Organizational Marriage

by Midnight Freemason Contributor 
Bro. Aaron Gardner

Just recently I had an interesting conversation with Brother Bill Hosler, an active contributor here at The Midnight Freemasons. We started out by talking about the idea of women Freemasons and how we disagree with the notion of women being present in a lodge of Master Masons; more on this later. The conversation soon turned into affiliates of Freemasonry and one of the most well known organizations for women within Freemasonry. Of course that includes the Order of the Eastern Star. The Order of the Eastern Star has three official eras of existence; the first being during it's founding under Bro. Doctor and PGM Robert Morris in 1850, the second starting in 1866 and finally, today's era, which started in 1876. The thought of having women involved within Freemasonry has been long and thought out. And rightly so, as it is in our existence as an order to spread brotherly love throughout the world, who better than a woman to give us an example, such as the natural instincts of motherly nurture?

The Order of Eastern Star has requirements similar to Freemasonry. To be a member of their organization, you must be the directly related to a Master Mason, i.e.; wife, daughter (including legally adopted), mother, widow, sister, half-sister, grandmother, granddaughter, great granddaughter, aunt, niece and great nieces. stepfamily, i.e.: stepmother, daughters and sisters, In-laws; daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, great granddaughters, nieces, and great nieces. Men can also join the organization provided they themselves are Master Masons in good standing. Which brings us to the sole purpose of this topic, Why are Master Masons involved in O.E.S?

I was told that O.E.S exemplifies chauvinistic qualities, that it somehow provides the notion that women cannot make decisions without some kind of approval from a male figure in their life. I thoroughly believe this to be not just false but furthest from the truth. It is true that in order for the Order of Eastern Star to convene, there must be a Master Mason present in the East. However, that does not signify that he makes all the determination for the Sister’s work. Now, before I go any further let me clarify, I am in no way, shape or form involved in O.E.S. I am solely a Master Mason who believes in the cause of our craft in it’s entirety.

So, if a Master Mason must be in a chair of power how is it that it isn’t chauvinistic? Let’s put it into perspective. In the appendant bodies of Freemasonry there must be some kind of representative in all of them. For example, If you are a Shriner, you must be a Master Mason, this was almost not the case in the state of Michigan (There was a tension amongst the Shrine and the Grand Lodge, you can read here)..  To be in the Scottish or York Rites, you must also be a Master Mason. Being O.E.S is an appendant body of Freemasonry, and is no different in that respect. We as Master Masons have a responsibility to offer guidance to the organization to ensure Masonic qualities are being exemplified through out. The O.E.S is representing us after all.

This poses an issue that originally stimulated my conversation with Brother Hosler, if we must be present and guide O.E.S why not just initiate them into our fraternal organization? The simple answer is, it has everything to do with representation. Freemasonry and Order of Eastern Star are married, as such O.E.S represents Freemasonry. The Order was put into place to include our families but not go against our laws and regulations regarding Freemasonry. As such, whatever anyone does as a sister of the Order is doing so in the name of the Craft. However, whatever work we decide to do within our lodges does not represent O.E.S in anyway. If it is controversial to the Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge will hold the members of the lodge responsible and not the members of O.E.S. However, if something is controversial amongst our sisters in O.E.S then it will be a direct reflection of the Master Mason’s. As such our marriage would be in tatters and a cause for divorce would be evident. After all, our organizations are married and the existence of O.E.S would cease due to the requirements of joining.

That being said, the Order of Eastern Star is a great organization that helps exemplify what we stand for in Freemasonry. O.E.S represents us in extremely amazing ways by supporting youth programs such as the De Molay, Job’s Daughters and Rainbow for Girls. They support different charities including Eastern Star Homes, a way to support seniors and assisted living homes, among other programs in the local communities. Where our lodges may support one aspect of different charities and community work, Order of Eastern Star acts as a secondary arm to send out more support where we may lack. I highly encourage you to look into the Order and decide if it is something you may be interested in. It will be just as rewarding as Blue Lodge, York and Scottish Rite. Together the Freemasonry family can change the world, all of us included from the 33rd Degree to the Blue Lodge, O.E.S, all the way down to our youth organizations.


Bro. Aaron Gardner was raised as a Master Mason in his hometown lodge of Flushing, Michigan. He has served in active duty with the United States Army for the last seven years in which he has become well traveled around the world. He is currently stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma where he is a member of Triangle Lodge #548. When Bro. Gardner is not defending the nation, he takes great pride in writing articles for his blog Celestial Brotherhood, writing his fiction novel and researching all he can involving the Craft.


  1. I really hope my daughter will want to become involved in OES. I am still working on my second degree and hope to participate in OES one day if my daughter wants to join. "She is only 5" and already asks can she join "5the lodge" as she calls it. She shows interest I suppose because when I go to a meeting she asks me when she can come.

  2. I hope she would like to as well.. However, you do know there are such programs for Daughter of Masons when they are younger. She maybe O.E.S isnt her place quite yet... prepare her for it though. She has sometime before she can actually get involved but I think the International Order of Job's Daughters or the International Order of Rainbow Girls maybe good for her when she reaches 11 years of age. One person to check out is another contributor here at MFM, her name is Judy Gordon. She is very active with Jobs Daughters. You may find her articles very informative toward Job's Daughters. Such as this one:

    Thank you for your comment.


  3. Thank you for taking the time to contribute this article. I feel if someone takes the time to contribute a part of there knowledge. It is important to acknowledge the time investment one has made

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that you take the time to acknowledge that.

  4. Gone are the days when daddy and brother walked out the door without telling anyone where they went, now we all know there are no secrets in freemasonry, except what every society does not want the outside worldn to know, namely how we recognise each other. this is the same in the whole world, wether we are in a golf club, or a "secret society". We all wish to hold certain things for ourselves, and this will hold till the end of time. If, our "society", makes us a better person, is that bad when we hold certain things back from the person on the street? Do not every person, be they male or female, "good or bad" have something they wish to keep for themselves?. Everybody must decide for themselves, but please do NOT follow the masses, Freethinking is encouriged in these times, and I beg YOU, keep an open mind.

    1. Thank you Bro. Anderson. I will keep these remarks in mind. I do like to think I am rather open minded when it comes to things, hence why I stand by the "marriage" of these organizations. I am open minded but still hold true to the meaning of what our fraternity really is.

      Now, I feel that you may have a misunderstanding in what Freemasonry and a "Secret Society" are. Freemasons have never been underground to the point of being considered a true secret society with the exception of Germany during WWII, and many Muslim countries today. Even before there was internet, and telephones "Mommy and Sissy" knew exactly where Daddy and brother were off to. They went to that big building with a Square and Compass on it. They met with the same gentlemen who came over for drinks and sandwiches and chitchatted. The same men who came over and helped daddy re-shingle the roof, and the same men daddy went off to help at any beckoning call.

      If you feel that with your obligation to the Fraternity is to keep things from your family, perhaps you should take a look at it again. There are four things Freemasonry will always hold true and never get in the way of. You learn them in your first degree, it is reiterated in the second and the third.

      It is ok to keep things to yourself, but when you are married the ego is joined with another ego and should hold that sacred bond as long as there is holy matrimony. I am not a counselor, I am not saying what you do with your family is wrong, but I am at least asking you to "keep an open mind". ;)



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