BECOME A FREEMASON
Hurst Lodge is located in Seattle. However, we will help any man anywhere in the world become a Freemason. We hope you will find this guide to joining Masonry useful and that if you have further questions about becoming a freemason you would contact us. For those certain in their direction to join Freemasonry, we will assist in providing any knowledge, resources and connections to join our fraternity anywhere in the world, by connecting you with their grand jurisdiction. If your first question is “what is a Mason” we’re also happy to provide information through this resource.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BECOME A FREEMASON?
To Join Hurst Lodge, you must have the following qualifications. (The only variables that may be different depending on where you live in the world are age and residency.) To Join Freemasonry in Texas, you must be:
At least 18 years old
Have the senses of a human, especially those of hearing, seeing and touch
Possess a belief in a supreme being, in whatever form or name
Be capable of reading and writing
Be a resident of Texas
Be of good moral character
BE A MAN:
The most commonly questioned of these qualifications is why women cannot join Freemasonry. While to some, this rule seems chauvinistic and archaic, we prefer to see it as an equitable and respectful recognition of the benefits of gender-specific institutions. It is of important note to recognize the masonic concordant body of the Order of the Eastern Star, which is in fact how women are included in the larger masonic community. However, we do recognize that this is not true integration.
First of all, we are a Fraternity, and while fraternities are for men, sororities are for women. Separation is a common and well accepted custom reflected in women’s only institutions including the Daughters of the American Revolution, Girl Scouts of America, The Junior League etc., and is even culturally supported by everyday things such as public restrooms.
The benefits of gender specific organizations vary depending on the participant, however, men joining Freemasonry have often expressed the following as their thoughts on the notion of gender exclusivity as an asset in the organization:
“It is great to have guy time”
Friendships with men are different than with women, generally lacking sexual tension, but always being relatable.
Men are more honest with men than with women, allowing the opportunity to build healthier, stronger friendships.
Male-only fraternal loyalty does not often or easily threaten romantic relationships involving women.
It is important to understand that as part of joining Freemasonry, you’re becoming part of a family to whom you promise friendship and support, and who promise friendship and support to you.
BE OF AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE
This requirement changes from grand jurisdiction to grand jurisdiction, however, the phraseology is that a petitioner must be “of lawful age.” That is often equal to the voting age of the state or country. For this reason, it is smart to simply use the voting age of the country as the assumed lawful age for joining Freemasonry. Keep in mind that in the United States, the Grand Jurisdiction resides with the Grand Lodges of each given state. However, other countries have different structures. For instance, the Grand Lodge of England encompasses all of the British Commonwealth.
HAVE HUMAN SENSES
The experiences of the degrees require adequate sight, sound, and dexterity in order to safely and effectively experience the degrees and learn their lessons. This requirement is not meant to be discriminatory to people with certain disabilities, but is to ensure that anyone beginning the journey of Freemasonry is properly equipped to complete it to its fullest extent.
POSSESS BELIEF IN A SUPREME BEING
The only religious requirement of Freemasonry is that anyone petitioning the degrees of Masonry not be an “Atheist.” This is not to limit anyone’s freedom of religion, but rather to ensure that its members believe that there is a greater power than themselves. Any person joining Freemasonry ought to believe that they are serving a higher calling, and that their actions have consequences that carry beyond the grave. This predicates action that is accountable, and necessitates the effort for improvement of oneself, others and the world.
It should be known that Freemasonry is not a religion, even though it includes religious principles specifically from the Judeo-Christian traditions. Even though the Bible is one of the centerpieces of the Lodge and quotes from the New Testament are recited in Lodge, it is not necessary that a Freemason be a Protestant. In fact, at Hurst Lodge, we have Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, and Agnostic members. All traditions are equally accepted and respected as validly fulfilling the required belief in a supreme being.
READING AND WRITING
Not only are reading and writing important parts of completing the degrees, but proficiency and even veracity in both are critical – especially in order to contribute to the health and growth of the Lodge and its members.
BE A RESIDENT OF TEXAS
When joining Freemasonry, one ought to join a Lodge that is within an easy driving distance of their home. As such, that lodge will be part of a Grand Jurisdiction, which might/will require residency in their State, Province, Country or Commonwealth.
BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
This last and most important qualification is the subject of investigation. Rather than constructing stone buildings we are building towers of men, neighborhoods and countries, with the goal to build them stronger to better support the prosperity of future generations. Because of this, being of good character is the most important qualification of becoming a Freemason. It has been said that joining Freemasonry makes good men better.
It should be known that upon petitioning a Lodge, an investigation committee will be assigned by the worshipful master, with the purpose of interviewing the petitioner and their references to determine their motives for joining and to understand the nature of their character. The investigation committee then reports their findings to the Lodge, prior to the vote of election to the degrees of Masonry. That vote must be unanimous. One black ball during the vote will disqualify that man from joining our order.
THE PROCESS OF JOINING FREEMASONRY
Step #1: Learn about Masonry so that you know you can, and be equipped to commit to the brotherhood of your own free will.
Step #2: Speak with a Mason, so that he may both inform you of some of your obligations, and vouch for your character to the brotherhood.
Step #3: Choose the Lodge you wish to join and petition the degrees. To petition Hurst Lodge one must download this file: Petition Degrees.pdf and deliver it to the Secretary of Hurst Lodge, Corbin "Corky" Douthitt:. He can be reached by email or by phone at: 817-228-8982
After your petition is delivered to the secretary, the following will happen in your journey to become a Freemason:
Your petition will be read by the Secretary at the next Stated Meeting of that Lodge. At this time, the Worshipful Master will assign a committee of Master Masons to investigate you and your references to determine your reasons for petitioning and a summary of the content of your character.
At the next stated meeting (normally a month after the petition is initially read) the reports of the Investigation Committee are read by the secretary. Then a vote is taken where all present Master Masons that belong to that Lodge MUST vote, using white and black balls in a secret ballot. A petitioner will gain admission if that vote returns unanimously in approval.
After being elected to the degrees of Masonry, the following will take place from the initial joining of the fraternity, to being raised to the degree of a Master Mason.
You will be invited to the Lodge on a particular day and time. Come with no expectations but what we outline here. Be sure your calendar is clear. Remember that all men who have joined Freemasonry and have gone before you through the degrees have experienced the same things, including George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. Here is an an outline of what you can expect:
You will wait while the Masons open Lodge. You will not be invited up at this time.
You will be asked to come to the door of the Lodge to request admission … From there you will go through what can only be called “an experience.” This experience will be something you will remember for the rest of your life. The one thing we can say is that the experience will contain nothing that will violate your obligations to your God, your country, your neighbor or yourself.
If you have passed the experience, and once it is complete, you will listen to a lecture that is about a half hour long delivered by a Master Mason – word for word by memory – that will explain what you recently experienced and its meaning.
You will be given a Posting Lecture in cypher, which is a re-telling of the experience and the lecture. That cypher will be illegible to any person who has never been through the experience and does not have a coach to help them read it. It will be required that you memorize that Posting Lecture.
You will be required to recite by memory the Posting Lecture, most likely in open Lodge in front of all of the members. If you have made suitable proficiency in the posting lecture, you will then be declared a proper Entered Apprentice Mason, and eligible for the next degree.
This process will repeat itself for the next two degrees until you have performed suitable proficiency as a Master Mason. After this time, you will be a voting member of the Lodge, able to travel to other lodges without escort, eligible for office in the Lodge of which you are a member, and eligible for the concordant bodies such as the York Rite and Scottish Rite, which lead to the Order of the Knights Templar and 33rd Degree, respectively.
Many men are surprised that no one ever “asked” them to become a Freemason. It must be noted that you will NEVER be asked. This process is only begun by seeking it yourself. Men interested in learning about our Fraternity or joining a lodge must initiate the inquiry.
To begin that process, you may inquire below: