My Journey Through the Craft Pt. 1
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Aaron R. Gardner, 32°, MPS.
A lot of my articles for both The Midnight Freemasons and Celestial Brotherhood focuses on the negativity that I find with our Fraternity, what we can change, what we can do to change things and how it all affects our Fraternity. I have also focussed on our personal relationships and other aspects of our daily lives. However, there are many things that are amazing about the Craft that I sometimes fail to mention. I don’t always talk about what the Fraternity has done for myself and the many reasons I love being a Freemason. Today, I would like to address some frequently asked question by those interested in joining the Fraternity and those who have no idea what Freemasonry is.
Freemasonry is an individual journey, so the answers in the following questions will vary from person to person. It is important to be prepared to answer these questions in case a potential candidate answers them. The responses to these questions are my personal experiences, I encourage everyone reading this to begin thinking of their own responses.
What brought you to Freemasonry?
I was a Soldier in the United States Army when I decided to petition a lodge. While stationed overseas in Italy in a commonly shared recreation room I was watching the movie National Treasure. I found myself in a conversation about the differences between the truth and what was Hollywood fabrication in regards to Freemasonry. The man I was speaking with asked me what I truly knew and understood— I told him enough to know what is real and what is just a good story. As a history buff I already knew a lot of history surrounding the Freemasons, specifically, American History. He told me if I ever want to know more to contact him. It wasn’t until he shook my hand that I found his ring.
Prior to this.I had had encounters with Freemasonry as well, but it was different. It wasn’t through my family, instead it was before I left for the Army. I had a going away party at the local lodge in Flushing, Michigan. My younger cousin and I were inquisitive from all the conspiracy stories we had heard about the Freemasons, their rituals and how they controlled the world. We were left alone to help set the hall up for my going away party, while alone our curiosity got the best of us. We found an unlocked door that led to the upstairs and we wandered around.
The shadows danced across the lodge room with strange symbols and unlit candles, feeding our imaginations. A sudden noise startled us and we scurried down the stairway afraid to be left alone in the lodge hall again. Little did I know that wouldn’t be the last time I saw the that room in darkness.
Later down the road, after my conversation with the Freemason in Italy, I started to research what Freemasonry really was. Again, I already knew a lot of the history, but what I really wanted to know about, was that dark room I saw as a young man. I wanted to know what was so special about this organization to have lasted so many years. I wanted to know the secrets. I petitioned the lodge in my hometown, which was so nice to allow my going away party in their hall— the lodge that did nothing more than shroud itself in even more mystery and lore with it’s shadows still dancing through my mind.
I found some of the secrets, and I search for more constantly. At least, now, I have the right people to surround myself with and tools to answer all my questions when the time is right and I ask the right ones.
Bro. Aaron Gardner , an American Soldier who just recently transitioned into the Reserves after 8 years serving the Active Duty Army. He dedicates the majority of his free time to Freemasonry with his constant studies, writing and traveling from lodge to lodge to learn as much as he can regarding Freemasonry. He likes to relate his everyday life to the Craft and anything he finds he wants to spread to the world. It is his passion to study people, religion, history and Freemasonry. When he isn't working as a Soldier he is dedicating his time to the amazing and supportive Emily, writing about Freemasonry and writing his very own novel. His blog page is Celestial Brotherhood.