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Preparing to Become a Freemason

Step 1

Understand freemasonry basics. Freemasonry was founded by men who shared a commitment to supporting each other in friendship, fellowship and service to mankind. For thousands of years, men have found spiritual and philosophical fulfillment as members of the fraternity, which still operates on the same core values. In order to become a Freemason, it is necessary to meet these requirements:

Be a man. Have a sound reputation, and be well-recommended by your peers. In most freemasonry jurisdictions, you must believe in a Supreme Being, regardless of your religion. Be over the age of 18 years.

Step 2

Be interested in character building and morality. The Freemason motto is "better men make a better world." Freemasonry stresses honor, personal responsibility and personal integrity, and offers the following to its members: Monthly or bi-monthly gatherings at Freemason lodges, which are often in churches or public buildings. Teachings on the history of Freemasonry etc. Encouragement to live for the good of all mankind, and ideas for practicing good citizenship and acting with charity and love.

An invitation to participate in the ancient rites of Freemasonry, including a handshake, the rituals of initiation, and freedom to use the Masonic square and compass symbol.

Step 3

Separate the hype from the truth. Books like The Da Vinci Code have perpetuated the notion that Freemasonry is a secret society with designs on taking over the world. Hidden symbols are said to be scattered around Washington, DC and other cities. The truth is that Freemasons are not part of any such conspiracy, and people who attempt to join Freemasonry hoping to gain access to secrets are not approaching the fraternity with the right intentions.

Requesting Membership to the Fraternity

Step 4

Contact your local Lodge. The easiest way to begin the initiation process is to contact your local Masonic, District or Provincial Lodge which is usually listed in the telephone book or it's probably easier to web search and say you are interested in membership. There are a few other ways to start the process depending in which part of the world you're applying to, it's probably best if you start locally. The process will start from there:

Find a Freemason. Many Freemasons proudly display the Masonic symbol on bumper stickers, hats, and clothing or ring. They are happy to talk to people who wish to find out more information.

Some jurisdictions require that potential members approach the brotherhood of their own accord, but others allow members to issue invitations. If you have been invited to become a Freemason by a known member, feel free to take the next steps.

Step 5

Accept an invitation to meet with the Freemasons. After your petition has been reviewed, you will be called to the Lodge for an interview with a group of Freemasons who form an Investigative Committee. 

You will be asked questions concerning your reasons for wanting to become a Freemason, your history, and your character. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about Freemasonry.

The Investigative Committee will spend a week or two contacting references with regard to your character and conducting a backward check. Alcoholism, drug abuse, abuse of family, and other issues may be grounds for denial. In some countries, this investigative process can take years.

The Lodge's members will vote on whether to accept you. If you are accepted, you will receive an invitation to become a member.

Becoming a Freemason

Step 6

Begin as an apprentice. To become a Freemason, you must proceed through the process of obtaining three symbolic degrees. The Entered Apprentice is the first degree, and introduces candidates to the basic principles of Freemasonry. Moral truths are impressed upon new candidates by the symbolic use of building tools. Apprentices must become proficient in one catechism before they can move on to the next step. 

Step 7

Proceed to the Fellow Craft degree. The second degree continues to instill in candidates the principles of their new membership, especially their close association with the arts and sciences.

Candidates are tested on their mastery of knowledge learned as an apprentice.

Candidates must memorize a second catechism to complete the degree.

Step 8

Become a Master Mason. The Master Mason degree is the highest degree a Freemason can earn, and the most difficult. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the values of Freemasonry. Completion of the degree is celebrated with a ceremony. In the US, the average time elapsed from the initial petition to the Lodge to receiving the Master Mason degree is four to eight months.