-You must be an adult. In most places, that is 18 years of age.
-You must have a belief in a Supreme Being. Atheists need not apply, but men of any religious affiliation are welcome.
-You must be of good character. In other words, a law-abiding citizen with a good reputation.
-You must apply of your own free will. In other words, you're not joining because of undo pressure from friends or family. It has to be your own choice to petition for membership.
-You must be recommended. That means, a Master Mason needs to vouch for your character--a friend, a family member or co-worker. If you don't know a Mason, you need only contact a local lodge, and they will be more than happy to talk to you, get to know you, and if you meet the basic requirements, sponsor your petition. If you ask, you'll probably be surprised to learn you know more Masons than you thought.
Those degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and finally, the degree of Master Mason. There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason. There are additional degrees offered by the York Rite, and the Scottish Rite, and other appendant bodies of Freemasonry (most people have heard of a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Shriner, or a member of the Knights Templar). You can choose to join those groups or not. These are additional degrees, and each a great honor to receive, but the highest degree of Freemasonry is that of Master Mason that you will receive in your local lodge (also known as a Craft Lodge, or Blue Lodge).
The rules and the processes involved in joining a lodge and becoming a Master Mason may seem archaic, but as the world's oldest fraternity, that is our tradition, and it's worked very well for us for centuries in countries all over the world. That's unlikely to change any time soon.
So that is the basic process, and it begins much as our little saying goes--2B1ASK1.
|WB Sean McBride (left) and Midnight Freemason|
founder, Todd Creason, after he was installed as
Worshipful Master in 2010
If you're interested in joining, either ask a Master Mason you know, contact your local lodge, or do a simple Google search for the Grand Lodge in your state or jurisdiction (we may be archaic in our ritual traditions, but we're all on the internet these days). The Grand Lodge in your jurisdiction will put you in contact with a lodge secretary close to you, and he'll contact you and get you started.
Or you can just contact The Midnight Freemason himself. Todd Creason is a lodge secretary, and he can put you in contact with the Grand Lodge of any jurisdiction in the world. Just be sure to tell him where you live.
You can contact Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org for that information, or you can post any questions on here, and I'll be happy to answer them.
Uncle Benjamin is a historian, published author, blogger, and a political pundit. He's also a Freemason--a Past Master, member of the Scottish Rite, and a Shriner. He's the member of several Masonic research lodges, and research societies. Uncle Benjamin has been a periodic contributor to The Midnight Freemason for several years.