fast and their trend is towards essentials and away from non‑essentials. So, repeating my claim that there is no essential or valid reason against the admission of women into Freemasonry, or against the widespread Order which already does admit them, I recall the words written last year by the Very Worshipful President of the Board of General Purposes: `It is a time for the Ideal to be a beacon‑light to the Real, not to discover divergence but to cement union. In things essential, unity; in things non‑essential, diversity; in all things, charity.'

 

"ARNOLD S. BANKS, P.M., P.Z.

 

"Grand Treasurer, British Administration

Order of Universal Co‑Masonry.“

 

In the following article by Mr. Joseph H. Fusell, he sets forth his reasons for the exclusion of women from Freemasonry, which he claims are fundamental and not arbitrary:

 

"The interesting subject of `Co‑Masonry,' so far as I know, generally has been treated hitherto mainly, if not entirely, from its outer aspect, on the supposition that the exclusion of women from Freemasonry is merely a matter of tradition and of rules and regulations and outer ceremonial‑in other words, that it is a matter of form and not basic‑superficial and not fundamental.

 

"While it will generally be conceded that some

 

 

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women who advocate 'Co‑Masonry' may be actuated by a desire to learn something of the deeper spiritual teachings of Freemasonry, which, apparently, they are convinced it possesses, others‑those who are most insistent in their efforts to enter its portals‑appear to regard their exclusion as an expression of man's selfishness, or as a (supposed) weapon by which he seeks to maintain a (fancied) supremacy over the so‑called weaker sex, and on these grounds they are determined to assert their rights and break down this exclusion. Others, perhaps, are actuated by other, more hidden, motives ‑ of ambition, or ‑ what?

 

"To those of the first class, who, it is assumed, are sincerely seeking for light, I hold that something more is due than merely to say that Freemasonry is a Fraternity for men only; and if there is a deeper and basic reason for excluding women from Freemasonry which may properly be made known, surely they are entitled to know it. That such a reason exists, I hold, and the position taken in the following discussion is that women are excluded from Freemasonry for fundamental‑not formal or fictitious‑reasons, and that because a woman is not and can never become man, so she can never become a Freemason.

 

"`I believe in the equality of the sexes; but I hold that man has a mission and that woman has also a mission, and that these missions are not the same. If woman is to understand the duties of real wifehood and motherhood, and to reach the dignity of ideal womanhood, she must cultivate her femininity. She was born a woman and she must be a woman, in the truest sense; and the contrasts between man and woman exist in life.... These contrasts hold within themselves, in the very undercurrent of human life, a superb and glorious harmony. Woman in her true place, her true position, hand in hand with man in his true place, would bring about such a new order of things that we can hardly speak of, much less realise, the resulting possibilities.

 

"`I hold that man has a mission, and that woman has also a mission, and that these missions are not the

 

 

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same.' ` Woman in her true place, hand in hand with man in his true place.'

 

"These are the words of one of the foremost thinkers and educators of the day, Katherine Tingley, Leader of the Theosophical Movement‑successor in that office of H. P. Blavatsky and W. Q. Judge. I have chosen them to introduce the subject because, first, they are from a woman; and, second, they are in entire harmony with the spirit as well as the letter and practice of Freemasonry, as I understand these. Whatever be the ultimate origin of Freemasonry, whether to be searched for in remote antiquity as some claim, and as I believe, or in comparatively recent times, there is no question as to modern Freemasonry and its practices‑that it is an organisation for men only, with the object (among others) of teaching and fitting the neophyte for his mission and true place in life as a man.

 

"It is true that the great moral principles of Freemasonry are universal, applicable to all life, to the life of woman as well as to that of man, and, equally so, being basic. There is no secret made as to the moral teachings of Freemasonry; they are published openly, and are for all who care to inquire into and study them. The secrets of Freemasonry do not consist in these.

 

"In what do these secrets consist? Many different answers have been made to this question, and I venture to make one more, and to say that the secrets of Freemasonry are such as pertain to the full knowledge of man's nature and his mission as man ‑ a knowledge more complete than, generally speaking, is to be found outside the ranks of Freemasons, and which is had in varying degrees even within its ranks. In this connection it must be confessed that not all Freemasons comprehend, or even apprehend, the nature of the secrets of Freemasonry, which can only become known and be understood by the individual Freemason as and to the Degree that, through his own efforts, he becomes worthy and well qualified, duly and truly prepared. Such qualification and preparation are not outer, but inner, and can be accomplished only by himself.

 

 

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"The real secrets of Freemasonry do not have reference to physiological so much as to psychological differences which exist fundamentally between men and women ‑ distinctions of inner qualities, which may be summed up and regarded as the foundation of true manliness in contrast to true womanliness. The one is not, and never can be, the other; they are fundamentally different, being aspects of the root differentiation of all nature, all manifestation and existence, and yet, when rightly developed, are in complete harmony. It is to be noted that harmony does not result from identity or sameness, but is a certain relation existing between two dissimilars; and on the development and character of those dissimilars will depend the nature of the resultant harmony.

 

"The purpose of Freemasonry, then, as I understand it, is to fit man, as man, to fulfil his duties in life, and to make possible his contributing his due share to that harmony on which alone not only a true home but the true State and civilisation itself can be established and maintained‑for the foundation of the State and of civilisation is the home.

 

"Why is it, then, that certain women seek to invade the Masonic Fraternity? (1) Is it out of mere curiosity? (2) Are they jealous because for centuries men have met in their Masonic Lodges from which women are excluded, and have faithfully kept the secrets of Freemasonry from women? or (3) Do they imagine that in Freemasonry there is certain knowledge which they are entitled to have and which men have been withholding from them?

 

"Is any one of these possible reasons worthy of true womanhood? Certainly not (1) or (2); but what of (3)? Is there certain knowledge in Freemasonry to which women are entitled?

 

"The principles and ethics of Freemasonry, as already stated, are not secret; they have been again and again publicly proclaimed. If women feel themselves entitled to such knowledge it is for them to take it and apply it to their own lives as women, just as Freemasons are

 

 

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taught to apply it to their lives as men. There is nothing to prevent women from doing this, but such application must be made by themselves; for certainly, and rightly, I take it, they would object to any line of application which men might lay down and insist upon for them. Hence what need for women to seek admission to Freemasonry to obtain such knowledge when it is open to them?

 

"Clearly, therefore, it cannot be the principles of Freemasonry that they are seeking; and yet these are at the very heart of Freemasonry, and are the essential factors which make Freemasonry such a power. What is it, then, that women seek in their effort to invade Free masonry? Is it to participate in its ritual, to learn its obligations ‑ and, doubtless, other secrets which they are convinced must exist? But though a woman should participate in the ritual of Freemasonry and its obligations she would be just as far from being a Freemason, for it has secrets which a woman can never know. Leaving aside, therefore, mere curiosity and jealousy, I am convinced that the desire of any good woman to enter the ranks of Freemasonry arises from a misunderstanding; and it is my endeavour, in writing this, to remove that misunderstanding.

 

"The true womanly attitude, in my estimation, is that expressed by Katherine Tingley in a statement which she made on 'Co‑Masonry,' published in the New Age magazine in June, 1911, from which I quote:

 

"I cannot understand how any true woman would wish to intrude into the Order held to be exclusively for men. There are lines of work which I hold are exclusively in the province of men, just as there are lines of work which are exclusively in the province of women. I hold that woman can only wield her full share of influence in the world from a knowledge gained by using and fulfilling her opportunities as a woman, and in her own sphere. I consider that she steps away from her true position and greatly lessens her influence by seeking to invade the sphere of man. Why should women be

 

 

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disturbed that men have an organisation which is exclusively for men?

 

"What is needed to‑day, by both men and women, is a greater respect, first for themselves, in their true natures as men and women, and following that a greater respect each for the other‑of women for men and of men for women. Such respect implies no invasion of one another's sphere, but the very contrary, and, in fact, can only suffer terribly from such invasion.

 

"If it were possible to conceive of the secrets of Masonry being given to a woman, from my understanding of the matter it could be only through someone unfaithful to his vows as a Mason, and no true or self-respecting woman would think of availing herself of such information; nor could it, by the nature of things, be held to be reliable, for he who is unfaithful in one thing will be unfaithful in others, and I prophesy that this attempt of certain women to seek admission where they do not belong can result only in confusion, disaster, and serious embarrassment for all such women.'

 

“Relativity and contrast are to be found throughout manifested life; they are the sine qua non of manifested existence and of all progress. It is relativity, contrast, and, if these are rightly balanced, the subsequent harmony between man and woman that make not only for the happiness of home, but for true civilisation. The Delphic Oracle, 'Man, know thyself,' must be, to a degree at least, fulfilled, and equally 'Woman, know thyself,' if that harmony is to be attained. If there is an invasion, or attempted invasion, of the rightful sphere of man by woman, or vice‑versa, the result can only be, not harmony, but‑confusion.

 

"One of the greatest stabilising forces of the present day, as it has been in the past, is Freemasonry. It is, in the best sense, conservative, in that it is founded upon and teaches the highest ethics, the loftiest ideals, the fairest virtues taught and practised by the noblest in all ages. It is progressive in that, while holding to the highest traditions of the past, it relates those traditions to the present welfare of humanity, and, by seeking to

 

 

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develop the highest qualities of true manhood, it works for the spiritual up-building of the race.

 

"The tacit assumption of `Co‑Masonry' is that the woman nature is not different from, but identical with, the man nature, and that, therefore, woman should have and be whatever man has and is. But woman can never be man, nor can she ever have what man has in the same way that he has it. Even the woman mind is different from the man mind. As said above, it is a psychological difference, of which the physiological is merely an outer aspect. In the normal man Reason governs, in the woman Intuition. This does not mean that woman has no power of Reason, or man no faculty of Intuition, but in man the relation between Reason and Intuition is different from the relation between these in woman.

 

"In the earliest years of life there is apparently no marked difference between boys and girls, and, very naturally and properly, they may be educated together. But to develop the best in their natures as they pass through the period of youth and enter upon that of manhood and womanhood, while certainly they should not be deprived of mutual association, yet boys and girls should receive distinctive and separate training; and a part of their lives should be kept sacred to themselves throughout life if their finer distinctive traits are to be preserved.

 

"Every normal man desires, and with reason, to associate at times with men alone; and so, too, I take it, every normal woman with women alone; and every normal man and woman desires ‑ and, in the deepest sense, requires‑recurring opportunities for solitude. `And thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (into solitude) and there pray' ‑ to that 'Deity' which can be approached only in secret, and in the inner solitude of the heart.

 

"Freemasonry as practised to‑day may be far short of the ideal, but if Freemasons have recognised the value of meeting with their brother Masons for the purpose, and in a sense the highest purpose, of attaining self‑knowledge, of studying and practising the noblest virtues, and of preparing themselves to fulfil all the duties of life,

 

 

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should women, therefore, be jealous and seek to invade their ranks? Is not the way open to them to do likewise, but in their own womanly way?

 

"We know but little of the ancient Mysteries. There were the Lesser Mysteries, into which all who fulfilled the preliminary requirements were permitted to enter. The Greater Mysteries were only for those who successfully passed through the Lesser. From a careful study of the subject I have come to the conclusion that, while the Lesser Mysteries were open to men and women alike, and while some of the ceremonies were for men and women together, there were also those into which men alone and others into which women alone, were admitted. In Freemasonry men have kept alive, or have at least revived a part ‑ however small or great ‑ of their phase of the Lesser Mysteries; whereas the women of our Western civilisation seem to have lost touch with theirs. This conclusion is borne out by the fact that, among the North American Indians and certain other so‑called primitive or savage races, there are still Lodges for men and Lodges for women which are wholly distinct, no woman being admitted to the former and no men to the latter.*

 

* Further corroboration of this conclusion is given by Professor Franz Cumont (Membre de l'Institut, Paris), a distinguished archæologist and author of The Mysteries of Mithras. In a letter dated 17th April, 1921, he writes: "The evidence of the numerous inscriptions which have been gathered prove that women did not partake in the Mysteries of Mithras, which were derived from the old religion of Persia. We never find them making any offering, receiving any degree of initiation, or mentioned in the list of names of the confraternities. But the excavations have proved that the subterranean temples of Mithras were often connected with temples of the Great Mother of the Gods (Cybele), and we have other proofs that the two cults were closely associated. Women, of course, could worship this goddess and partake in her Mysteries. If they were excluded from the men's colleges of the' Invincible' Sun, they could have their feminine ' Sororities' devoted to the Mother Earth.“

 

In Morals and Dogma, p. 418, Albert Pike, speaking of the Mysteries, says :"But those of Eleusis, in Attica, Pausanius informs us, had been regarded by the Greeks, from the earliest times, as being far superior to all the others, as the Gods are to mere Heroes. Similar to these were the Mysteries of Bona Dea, the Good Goddess, whose name, say Cicero and Plutarch, it was not permitted to any man to know, celebrated at Rome from the earliest times of that city. It was these Mysteries, practised by women alone, the secrecy of which was impiously violated by Clodius. They were held at the Kalends of May; and, according to Plutarch, much of the ceremonial greatly resembled that of the Mysteries of Bakchos.“

 

 

 

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"`Co‑Masonry' is an attempted intrusion; it is a virtual confession on the part of those women who advocate `Co‑Masonry' that they have neither the wit to discover nor the intelligence to devise and carry out, a system and organisation that shall in its inspiring teachings, profound symbolism, and uplifting influence be equal, parallel, and complementary to the Masonic Fraternity, and become, like it, a beneficent power not only in woman's life, but, through her, in the life of the world. This attempted intrusion is, in fact, a virtual confession that men have discovered or evolved for themselves something which woman have not in this age been able to discover or evolve or parallel.

 

"One of the cardinal teachings of Theosophy, especially accentuated by Katherine Tingley, is that there are two natures in every human being: a higher nature, divine in essence and immortal; and a lower nature, mortal, passional, self‑seeking. I cannot help but question if it be the true womanly nature that actuates the advocates of 'Co‑Masonry.' I question whether it may not be that some of the advocates of 'Co‑Masonry' have failed to find and take their true place as women, and that, realising their failure (though doubtless they would indignantly deny it), they seek another sphere, not their own. And I question whether they could do this were it not that the finer, truer side of their womanliness has been stunted.

 

"Every true man, and certainly every true woman, knows that woman loses more than half her influence if she seeks to put aside her womanliness. Reference is not made here to the domestic virtues and affections, though these have their place and their charm, but to the deeper aspects of womanliness which have made so many women (aside from all sex influences) the inspirers and

 

 

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helpers of men. It has been often said, but may well be repeated again and again, and men will always be ready to acknowledge, that their greatest achievements in life would never have been accomplished but for the inspiration of mother, wife, sister, or woman friend. I put mother first, for ` the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.'

 

"On the other hand, can it be gainsaid that the present unrest of the world, beginning long before the war, is in great measure the result of woman's failure to exercise her true womanly influence in the home, in society and in the nation? `The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' ‑ and it is the mother who has the glorious and fateful opportunity of striking the first keynote of her son's life ‑ by her own thoughts, her own attitude, her self‑control and purity and true womanliness. And the sweet, refining, and inspiring influence of these continue with him all through life, even when she has passed on.

 

"Every true mother, too, knows that her son will have to meet problems which he must solve for and by himself, and the wise mother, however her heart may ache for him, will at such times leave him to himself and let him have his solitude. She knows, too, that he needs a father's influence and the companionship of other boys. On these she will not intrude, for that would mar the fineness of his manhood, and the sweet relationship between them. Yet, if she has struck the keynote aright, her influence will be with him still, a gentle and unbreakable restraining power, keeping him in the path of true nobility and chivalry, in the path of purity, honour, and true manliness. This, I take it, is the influence that the true mother wields, and the true wife and sister ‑ the influence of the true womanly nature.

 

"Is it worth while bartering away that influence for the sake of the very doubtful gain that might accrue from any attempted intrusion upon an organisation which is for men alone? Assuredly no! And were the intrusion to become a fact, it is not only woman who would suffer, but man too, and the home and civilisation.

 

 

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Such an intrusion would but add to the already appalling confusion of the present day ‑ its attempt is indeed but another indication of the confusion.

 

"Even if the doors of Masonic Lodges were opened to women, it would still be a hollow victory for them; they would for ever miss the inner meaning which, as already said, concerns man as man. Indeed, I think that the women who advocate 'Co‑Masonry' have not looked far enough ahead. They look only at the possible and immediate fulfilment of their desires ‑ the opening of Masonic Lodges to them ‑ but have no adequate conception, if any conception at all, of what would result. In other words, they do not know what they are doing; they are working wholly from wrong premises.

 

"Now let me venture a suggestion, first premising that all true men and all true women desire and welcome opportunities for closer co‑operation‑such co‑operation implying no superiority or inferiority either of the one or of the other, but a complementary equality and harmony. Here, then, is the suggestion which I venture as possibly leading towards a solution. Freemasonry is a Fraternity for men; let women establish their Sorority, with its appropriate name ‑ it cannot be 'Freemasonry' nor 'Co‑Masonry,' as already shown, and I am not disposed to think that women are so lacking in resourcefulness that they should have to copy a name which has its distinctive application to an organisation of and for men alone, or that by copying they would wish to show their dependence on men. I use the term Sorority as the exact complement of Fraternity, and as best describing an organisation of and for women alone, as a Fraternity is of and for men alone.

 

"Let them, therefore, revive the Lodges for women which undoubtedly existed in the most ancient times, with their appropriate ritual and ceremonial, which women themselves must re‑discover or devise. Such appropriate ritual and ceremonial, if these are to be parallel and complementary to Freemasonry, must be based upon the highest principles, the noblest moral teachings, and be applicable to woman's true develop‑

 

 

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ment, as those of Freemasonry are to man's. Let them prove their organisation, as Freemasonry has been proved, to be a beneficent power in the life of the world, and then they will not have to ask, for Freemasons will be ready to join with them, for a higher co‑operation, a greater harmony, in which each shall play an appropriate part, man as man, and woman as woman‑partners and co‑workers for the world's good.

 

"As parties to this new co‑operation will be, on the one hand, women who have passed through the portals of their Sorority and have proved themselves (how, it is for women to determine) worthy and well qualified; and, on the other hand, men who have passed through the portals of the Masonic Fraternity, and have likewise proved themselves worthy and well qualified. Such a step forward, assuming it to be practicable, might require years of preparation, or it might be possible to take it quickly. And perhaps it depends, in the first instance, upon the women, and not upon the men. Perhaps this is an instance to which Katherine Tingley referred when she said: `Let woman find her true place and man will find his.' Such a step, made possible by this new co‑operation, might lead indeed to the finding of the door to the lost Greater Mysteries. Who can tell?"' Analogy,' says Mme. H. P. Blavatsky, in her great work, The Secret Doctrine (II, 153), `is the guiding law in Nature, the only true Ariadne's thread that can lead us, through the inextricable paths of her domain, toward her primal and final mysteries.' It was through woman, through our mothers, that we gained entrance into this physical world; the impulse, the seed, is from the father, but the mother opens the door of physical life. And, by analogy, may it not be, that though man may give the impulse, may perhaps provide the seed, he must wait for woman to open the door into the spiritual life? Underlying this conception there is, I think, a profound mystical principle, discussion of which must be

deferred until a future occasion. If this conception and analogy be correct, does it not show that true progress can come only through the co‑operation of man and

 

 

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woman, through which alone can come into existence the true home, the true state, and a true civilisation?

 

"Nor can this be accomplished by either man or woman assuming the superior role. As in the true home neither is superior and neither inferior, but each with his or her own sphere, with his or her own part to play, they are partners and co‑workers; so in the world's life, for which Freemasonry is a preparation for men, while for women ‑ where is their organisation? If women feel the need of similar opportunities and similar preparation, let them be true to themselves, to their own womanhood, which they cannot be if they leave their own sphere and seek to invade that of men.

 

"There is, however, this to be remembered and seriously considered: Freemasonry, according to many students, traces its lineage back to the ancient Mysteries (clearly the Lesser Mysteries, as already said), and our modern Freemasonry is a continuation or revival of part of the symbolism and of a few of the teachings of those Lesser Mysteries which were enacted in Egypt, India, and Greece. It may be, and I think it certain, that a hidden thread may be found whereby women may link the present with the past, and re‑discover a part of the symbolism and teachings of the Ancient Mysteries that relate to their life and opportunities as women.

 

"It is for this reason that it is held that the establishment of an organisation for women which shall be complementary and parallel to the Masonic Fraternity must be a re‑discovery or revival, and not an invention. Further, as Freemasonry in no sense takes man away from the path of duty, or the fulfilment of his obligations to his family, his fellow man, or society, but accentuates the importance of such fulfilment, so a complementary or parallel Sorority must in no sense take woman away from the path of duty or the fulfilment of her obligations in the home, to her family or society, but will accentuate the importance of such fulfilment.

 

"Such a complementary and parallel Sorority, it will be clear, cannot be established by any woman, or group of women, who are actuated by ambition or fancied

 

 

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knowledge. It can only be established, if it is to be indeed complementary and parallel to Freemasonry, by finding the Ariadne's thread that shall lead the woman of the present to the re‑discovery of the teachings of Antiquity‑of some, at least, of the teachings of the Lesser Mysteries pertaining to woman's true place in life and to the unfoldment of her spiritual nature. And when woman takes her true place, as Katherine Tingley has said: `Woman in her true place, her true position, hand in hand with man in his true place,' may we not look confidently forward to the coming of `such a new order of things that we can hardly speak of, much less realise, the resulting possibilities'?

 

"How much, then, depends upon woman in this day and generation! And the question is: Shall it be cooperation and a resulting harmony, or attempted intrusion and disharmony and confusion? Shall the door to the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity once more be found and humanity enter upon its spiritual inheritance?

 

Does it not depend very largely upon woman?

 

"JOSEPH H. FUSSELL.

 

"International Theosophical Headquarters,

Point Loma, California.“

 

A writer in a recent issue of The Masonic Chronicler of Chicago, condemns the attitude of modern Masonry towards women in the following editorial comment:

 

"Our Masonic forefathers decreed that no woman ever should be made a Mason, and the Symbolic Degrees as they have always been conferred were never intended to include women. `Yet woman's heart beats responsive to the same inspiration that prompts man to noble deeds,' and there are to‑day far‑sighted Masons who predict that in the distant future women will be admitted to the Fraternity. The Masonic Chronicler is not ready to delve thus far into the realms of prophecy, but this paper knows, and every Mason in Chicago conversant with the

 

 

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growth and activity of Masonry here during the last two decades must admit, that the influence of women has done much to aid Masonry's unprecedented growth in recent years. When the women of the household become interested in Masonic affairs and activities, and because of which insist upon the men of the house going regularly to Masonic meetings, a good attendance will always result and there will be greater harmony in the home and in the Lodge.

 

"It should be remembered that when the basic principles of Masonry were conceived women were regarded as little more than mere chattels. In these early days when some burly male unit of the human race came to the conclusion that his cave needed a piece of furniture in the form of a woman he sought out a likely damsel and bought her from his prospective father‑in-law with a bunch of tubercular cattle or armed himself with a stout club, hit the old man over the head and carried the girl away to be his menial. And in those days they didn't have any labour‑saving devices; no electric washing machines, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, gas ranges or gasoline cultivators. And when the kiddies needed clothes it was up to the mother to go out into the hills and run down a sheep or gather a bale of fig leaves, for the head of the cavern never bothered himself with such trifles. Some men to‑day seem to have inherited this ancestral trait to a degree that is not to their credit. Women were then the tillers of the field and the grinders of corn; the hewers of wood and the drawers of water; while the male lord and master perhaps played mumbletypeg with the statesmen of the time and chattered the jargon of the forest over the back fence; or perchance farther back in the era of evolution he swung by his tail from a convenient limb and pelted his neighbour's wife with green coco‑nuts because she refused to come over and play in his yard.

 

"Woman to‑day has become man's equal in practically all walks of life, surely in a social sense. Lodges, Commanderies and various Masonic societies now have their women's auxiliaries. Yet there still are fossils who seem

 

 

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to shiver in constant fear lest women will contaminate Masonry, and they almost have an attack of hydrophobia every time they see a woman in the vicinity of a Masonic Temple. From their bitter opposition to woman having anything to do with affairs conducted by Masons one would be led to suspect that they never had a mother or sister, wife or daughter. The Chronicley has no patience with such Masons. Happily in Illinois there are only isolated cases of this sort, but in some parts of the country the anti‑woman blight extends over entire Grand Jurisdictions.

 

"In the world to‑day men who would put woman back where she was 2,000 years ago, and Masons who appear to regret that Masonry has progressed beyond the cave‑meeting age, might as consistently bewail the fact that man himself ever evoluted from the brute stage.“

 

 


 

CHAPTER IX

 

THE GRAND ORIENT OF THE NETHERLANDS

ON THE QUESTION

 

In 1920 the following circular‑letter was issued I by the Grand Orient of the Netherlands to all Lodges within the jurisdiction concerning the admission of Women into the Order:

 

 

THE ADMISSION OF WOMEN INTO FREEMASONRY

 

The question whether women should be admitted to participation in Masonic work in Lodge arose shortly after the organisation of the Order in 1717.

 

In 1743, in France, societies of a pseudo‑Masonic character were started, which admitted women as well as men. Close on the tracks of these, there arose the numerous Adoptive and Mopses Lodges, which regarded themselves as belonging to Freemasonry.

 

Again, we read in Masonic history of Women's Lodges appearing in Vienna about 1740.

 

The life of most of these short‑lived societies did not extend beyond the eighteenth century, but when, in 1807, the Dutch Lodge "L' Union Royale" held Adoptive meetings, at which many ladies were initiated as Sisters, the Dutch Grand Orient felt that it was time to intervene.

 

For four years the Lodge refused to comply with the directions of the Grand Orient, but eventually had to give way because its membership had fallen to nine in consequence of the "fraternal quarrel.“

 

Hereafter, for a period of about seventy years there

 

169

 

 

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was comparative peace in regard to this subject until, in 1881, it came again into prominence when a French woman was initiated in the Lodge of Les Libres Penseurs. This led to the founding of the Grand Lodge "Le Droit Humain,“ and since then the question of the admission of women has been a cause of controversy, greater or less, in all Masonic Jurisdictions.

 

We are now once more face to face with the question "Should women be admitted to the Order of Freemasons under the same conditions in all respects as men?"

 

It is possible that now, as in the past, interest in the "women question" may be only in the nature of a gust of wind that creates a great temporary disturbance, but leaves no observable traces behind it; on the other hand, we think that there is justification on the side of those who assert that never has this question become so insistent as in our times.

 

Concurrently with this question we have its corollary which is voiced by other Brethren, viz.: "What is the cause of this backsliding in the Order?"

 

Some regard the admission of women as the final act necessary to raise the Order to that height on which, according to its principles, it should stand. We do not share this opinion. Convinced that the level of the Order is still rising, we can dissociate this question from all extraneous considerations and treat it entirely on its own merits.

 

It has been urged from many sides that the Grand Orient should institute an enquiry on this question, but the opinion of the Grand Directorate is that this should be preceded by a scientific and thorough discussion in conformity with the times in which we live, which influence undeniably the solution of problems which in the past could, perhaps, be more easily settled on the impulse of the moment.

 

The emancipation of woman is a fact which must be recognized ‑ she is more and more achieving a position of "equality of value" in respect to man, and it is as Such that we must learn to know the new woman. But

 

 

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is she also man's "equal"? We do not believe it. We believe that every‑day experience points to the fact that nearly every girl wants most to be a woman, in spite of exceptions and in spite of her altered education and upbringing; woman, happily, in our opinion, still remains woman.

 

Our conclusion, therefore, is that woman is equal in value to man, but not identical with him, and this brings us to the eternal question: "Must this difference imply separation?"

 

We are well aware that woman takes her place nowadays side by side with man in intellectual and social spheres and in other expressions of corporate life, but the question for us is: "Is she, or is she not, out of place in Lodge?"

 

Some Brethren will immediately say "Yes" and others will say "No,“ but the singular point is that it is not possible to predict whether Masonically Conservative Brethren will say "No" and those who are less bound by tradition will say "Yes,“ or vice versa. Apparently the line of demarcation between the two opinions does not turn in that direction.

 

In answering the question, it must be remembered that it is not a matter of admission of selected women of superior mentality and culture who would undoubtedly adorn the Order, but the admission of women generally under the same conditions as men.

 

And, finally, before closing this preamble, we wish to point out that in seeking the solution to this problem, careful consideration must be given to the question as to whether and to what extent its solution would bring us into conflict with other Masonic Jurisdiction.

 

 

THE PROS.

 

We will first hear the arguments of those who favour the admission of women.

 

"Why, “they say, “did our Masonic forefathers, centuries ago, exclude women from the Order? “Was it done for a definite reason, and with full consciousness of all that it means?"

 

 

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And their reply is: "We know of no writing or utterance that would lead us to suppose that the question ever occurred to them.“ In view of the subordinate position occupied by women in those days there was no reason why it should; the possibility that women would ever desire a position of "equality of value" in respect to man never entered their heads and, consequently, our forefathers acted in regard to Masonry as they did in regard to Church, State, Family, and Society. Women were just ignored. Let us at the same time frankly admit that the women of those days did not feel aggrieved at their treatment; they took it as a matter of course.

 

Since then, however, the social position of women has altered remarkably. Woman, instead of being a copy of man, is well on the road to becoming man's complement‑the real other half ‑ not the better half, but the half which, with him, forms the harmonious whole whereby the institution of marriage, rightly held by us in such high regard, comes into its own.

 

Woman is on the way to being born an independent being, and this includes not only economic, but spiritual and psychical independence. And she is developing under easier conditions than man had to contend with. Our forefathers had to fight against spiritual slavery to which they were subjected by the authority allowed to priests and doctrine. Woman is spared that strife. It has been fought out by man, thanks to whom, Society has reached a higher level. But whereas, in the past, women have striven against men when he was governed by prejudice, most women have now realised that it is not against man but against social causes that their efforts must be directed. This conviction has penetrated more deeply into the proletariat than into the bourgeoisie. In the former it goes without saying: that the property‑less woman strives with the property‑less man for improved conditions: they have so many interests in common that it is natural for them to work together, thus strengthening the spiritual and material bond which unites them. In the working class, which is

 

 

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the largest numerically, and will soon be also the strongest in social and political influence, there is no difference between the spiritual life of man and woman.

 

That to which we hold fast, on the other hand, dates from bygone times, and is a type of spiritual life condemned to disappear.

 

In passing judgment on this question, therefore, we shall do well to banish from our thoughts that fixed type of woman derived from history, and on whom are based the arguments for or against the admission of women.

 

We can admit no eternal type of woman, unless there is also an eternal type of man, and in the latter case sex peculiarities constitute just as cogent an argument against the admission of men as they do against women.

 

It must not be forgotten that the nature of both man and woman is governed by the circumstances in which they live. A man subjected to degrading treatment can thereby be spiritually injured. Why should woman not exhibit a different psychic nature to that of her grandmother of a century ago?

 

We demand of our members independence of judgment, self‑confidence, and talent. Does woman not possess these? Why, certainly, but if she had exhibited them in the past we men would have found it unpleasant. We flatter ourselves rather with the illusion of our own superiority and prefer the idea of the dependent, helpless woman leaning on our strong arm. Let us get rid of that idea and remember that our sex sovereignty must give way before principles which it is the raison d'etre of our Order to uphold.

 

Man founded our Order at a time when Society was in a state of disintegration. Woman asks to be admitted to it at a time when Society was never so well understood, when belief in the future of humanity is forcing its way to the front, when the binding forces of organisation and solidarity are demanded by the economic needs. Would her presence damage us in any way, provided, of course, that she were admitted under the same strict conditions as men? We expect the opposite, and who knows what

 

 

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an incentive to effort on our part it would be to feel that she might outflank us.

 

Finally, certain dangers are mentioned as inevitable when men and women congregate together in secret. Is that not an under‑valuation of the efficacy of our principles?

 

We know, of course, that in the past sexual improprieties were a feature of certain religious celebrations, but, in those cases, it must not be forgotten, the men were in an unbalanced condition‑the mystical, the sentimental, the erotic (the transition from one to the other is so easy) was strongly in evidence.

 

But is it not just in our own very Order and in its principles that the balance is fairly held between the mystical and the intelligible, between the feelings and cold common sense? Do not our very symbols and principles protect our members from such deviations?

 

Let us therefore rid ourselves of all preconceived ideas and open our doors to woman, exercising the same care in admitting her as we do in the case of men, so that we may enrich ourselves and our Order by absorbing her peculiar powers and all that subsists in the soul of woman as the highest possibility in the evolution of Society.

 

Stress has been laid in the foregoing on those factors which concern the outward life of woman, but there is the spiritual side of the matter, and the question of the favourable influence on the outer world which woman's admission to the Order would exercise.

 

Assuming that from the intellectual, moral, and spiritual point of view, the Order stands high enough to admit women, the question arises whether Freemasonry as a rule of conduct in life would attract her, and, if so, whether she would be suitable for it? Time alone can answer this. Existing mixed Lodges are no guide in this problem because they are more under Theosophical and mystical influences than we are.

 

That there are women who feel attracted by, who can live for, and give themselves up to the idea of Humanity, seems undeniable. Woman, not less than man, possesses

 

 

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zeal for the evolution of the human personality towards spiritual and moral power. In her also can Freemasonry elevate itself to that general religion which we feel and recognise in it ‑ for woman also, together with her co‑workers, will feel united to the Spirit of All Things, by Whom, through Whom, and to Whom all things are or shall be.

 

Thus can she also co‑operate in creating the high unity of the all‑uniting Brotherhood. Woman is the other side of the human being of which our Declaration of Principle speaks: the sex‑difference is the happy cause or origin of that other spiritual factor, and by the co‑operation of both factors will the ideal spiritual‑moral human being be most nearly approached. By the admission of women into the Order, we shall achieve a great measure of identical thought and feeling with and in the Order among a large part of humanity.

 

In times such as the present, are we going to deny ourselves the co‑operation of women? Are we going to surrender the opportunity of inculcating our principles through the medium of women among the families and children of the future?

 

Above all, the presence of women with their rich mentality will have a refining influence in Lodge, and when man and wife go up together into the same temple and share our Masonic spiritual life, the result as between the two and in the family cannot be otherwise than constructive. This will incidentally reduce the number of those men who will not join our Order because they cannot share its spiritual enjoyments with the wife.

 

Finally, the question is asked if in Freemasonry itself, whether in its spiritual content or in the form in which the latter is expressed, there is anything to render the admission of women inadvisable?

 

As far as the content is concerned, a tradition has formed in the course of time, more or less free from ritualism, in which, with idealism, as its characteristic two principal conceptions have been preserved, vie. Humanity and Cosmopolitanism, and to‑day, when faced with the question of the admission of women to the

 

N

 

 

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Order, we may safely premise that those who assert that woman is not as fit and susceptible as man for idealism and for the exercise of humanity and cosmopolitanism belong to the minority.

 

Assuming that out of the complex of all Masonic rituals a spiritual content can be inferred, then there can be nothing in Freemasonry out of which to fashion an objection against the admission of women.

 

If there are any obstacles they must lurk only in the externals of the Order ‑ in symbolic or ritualistic proceedings.

 

 

THE CONTRAS

 

As against the suggestion that it did not occur to the re-organisers of Freemasonry in 1717 to include women must be urged the fact that in several of the Mysteries of the past, women were at first admitted but subsequently excluded, and also that only a few years after the re‑birth of the Craft, the question of the admission of women arose.

 

Although we are all glad to admit that woman is equal with man, we must not make the mistake of confusing "equality of value" with "equality. “There is most undoubtedly an "eternal type" of woman, just as there is also of man, and the same objections that are advanced against the admission of women to the Freemasonry of men, can be urged against the admission of men to a Woman's Order.

 

An eminent Brother in his pamphlet on "Woman and the Craft, “after alluding to the dislocation of the life of women caused by present‑day social conditions, continues:

 

"Recognition, however, of these evils, does not make one desire their perpetuation. Our present‑day Society is striving perhaps towards other relationships than those which I have suggested as `ideals of the future.' Present‑day Society inclines to regard the family as an accidental and incidental manner of living together it would clothe all, men and women, in one uniform, as workers in the great factory of food and commodities—

 

 

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and would place the reproductive function more or less on a level with other bodily functions which have to be fulfilled.

 

"It would make men and women live together as if they were of one sex: it would also therefore attempt to cause them, as members of a Lodge, to strive towards that intimacy which we strive now to cultivate.

 

"It believes itself capable of coercing Nature to its own rules and regulations, of coercing the intellect or the will to keep in subjection the mightiest of natural passions.

 

"It will take humanity many ages and much trouble to wrestle clear of this inclination, and it seems to me most unnecessary hat our Masonic circles should be chosen as the first soil on which to try the experiment, and that we Masons should be the first to experience the results in all their bitterness.

 

"Who said that the idea of the ages, that the direction in which environment travels is that which the eternal striving of Nature follows?

 

"It would be easy to find the right way if one had only to pay attention to what the majority do, or to a passing or temporary success.

 

"Our Order must not be the slave of the spirit of the times. It lives not only for the present age, but for all ages, and must enquire independently into what appears to it to be the right way for the future.“

 

It may be doubted whether the picture which has been given of the position of woman in the World of Labour coincides with reality.

 

Although experience gained in organisations such as the Good Templars does not invite imitation, it must be remarked that arguments relating to the position of woman in social life are not applicable to the question of her admission into our Institution. The economic, social, and political questions concern chiefly externals in the life of woman, whereas the question of her admission to our Order belongs to a great extent to her spiritual life.

 

 

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For the purpose of answering this question, we must form an opinion, as far as possible, on the psychology of woman‑a very difficult thing for a man to do. It is only recently that so‑called exact methods of psychological research have yielded results which may be regarded as being to some extent trustworthy, and these have brought to light objections which in the case of the subject under discussion are of fundamental character.

 

The intimacy, the feeling of unity, of belonging to each other, which are and must be the characteristics of fruitful Masonic work, must necessarily suffer because men and women, as shown by the results of psychological experiments, are fundamentally heterogeneous elements.

 

This entirely supports the old intuition that "Man remains man and woman remains woman.”  For this reason they cannot know each other in that way which is necessary for intimate co‑operation.

 

Women, however, do not know each other very well they judge each other intuitively and adopt quite another line with each other than men do amongst themselves.

 

If women, therefore, were admitted to our Order, its level would sink, for any organisation is strongest only when its component parts are homogeneous. Although this is not an overwhelming objection in the case of co‑operation for a concrete object, it certainly is in our association, where we are concerned with the complete human being.

 

Equipped by Nature with entirely different capacities and destiny, woman's development has proceeded in a specially feminine direction, so that she has acquired characteristics which are not best suited to unrestrained social intercourse. She looks on life through a telescope, she sees things more sharply defined, but possesses no great breadth of vision. Add to this greater emotionality, less balance and less calm, and we have objections of a fundamental character. We do not want our Order to revert to the special emotional type from which we have only recently rescued it, and that it would revert,

 

 

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the psychology of the crowd teaches us, viz. that in heterogeneous assemblies, the level sinks in relation to that of the highest elements.

 

We can count on the concurrence of a majority when we say that the ideal relationship between members of a Lodge should correspond to that in a model family. Where heredity, birth, upbringing, material interest, weld members of a family into one unity, in which the individuality of each member is kept, if necessary, in the background, we get an example of the ideal conditions which should obtain in a Lodge. Would this be possible if women were admitted?

 

Many to whom the problem is presented are conscious of an immediate awakening of antagonism towards it, for which they cannot give a reasoned argument. It is an instinctive feeling, a relic of the past, a rudimentary feeling that woman's place is a couple of paces behind man, ready to range up alongside him if necessary. It is a feeling which is closely related to those social conventions which decree that woman should be treated as if she were not quite of mature age. Could this feeling be excluded from Lodge?

 

And can it be denied that many are not at their ease in the presence of women? A feeling which, if further differentiated, means that they cannot resist her. In this respect there is real danger that relationships might be formed of a more intimate character than that of Brother towards Brother, which would act as a wedge in our so ardently desired Masonic unity.

 

Must we purposely shut our eyes to the practical difficulties which might arise in the case of a woman who seeks to enter our Order through the good offices of a Brother, and will the woman who does not want to become a Mason, or worse still, perhaps, may not, while other women are admitted, stand contentedly aside while her husband goes to Lodge?

 

And what is to be said of the great difficulties that might arise if the level of the men in any particular Lodge were not very high, and that of their wives no better, and, perhaps, even worse?

 

 

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And, finally, we must not overlook the opportunity for slander which we would afford our enemies were both sexes to assemble in secret behind closed doors.

 

We must now refer to the objections which could arise in connection with ritual and ceremonial.

 

It is obvious that when the secret character of the Order was first decided upon and the exclusion of women decreed, it became possible to adapt the ritual to man's use only.

 

Just as the origin of the Craft is wrapped in twilight, so also is the origin of the decision to exclude woman. The striking similarity between our Order and much that existed in the old Mysteries is, of course, well known. Every one took part in the festivals of the Mysteries without distinction of sex or age: in the Eleusinian Mysteries there was even a Hierophantess as well as a Hierophant. One may, however, assume that the service of the Mysteries did not remain unaltered.

 

Women were excluded from the Mithraic Mysteries, and here there is probably a direct connection between this fact and their exclusion from our own Order.

 

Our symbolism refers only to men, for example, in so far as the worship of Isis may be reckoned as one of the sources from which Freemasonry is descended, one is surprised rather to find woman excluded, and yet, on the other hand, the symbolic treatment of dying and resurrection concerns not a goddess but a god.

 

The whole of the symbolic treatment of our own Third Degree would inevitably suffer were women admitted, because the ceremonial would clash with our feelings of decorum.

 

In our Order the symbols of warfare are sometimes in evidence; how would swords and daggers look in female hands? And would not our working tools look peculiarly out of place in female hands also?

 

At a certain point in our ceremonial we join hands; is this likely always to be quite harmless were the links in the chain both male and female?

 

Enough has been said to show that our ritual is unsuited in its present form to mixed Lodges. Would it

 

 

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be possible to alter the ritual to suit the mixture of the sexes without surrendering all that is at present characteristic of the Order and without breaking our chain of historical continuity? And even supposing we in Holland faced that inevitable, we would undoubtedly raise against ourselves the antagonism of other Masonic Jurisdictions.

 

But supposing we even assume that the Craft in general decided to admit women and that a suitable Ritual were framed, then comes the great question "Will our Order continue to flourish and expand?"

 

What is the great and constant attraction which the Order has, not only for men but for women? It is its symbolism, its ritualism. And yet these externals are subordinate to that which is inward. If the Order is to maintain its high position it must excel in spirituality. It is the "atmosphere" of the Order that is all-important. Can woman contribute to that atmosphere in the presence of men? Will that atmosphere remain sweet and pure if women as well as men begin to move about in it?

 

We stand before the Eternal Riddle! What is the distance between Venus Pandemos and Venus Urania? There are communicating paths‑are you able to close them completely whenever necessary?

 

If the "atmosphere" is to remain pure and spiritual, the frontiers must be so sharply defined as to preclude their being over‑stepped. The primary injunction would have to be the "Touch me not,“ which we find in the legend of the meeting of Jesus and Mary. In her there was not even the slightest trace of the finest sensual emotion when she called "Rabboni" as the figure approached her, and yet there resounded the inexorable "Touch me not.“

 

In the ancient world Amor and Eros were often represented as beautiful human forms, and they were intended to typify noble, pure, human emotions and soul‑yearnings. Yet: a fleeting perfume, a breath, a bodily thrill and the sensual was present.

 

Would it be otherwise in Lodge? Or would we

 

 

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perhaps have to confess with shame that nature still lives in man and woman?

 

Each individual must be "fully persuaded in his own mind" before he gives his verdict in favour of the admission of women into the Order.

 

The Order cannot afford to venture on experiments.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

We have now passed the various arguments in review. Others must now face them and make their more or less difficult choice, but for those who have not already adopted an a Priori attitude the Grand Directorate offers its own considered standpoint.

 

The argument that man and wife going up to Lodge together, sharing their Masonic life, working together to uplift, will benefit not only themselves but their family, weighs heavily with us. But not less heavily weigh the fundamental objections unfolded in the foregoing. We fear to risk the Order in an experiment which might cost it its life.

 

Still, a solution must be found; we feel that strongly also. Something must be done, if only of a temporary character, to settle this problem. We owe that much to woman out of respect for the position in life which she has won for herself. We have obligations to ourselves also.

 

In suggesting a solution, we are guided by the opinion that the fundamental and essential characteristics of woman will never disappear, but that the objections which flow from them must be overcome.

 

This can only be achieved by the passage of time and along organic channels.

 

For this reason the Order must provide opportunity for women to assemble in a suitable organisation, but without men. These bodies should, perhaps, at first bear a temporary character and should be organised on lines similar to like bodies in America.

 

Should it appear that such bodies develop in the proper direction, then, in our opinion, full initiation into the Mysteries of our Order must essentially follow. But

 

 

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even then our motto will have to be: "Disperse to march, combine to fight.“

 

Some may find this process too slow; we believe that they are wrong. By the process indicated we shall achieve a gradual solution by evolution, without incurring all the tricks of revolution.

 

Direct action and Bolshevism in this matter leads to nowhere. We know that the road which leads to coercion of other folks' thoughts and feelings is not only wrong, but is in conflict with our solemn obligation.

 

Besides, we have a trust laid upon us; that which has been confided to our safe keeping we are bound to hand over, pure and unsullied, to those who will take over the trust from us: posterity has a right to demand this.

 

The whole object of this brochure is to assist every member of our Order to arrive at an independent judgment on this most weighty problem, and by study of it to prepare himself for open treatment of it, perhaps in an eventually to be held Masonic Congress.

 

At the same time it must be remembered that each individual decision can only bear a temporary character, and that only the principle can be brought to discussion.

 

Even if all the Brethren in Holland were unanimous in deciding on the desirability of admitting women, there could still be no definite action taken in the matter unless Holland wishes to see herself isolated amongst Masonic Jurisdictions.

 

Holland is a causeway to the Continent ‑ all eyes are upon us. The fraternal chain which encircles the earth must, in so far as it exists, be maintained.

 

We must exchange views with other Masonic jurisdictions, especially with England‑the Mother Lodge of Freemasonry and the strongest of Masonic Powers.

 

We have to reckon with the fact that in the more conservatively inclined countries, the question of the admission of women to our Order will encounter severe opposition, and we must not forget that we are only a section of the great Brotherhood which is to spread over the surface of the earth. We have our part to play.

 

 

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in ensuring that the great Landmarks of our Order do not lose their character unless for valid reasons.

 

A rupture in these times on such a question would probably betoken a rupture for a very long time. We must not let it go to that length.

 

May our labour be of benefit to the Order.

 


 

APPENDIX

 

The following is a letter attributed to Dean Swift in his writings from "the Grand Mistress of the Female Freemasons to George Faulkner, Printer.“

 

It is from Vol. XII of the Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, published in 2766.

 

A LETTER

FROM THE

GRAND MISTRESS

 

OF THE

Female Free‑Masons

 

TO

GEORGE FAULKNER, Printer.

 

Ixion impious, lewd, profane,

Bright Juno wood, but wood in vain;

Long had he languish'd for the dame,

'Till Jove at length, to quench his flame,

Some say for fear, some say for pity,

Sent him a cloud, like Juno pretty,

As like as if't were drawn by painters,

On which he got a race of Centaurs.

A bite, quoth VENUS.‑

A.B.C. lib. vi. p. 107

 

Seeing it is of late become a fashion in town, in writing to all the world, to address to you, our society of female free masons has also chosen you for our printer; and so, without preface, art, or embellishment (for truth and a

 

185

 

 

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short paper need none of them), our female lodge has the whole mystery as well as any lodge in Europe, with proper instructions in writing; and, what will seem more strange to you, without the least taint of perjury. By this time, any reader who is a mason will, I know, laugh, and not without indignation. But that matters not much, our sex has long owed yours this good turn you refused to admit queen Elizabeth, and even Semiramis queen of Babylon, though each of them (without punning) had a great deal of male flesh upon their bodies; but at last you will be forced to own we have it; and thus it was we came by it.

 

A gentleman, who is a great friend to all our members, who has since instructed and formed us into a lodge, and whom we therefore call our guardian, fell in lately with a lodge of free masons at Omagh in Ulster. They pressed him hard to come into their society, and at length prevailed. They wanted an Old Testament to swear him by. The innkeeper's bible, having both Old and New bound up together, would not do: for, the free masons oath being of much older date than the New Testament, that is from the building of Solomon's temple (for till then it was but a protestation well larded over with curses and execrations), they are always sworn on the Old Testament, only. They offer to buy the old fellow's Bible; he consents; but, finding they were to cut away the New Testament from the Old, concluded them at once a pack of prophane wretches, and very piously rescued his Bible. This custom of swearing on the Old Testament only is what has given birth to the vulgar error, That free masons renounce the New Testament. So they proceed to the rest of the ceremony, deferring the oath till the next morning, one of them having an Old Testament at his house hard by. This, it is true, was a heinous blunder against the canons of free masonry. But the gentlemen were far gone in punch and whisky. In short, our friend and present guardian is made a free but unsworn mason, and was three hours gone on his journey next morning, before the merry free masons awoke to send for their Old Testament; and, what was

 

 

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worse, they had taught him the form of the oath, against he was to swear in the morn.

 

Now, as to the secret words and signals used among free masons, it is to be observed that in the Hebrew alphabet (as our guardian has informed our lodge in writing) there are four pairs of letters, of which each pair are so like, that, at first view, they seem to be the same. Beth and Cabh, Gimel and Nun, Cheth and Thau, Daleth and Resch; and on these depend all their signals and grips.

 

Cheth and Thau are shaped like two standing gallowses, of two legs each; when two masons accost each other, one cries Cheth, the other answers Thau, signifying that they would sooner be hanged on the gallows, than divulge the secret.

 

Then again, Beth and Caph are each like a gallows lying on one of the side‑posts, and when used as above, imply this pious prayer: May all who reveal the secret, hang upon the gallows till it falls down. This is their master secret, generally called the great word.

 

Daleth and Resch are like two half gallowses, or a gallows cut in two, at the cross stick on top, by which, when pronounced, they intimate to each other, that they would rather be half hanged, than name either word or signal before any but a brother, so as to be understood.

 

When one says Gimel, the other answers Nun; then the first again, joining both letters together, repeats three times, Gimel‑Nun, Gimel‑Nun, Gimel‑Nun, by which they mean that they are united as one in interests, secrecy, and affection. This last word has in time been depraved in the pronunciation from Gimel‑Nun to Gimelum, and at last to Giblun, and sometimes Giblin; which word being by some accident discovered, they now a‑days pretend is but a mock word.

 

Another of their words has been maimed in the pronunciation by the illiterate, that is the letter Lamech, which was the hush word, for, when spoke by any brother in a lodge, it was a warning to the rest to have a care of listeners. It is now corruptly pronounced Lan; but the

 

 

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masons pretend this also is a mock word, for the same reason as Giblin: this play with the Hebrew alphabet is very anciently called MANABOLETH.

 

When one brother orders another to walk like a mason, he must walk four steps backwards; four, because of the four pair of letters already mentioned; and backwards, because the Hebrew is writ and read backwards.

 

As to their mysterious grips, they are as follows: if they be in company, where they cannot with safety speak the above words, they take each other by the hand; one draws one of the letters of the Manaboleth with his finger on the other's hand, which he returns as in speaking.

 

It is worth observing, that a certain lodge in town published some time ago a sheet full of mock masonry, purely to puzzle and banter the town, with several false signs and words, as Mada, or Adam writ backwards, Boas, Nimrod, Jakins, Pectoral, Guttural, etc., but not one word of the real ones, as you see by what has been said of the MANABOLETH.

 

After king James the sixth's accession to the throne of England, he revived masonry, of which he was grand master both in Scotland and England: it had been entirely suppressed by queen Elizabeth, because she could not get into the secret. All persons of quality, after the example of the king, got themselves admitted free masons; but they made a kind of MANABOLETH in English, in imitation of the true and ancient one; as I.O.U.H. a gold key I owe you each a gold key; H. CCCC, his ruin. Each foresees his ruin. I. C. U. B. YY. for me, I see you be too wise for me. And a great deal more of the same foolish stuff, which took its rise from a silly pun upon the word Bee; for you must know that ‑ A bee has, in all ages and notions, been the grand hieroglyphick of masonry, because it excels all other living creatures in the contrivance and commodiousness of its habitation or comb; as, among many other authors, doctor Mc.Gregor, now professor of mathematicks in Cambridge (as our guardian informs us), hath learnedly demonstrated; nay, masonry or building seems to be

 

 

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the very essence or nature of the bee, for her building not the ordinary way of all other living creatures is the generative cause, which produces the young ones (you know, I suppose, that bees are of neither sex). This material originally scanned by Ralph Omholt, Kirkland Chapter 176, Washington.

 

For this reason, the kings of France, both Pagans and Christians, always eminent free masons, carried three bees for their arms. But, to avoid the imputation of the Egyptian idolatry of worshipping a bee, Clodovcœus, their first Christian king, called them lilies or flower-deluces, in which, notwithstanding the small change made for disguise sake, there is still the exact figure of a bee. You have perhaps read of a great number of golden bees found in the coffin of a Pagan king of France, near Brussels, many ages after CHRIST, which he had ordered should be buried with him in token of his having been a mason.

 

 

The Egyptians, always excellent and ancient free masons, paid divine worship to a bee under the outward shape of a bull, the better to conceal the mystery, which bull, by them called Apis, is the Latin word for a bee; the ænigma representing the bee by a bull consists in this; that, according to the doctrine of the Pythagorean lodge of free masons, the souls of all the cow-kind transmigrate into bees, as one Virgil a poet, much in favour with the emperor Augustus, because of his profound skill in masonry, has described; and Mr. Dryden has thus shewed:

 

 

                                                                                                                        " Aristæus.

Four altars raises, from his herd he culls

For slaughter four the fairest of his bulls,

Four heifers from his female store he took,

All fair, and all unknowing of the yoke;

Nine mornings thence, with sacrifice and pray'rs

The gods invok'd, he to the grove repairs.

Behold a prodigy! for, from within

The broken bowels and the bloated skin,

A buzzing noise of bees his ears alarms;

Straight issue through the sides assembling swarms," etc.

 

 

What modern masons call a lodge, was, for the above reasons, by antiquity, called a HIVE of free masons. And

 

 

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for the same reasons, when a dissention happens in a lodge, the going off and forming of another lodge is to this day called SWARMING.

 

Our guardian is of opinion, that the present masonry is so tarnished by the ignorance of the working, and some other illiterate masons, that very many, even whole lodges, fall under the censure of the venerable Chinese Brachman, whose history of the rise, progress, and decay of free masonry, writ in the Chinese tongue, is lately translated into a certain European language. This Chinese sage says, the greatest part of current masons judge of the mysteries and use of that sacred art, just as a man perfectly illiterate judges of an excellent book, in which, when opened to him, he finds no other beauties than the regular uniformity in every page, the exactness of the lines in length and equidistance, the blackness of the ink and whiteness of the paper, or, as the famous British free mason MERLIN says of the stars in the firmament, when viewed by a child,, etc. But I shall not trouble you with the length of a quotation at present, because Merlin and friar Bacon on free masonry are soon to be dressed up in modern English, and sold by our printer Mr. Faulkner, if duly encouraged by subscribers; and also a key to Raymundus Lullius, without whose help, our guardian says, it is impossible to come at the quintessence of free masonry.

 

But some will perhaps object, how came your unsworn guardian by this refined and uncommon knowledge in the great art? To which I answer that,

 

The branch of the lodge of Solomon's temple, afterwards called the lodge of St. John of Jerusalem, on which our guardian fortunately hit, is, as I can easily prove, the ancientest and purest now on earth; from whence came the famous old Scottish lodge of Killwinin, of which all the kings of Scotland have been, from time to time, grand masters without interruption, down from the days of Fergus, who reigned there more than 2,000 years ago, long before the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or the knights of Malta; to which two lodges I must nevertheless allow the honour of having adorned the ancient

 

 

APPENDIX                                                                                                                           191

 

Jewish and Pagan masonry with many religious and Christian rules.

 

Fergus, being eldest son to the chief king of Ireland, was carefully instructed in all the arts and sciences, especially in the natural magick and the cabalistical philosophy (afterwards called the Rosicrusian), by the Pagan druids of Ireland and Mona, the only true cabalists then extant in the western world (for they had it immediately from the Phoenicians, Chaldæns and, Egyptians, which I, though but a woman, can prove). The Egyptians probably had it immediately from Abraham, as the Scripture plainly hints in the life of that patriarch; and it is allowed, I am told, by men of learning, that the occult as well as moral philosophy of all the Pagans was well besprinkled and enriched from the cabalistical school of the patriarchs, and afterwards by the Talmudists and other inferior Rabbins, though the prevailing idolatry of those days much depraved and vitiated it.

 

Fergus, before his descent upon the Picts in Scotland, raised that famous structure, called to this day Carrick Fergus after his name, the most mysterious piece of architecture now on earth (not excepting the pyramids of the Egyptian masons, and their hieroglyphicks or free masons signs), as any skilful free mason may easily perceive, by examining it according to the rules of the art. He built it as a lodge for his college of free masons, in those days called druids, which word, our guardian assures us, signifies an oak in the Greek language, because oak is one of the best timber trees for building, of which (especially the marine architecture) the druids were the only masters, though your modern term of mason implies no more than a worker in stone; erroneously enough indeed, or at least far short of the true and ancient term of druid, since the marine architecture, the most useful branch of the sacred art, corresponds naturally and perfectly with the word druid, or worker in oak, and hath nothing at all to do with stones of any kind, 'till Jason, a famous druid or free mason, used the loadstone, when he went in quest of the golden fleece, as it

            O

 

192                                                                                         WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

is called in the enigmatical terms of free masonry, or, I more properly speaking, of the cabala, as masonry was called in those days. The use of the loadstone was then, and long after, kept as secret as any of the other mysteries of the art, till, by the unanimous consent of all the great lodges, the use of it was made public, for the common benefit of mankind. Jason's artificial frog had it fixed in his mouth; and, having a free swing in an oaken bowl, half filled with water, always faced the north pole, which gave rise to the poetical fable, that Jason's frog was a little familiar or sea demon, presiding over the navigation, like any other angel guardian; for free masons, in all ages, as well as now, have been looked upon to deal with sprites or demons; and hence came that imputation, which they have in many nations lain under, of being conjurers or magicians, witness Merlin and friar Bacon.

 

It is perhaps further worth remarking, that Jason took one of the two sacred vocal oaks of the grove of Dodona to make the keel of the Argos, for so his ship was called; mysteriously joining together architecture or masonry and druidical priesthood or power of explaining the oracles. For our guardian will have it so, that the Pagan priesthood was always in the druids or masons, and that there was a perceivable glimmering of the Jewish rites in it, though much corrupted, as I said; that the Pagan worship was chiefly in groves of oak; that they always looked upon the oak, as sacred to Jupiter, which notion is countenanced (making allowance for the Paganism) by the patriarchs; for you see in Genesis, that Abraham sacrificed under the oaks of Mamre. Joshua indeed took a great stone, and put it up under the oak, emblematically joining the two great elements of masonry to raise an altar for the LORD.

 

Our guardian also says, that Cæsar's description of the druids of Gaul is as exact a picture of a lodge of free masons as can possibly be drawn.

 

His reasons for the Manaboleth are the better worth discovering, for that I believe there are even some

 

 

APPENDIX                                                                                                                           193

 

masons, who know nothing of it, viz. : that it hath been an ancient practice among the cabalistic philosophers to make every Hebrew letter a hierolglyphick, mysterious in its figure above all other letters, as being thus shaped and formed by the immediate directions of the Almighty, whereas all other LETTERS are of human invention.

 

Secondly that the Manaboleth has a very close and unconstrained analogy with masonry or architecture, for that every letter of the Hebrew alphabet, as also of the Syriac, Chaldaic, and Irish alphabets, derived from it, have their names from timber trees, except some few who have their names from stones; and I think it is pretty plain, that timber and stone are as much the elements of masonry, as the alphabet is of books, which is a near relation enough between architecture and learning of all kinds, and naturally shews why the druids, who took their title from a tree, kept learning and architecture jointly within themselves.

 

Next week shall be published the free mason's oath, with remarks upon it of a young clergyman, who has petitioned to be admitted chaplain to our lodge, which is to be kept at Mrs. Prater's female coffee‑house every Tuesday from nine in the morning to twelve, and the tenth day of every month in the year; where all ladies of true hearts and sound morals shall be admitted without swearing.

 

I think, it proper to insert the free mason's SONG commonly sung at their meetings, though, by the bye, it is of as little signification as the rest of their secrets. It was writ by one Anderson, as our guardian informs me, just to put a good gloss on the mystery, as you may see by the words

 

[Here are given six verses of the Song.]

 

 

POSTSCRIPT.

 

MR. FAULKNER, -

 

Our lodge unanimously desire you will give their sincere respects to your ingenious DRAPIER, to whose

 

 

194                                                                                         WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY

 

pen we, as well as the rest of the nation, own ourselves obliged. If he be not already a free mason, he shall be welcome to be our deputy guardian.

 

Your humble servant,

 

THALESTRIS.

 

Tsrif eht Tsugua Nilbud.

 


 

INDEX

 

Adoptive Masonry, 1

Adoptive Masonry, Rituals of, 38, 55

Aldworth, Hon. Mrs., 78, 148

Babington, Mrs. Catherine, 91

Banks, Arnold S., 151

Barkoczky, Helene Countess Hadik, 8o

Beaton, Mrs., 84

Beauq.eant, Order of the, 136

Bee, Order of the, 27

Boisson, L'Ordre de la, 26

Cagliostro, 29

Candour, Lodge Of, 4

Celestial Collar of the Holy Rosary, 27

Chevaliers et Chevallières de I'Ancre, 20

Co‑Masonry, 141

Cooper, Charles Purton, F,R.S., 93

Coteaux, L'Ordre des, 26

Cross of Jesus Christ, Order Of, 27

Cross of the South, Order of, 27

Dames of Mount Tabor, 22

Dames Phleides, 21 Daughters of Jericho, 28

Daughters of the Nile, 137

Degrees of Adoptive Rite, 4

D'Eon, Chevalier, 85

Eastern Star, Order of the, 100

Egyptian Masonry and Count Cagliostro, 29

Egyptiens, L'Ordre des, 26

Faulkner, George, 184

Felicity, Order of, 18

Fendeurs, 12

Feuillants, 21

Free Knights and Ladies, Lodge of, 11

Fusell, Joseph H., 153

Grand Orient of the Netherlands, 169

Imperial Cross of India, 28

Indifferentists, 24

Italy, Adoptive Masonry in, 8

Job's Daughters, 127

Liberty, Order of, 23

Lodge Sincdrit6, Bohemia, 83

Louisa, Order of, 28

Maria Louisa, Order of, 27

"Masonic Chronicler, “166

Melrose Lodge, 87

Memphis, Order of, 23

Militia of St. Dominic, Knights of, 27

Modem Female Freemasonry, 141

195

 

196                                                                 INDEX

 

Monche A Miel, L'Ordre de la, 26

Mopses, Order of, 9

Morgan, Lady, 90

Netherlands, Grand Orient of, 169

Nine Sisters, Lodge of, 6

Operative Lodge, Chester, 88

Operative Lodge, Edinburgh, 96

Our Lady of Mercy, Order of, 27

Palladian Lodge, England, 85

Palladium of Ladies, 21

Penelope, Companions of, 21

Perseverance, Order Of, 2

St. Caroline, Lodge of, 11

St. Catherine, Order of, 1

St. Elizabeth, Order of, 27

St. George of Burgundy, Order of, 27

St. Isabella, Order of, 28

St. John, Order of, 1

St. Leger, Hon. Elizabeth, 78, 148

Society of the Chain, 24

Star Cross, Order of the, 27

Swift, Dean, 184

Thebes, Knights of, 12

Theresa, Order of, 28 Thorp, John T., 94

Tingley, Mrs. Katharine, 148

Tongariro Lodge, 96

Torch, Order of the, 27

Rituals of Adoptive Masonry, 38, 55

Rose, Knights and Nymphs of, 21

St. Ann, Order of, 28

St. Anne, Order of, 27

U. N. L, 140

Universal Co‑Masonry, 141

White Eagle, Order of, 27

Women Freemasons, 78

Xaintrailles, Madame de, 82

 

Printed in Great Britain at

The Mayflower Press, Plymouth.     William Brendon & Son, Ltd.

 

 

 

         

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