Freemasonry for Women In the European Tradition
Women's Lodge in Los Angeles No. 32
Chartered by the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium
(GLFB - WGLB)
Are you a woman that has expressed interest in Freemasonry
and it's symbols only to be told that only men can apply?
While it is true that regular American Lodges do not initiate women,
there are quite a few of us here in the United States,
both in mixed Lodges where men and women work together,
or in all-women Lodges, such as our Lodge, Aletheia.
As societies continue to grow and evolve, we face ever more complicated problems.
Acceleration of history as well as scientific and technical progress
have changed traditional customs and ways of life,
and yet traditional tools can still be used to meet these challenges.
Women have maintained many of our prior obligations,
especially regarding family life,
but we have also acquired new liberties.
We now have a greater capacity to shape our world,
and we have new responsibilities to do so in a humane way,
on an economic, social, moral, and spiritual plane.
As free and responsible women,
it is our duty to fully participate in the construction of our society
as a factor of both evolution and of transmission of traditions.
Freemasonry is one tool, one way of life, where we can harness the wisdom,
inner equilibrium and strength required for such an undertaking.
Initiatory traditions and their symbolism allow us to mature
through individual and collective enrichment and deepening of knowledge.
By opting for Woman's freemasonry, we have yet another tool that we can use to achieve this goal
by working with other women with sensitivities similar to our own.
Our goal as a Freemason is to become a better person,
so that we may better serve our family, our community, and our world.
In the serenity of our Lodge, each of us can develop our own conscience, our sense of freedom, duty,
learn real democracy, and experience sisterly love and tolerance. As we fully become ourselves,
we can experience equality while asserting our differences and our inner wealth.
Freemasonry is free from all distinctions of nationality, race, belief, opinion, wealth or social status.
It asks its members to be sincere in pursuing the truth and to live in the outside world according to its principles.
Founded in March 1999, under the auspices of the WGLB, (Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium)
Our Lodge, named Aletheia - meaning "Truth" in ancient Greek,
is one of the few feminine lodges working in the United States.
We welcome women from all walks of life who wish to use the practice of Masonic ritual
and the exploration of Masonic symbolism as a path to personal knowledge and growth.
We seek women who are open-minded and willing to work in a atmosphere of tolerance and compassion.
When: 3rd Saturday of every month at 1:00 PM
Where: A Masonic temple in Los Angeles
What: Practice of the Masonic ritual in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, in the first three degrees. Presentation and discussion of papers on symbolic and philosophical subjects.
Instruction meetings and other programs are advertised during the Lodge meetings.
History of Women's Freemasonry
We do not know precisely when Lodges started to be formed as a vehicle for personal improvement,
but Freemasonry as we know it today was officially born in June of 1717, when four Lodges gathered in London to form a Grand Lodge. From England, where it spread quickly, it was introduced in France after 1735.
There, as in England, because a woman's legal status was that of a minor with no civil rights,
women were refused membership in the Lodges.
This did not sit well with women belonging to the nobility and even with some men,
who noted the injustices in the arguments used to keep women away from the Craft.
Even so, there were always exceptions, the first documented being Elizabeth Aldworth,
her Initiation took place in England during the early 1700s. (Pictured above)
In 1893 Le Droit Humain was founded in France, Initiating both Women and Men,
who work together in their Lodges to this day.
Our Lodge - Aletheia
The story of ALETHEIA begins with LA CROISEE DES CHEMINS (The Crossroads), a lodge of the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium. La Croisee was founded for the purpose of initiating women from other countries and helping them to get lodges started in their home countries. Intrepid members of La Croisee first visited the western United States in 1988. They started with women in Las Cruces in Santa Fe, and then turned their attention to Los Angeles. For eleven years, they worked with interested women, making numerous trips to the United States at their own expense, giving generously of their time, knowledge, and wisdom.
The first group of Los Angeles women (six of them) went to Brussels to be initiated in 1990.
Initiation meant a commitment, not only to Masonry, but also to traveling.
Thousands of miles were logged by women going to Belgium to take degrees and receive instruction.
Here at home, we held administrative meetings, planning and dreaming of the day when we would have our own lodge in Los Angeles. We kept the telephone lines humming with calls and faxes to mentors one continent plus one ocean away. Some could not bear the wait and moved on to other endeavors.
The stalwarts persevered and nurtured the dream as only women can do.
Finally, on March 6, 1999, ALETHEIA was born at the Pasadena Masonic Temple, midwifed by dozens of Belgian Sisters who had made the eleven-hour flight to be present at the historic consecration ceremony.
We have been here in Los Angeles ever since, practicing in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The work we do here focuses on personal growth, our hope is to provide you a space
and the tools that you need to discover your own inner wisdom.
How To Apply
ALETHEIA, a women's Masonic Lodge in the European tradition, is open in Los Angeles for serious women who choose to use the ritual and symbolism of Freemasonry for spiritual growth and service to humanity.
Located in the city of Los Angeles, we are one of three lodges of the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium in the
United States and the only one on the West coast.
OUR LODGE is dedicated to the study of symbolism and the exploration of philosophical truths.
Under the auspices of the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium, we offer the three degrees of the Blue Lodge to candidates wishing to work in these disciplines.
WE BELIEVE that the ideals of Freemasonry, "liberty, equality, fraternity," are not limited by considerations of ethnicity, class, creed, sex, nationality, or any of the other classifications so often used to oppress one or another group of humanity. We therefore accept for initiation any woman aged 25 years or older who can show that she is
"honest and upright, free and of good report."
To become a member, several criteria must be met. You must be willing to:
Adhere to the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
Be a woman of good character
Be at least 25 years of age.
Complete 3 interviews
Pay the fees involved (Initiation fee is $500, part of which may be used for a background check.)
Annual Dues are $240
You must be willing and able to attend meetings every 3rd Saturday of each month for the first three years. Obviously there will be exceptions, but you should consider this commitment deeply in regards to your work or school requirements, your family duties and expectations, and so on.
Contact us by e-mail.
Ask for more information and a "Request for Initiation" form. In addition to the completed form, you will also be required to submit a short (2 or 3 pages) biography covering what you consider to be the major events of your life that made you the way that you are and a statement
(1 paragraph to 1 page) telling us why you wish to become a Freemason.
You will also send 2 passport sized photos and your Initiation fee, $500, part of which may be used for a background check. If you are not selected to undergo the Initiation for any reason, or if you decide to halt your application, your fee will be returned to you in full.
In the mean time...
We ask that you refrain from doing any further research into Freemasonry, especially regarding our rituals. The reason is because the rituals are operative, they are meant to be experienced, not read.
If you choose to ignore this guidance you are only robbing yourself of the moment.
After a thorough examination of your application, you may be accepted for the initiation process into our Lodge.
Due to the time commitments we require, we only initiate women living in the Los Angeles area. There are other Lodges in New York and D.C. If you do not live near one of these Lodges, please consider the Droit Humain. http://www.comasonic.org/
Who is a Mason?
A Mason is a 'Free' man or woman of good will and high ethical standards.
S/he believes in the freedom of conscience and desires to work for the moral and
intellectual improvement of humanity. This requires a high level of commitment as well as sincerity and humility in the search for truth and devotion to the well being of one's fellow humans.
What is Masonry?
Freemasonry is a traditional philanthropic, philosophic, and initiatory Society based upon Fraternity and Sisterhood. Its methods represent an access to self-discovery through the use of universal symbols.
It's symbolism and philosophy teach Freemasons the real integration between Nature and Mankind.
Thus understood, Freemasonry is a Universal Alliance based on solidarity.
Freemasonry does not make any distinction between wealth or social standing, nationality, ethnicity, philosophical view, religious faith or secularism. It promotes the freedom of conscience.
Our Lodge is neither dogmatic, nor is it a social club.
How many Lodges from the WGLB ( Womens Grand Lodge of Belgium ) exist in the USA?
- Aletheia (L.A)
Is there a difference between the Masonic Obediences?
Regular Lodges in America typically require swearing in using the Bible.
We are completely secular. We are an adogmatic Obedience (complete freedom of beliefs).
All adogmatic (irregular) Obediences established in the USA have the same Masonic principles.
They may, however, differ slightly in terms of:
- All feminine, all masculine, or mixed.
- Choices in the Rituals: French Rite / Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite.
- Languages (English / French / Spanish)
- Decorum and clothing worn in the Temple
What does Freemasonry do?
Freemasonry is a method of self-exploration and self-transformation.
Freemasonry does not contain and does not authorize any promises.
This Lodge promises you nothing in regards to your career or personal aspirations,
only to strive to provide a space where you may build your best self.
Freemasonry appeals to all people of good will who desire to cooperate
in the moral and intellectual improvement of society.
Freemasonry helps Masons in their spiritual growth and to care for humanity,
starting in the home and working outward to the world.
Masons learn to understand the beauty of Symbolism (through the study of Masonic tools)
and the practice of Philosophy (through lectures in the Lodges/Temples).
S/he also develops an awareness of the moral and social problems facing humanity.
Masons apply the motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity in the Lodge and also in their daily lives.
Work is considered a moral imperative.
Masons obey the rules of their Obedience and their Lodge.
Masons respect the laws and legitimate authority of the country in which they hold their meetings.
Is Freemasonry a sect?
Freemasonry is not closed to the outside world and is, therefore, not a sect.
A Mason is a Free thinker who acts inside and outside according to her/his ideas.
Freemasonry does not coerce anyone. On the contrary, Freemasonry stimulates free spirit and open opinion. Freemasons are responsible for their own development and progression without any kind of pressure.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for a religion. It does not propose any system of faith whatsoever.
In our Freemasonry, there is no attempt to combine religions. There is, therefore, no composite Masonic God.
Liberal Freemasonry does not have any dogma or theology. It does not offer any sacrament.
It does not pretend to lead to Salvation through works, or secret teachings, or any other means.
That being said, for persons who grew up in a religious household, the Lodge workings may stoke a familiar feeling of working toward a common goal together with a group, and can therefore provide a fulfilling endeavor for those individuals who miss the fraternity of their churches, but not their dogma.
Is Freemasonry secretive?
Our liberal Masonry is secretive to a certain extent.
It would be more appropriate to say that Masonry requires discretion. In America it may not seem so important,
but in very recent history Freemasons were persecuted by Nazis and other fascist groups in Europe. The reason is because if you have a bunch of freethinkers adept at working together you can easily organize.
For the modern woman, there is so much misinformation out there. Confusion between what is real and perceived (and perhaps dissected on the internet) - this idea that a secret society would be a maleficent force - offers onlookers the opportunity to make very bad assumptions about our members. For this reason, it is required that a Freemason never reveal another Sister or Brother.
But it is more than that.
The rituals that we undergo were written hundreds of years ago. Their goal? To allow you the opportunity of a transformative experience. We keep the nature of our rituals secret, not because they are incendiary, but because they are meant to be experienced, not read. Our greatest hope is that we can, via our ancient rituals, create a space where you may have an epiphany. To publish the rituals would only rob our future Freemasons of that rare and special experience that they are seeking; there is nothing else like it in the world.
That being said, what most people experience can more aptly be described as a process that changes you immensely and slowly in a positive way, if you keep working with it. Each member understands and experiences this differently in their life and would be incapable to explain it to a non-Mason. In that sense, it is one's secret path.
It is generally forbidden to divulge the name of another Mason and also to mention what occurred in the Lodge/Temple.
However Masons are free to mention that they belong to the Craft.
What happens at a Lodge meeting?
Masons are builders; to build you need to work.
Masons work together in the Lodge/Temple in order to build their inner Temple,
following a Ritual and using symbolic tools.
The Ritual is important in that it transports us to a different frame of mind, away from the profane world,
and encourages us to reflect and be more receptive to the Masonic teachings.
The Masons regularly write and read in the Lodge/Temple, a symbolic, philosophical, or social paper
(also called - Pieces of Architecture -) that is subsequently discussed.
Such a process helps them grow and develop their reflective minds.
They learn to listen and respect others' points of view.
When the meeting is over, they all share a meal, called Agapes
(fraternal meal), an opportunity to develop friendships.
Why does Masonry use symbols?
Symbols have an esoteric purpose; it is a method that suggests what cannot be transmitted by teaching or direct representation. It allows Masons to integrate their personal intuition to go toward the discovery of one's own secret truth. Thus we can consider the symbol as an initiatic principle.
"The goal of symbolism is to link the mind of humans to what transcends it,
bond the element to the whole and to the universal."-
What does Masonry teach?
Self-discovery - Moral improvement - Awareness of deeper meanings in life
Sincerity - Respect of the other - Humility - Tolerance - Commitment - Fraternal love
What are the requirements for membership and how does a woman become a Mason?
- In the WGLB, women need to be 25 years old in order to apply.
- Accept to have 3 interviews with different Sisters of the Lodge.
- If this process is positive, the candidate, blindfolded, will answer questions from the members of the Lodge.
- The Master Masons of the Lodge will vote whether to proceed with the Initiation. A true majority, or 75%, is required to move forward with an applicant's Request for Initiation. If the vote is negative, the Initiation fee is returned in full.
Once initiated, the following is required of the new Mason:
- A serious extended commitment to the meetings in Lodge, every third Saturday of the month,
from 11 am to 6 pm for at least the first three years.
- Participation in Instruction and activities in Lodge, plus 2-3 times a year outside of Lodge.
- Writing pieces of Architecture. These are papers written to describe your journey with a symbol or Philosophical view, and what you learned from it.
- Acceptance of the financial requirements by the Lodge.
-Participation in Charity Fundraisers (once or twice per year)
- Acceptance of the rules of the Lodge.
Women's Lodge in Los Angeles No. 32
Chartered by the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium
(GLFB - WGLB)
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Women's Lodge in Los Angeles No. 32
Chartered by the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium
(GLFB - WGLB)
If you would like to receive more information,
please send an email with a few words about yourself and
why you are interested in becoming a freemason.
Please be sure to read the "How To Apply" and
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