New Zealand Administration

Women and men working together as Freemasons for high ideals and service

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About Us

Freemasonry has no doctrine. It is a system of symbols with implications for a way of living that leads to self-improvement through service to the world. As such, it is compatible with a variety of world-views and religious or philosophical traditions, without being itself limited to any one of them.

What is Co-Freemasonry?

The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry is a twenty-first-century reform that practices traditional Masonry, but with a conscious realization of its inner, esoteric, psychological and spiritual significance as a contemporary expression of the Mysteries. It admits into its fellowship all properly prepared persons on equal footing, without distinction of race, religion, or sex.

The Nature of Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a design for living which, when followed, leads its initiates to a knowledge of their own inner divine nature and of their harmonious linkage with all life on the planet. It gives Freemasons a training that can eventually bring them to a gateway, opening upon the Path that all human beings can walk to self-knowledge and to mutual support and cooperation.

Freemasonry has its spiritual roots in the ancient Mysteries and is today the modern form of those mysteries. Throughout the ages, Freemasonry has preserved the Ancient Wisdom of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which might otherwise have been lost to humanity during periods of darkness. The symbols by which that Ancient Wisdom is expressed have varied with time and place, as civilizations have come and gone, but the fundamental design of the work and its great truths have remained unchanged.

Some Freemasons are unaware of the depth of their heritage and of the spiritual power inherent in their ceremonies. They are satisfied with the ideal of brotherhood and the ethics and charitable work of Freemasonry. That is right and proper.

Women in Freemasonry

Co-Freemasonry adds two salient strengths to those shared by all Freemasonry. First, it is international, linking together people of various cultures in the shared task of building the spiritual temple of human unity. Second, it restores full Masonic privileges to women, and has thus taken an important step to restoring the spiritual splendor of the ancient Mysteries, in which the participation of both men and women was an essential factor.

The term “Co-Freemasonry” or “Co-Masonry” was adopted to distinguish the Order from exclusively masculine or feminine groups and to indicate that both men and women are admitted to membership on equal footing. These strengths of universality and equality are essential elements for all Masonic work.

The term “Eastern” in "The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry" refers to the symbolic East, the place of rising Light, rather than to a geographical direction. Similarly, our motto is "Ex Oriente Lux," Light from the East.

The participation of women in Freemasonic work is not an innovation; it is simply the restoration of an ancient landmark or essential of Freemasonry. In the Mysteries of Egypt and Greece, women and men worked together on an equal footing. Only in comparatively recent centuries were women excluded from the mysteries and privileges of the ancient rites that have been reincarnated in modern times as Freemasonry.

Masonic Secrecy

Masonic secrets became a way of talking about inner spiritual development. Today, the secrecy of Freemasonry is primarily symbolic. Many experiences of life cannot be put into words that will communicate them to others. That is true of quite simple and trivial experiences, such as biting into a lemon. If you have never had that experience, no one can tell you what it is really like. If you have had it, you know at first hand the taste of a lemon, which no words can express.

The ineffableness of experience is even truer of the great and moving experiences of life. No one can describe love so well as to put its essence into words.

Love can be experienced; it cannot be told. Similarly, the experience of spiritual discovery, of awakening to the Reality within each of us, cannot be put into words. Both love and spiritual discovery can be symbolized, but not expressed in ordinary words. So too, the experiences that Freemasonry is designed to evoke are beyond language. Those experiences are symbolized by the objects, actions, and legends of Freemasonry, but they cannot be expressed adequately and directly in words. Masonic secrets are symbols of what cannot be expressed—the Masonic spiritual experience. Masonic secrets are symbolic substitutes for the real experiences that await the Freemason in the course of the inner initiations that are the real content of Masonry.

Reasons for Entering Freemasonry

Individuals become Freemasons for many different reasons. Each Mason, no doubt, has a different reason or set of reasons for entering the Order. But, whatever their initial motivations, all Freemasons share certain ideals and aspirations of fraternity, charity, and truth. In addition, all Co-Freemasons share a conviction about the equality of the sexes. Also, members of the Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasons place a particular emphasis on the inner, spiritual life of Freemasonry and on its application to living.

The first reason for entering Masonry, and Co-Freemasonry more specifically, is to promote the world’s progress. It is a means for service to humanity.

A second important reason for entering Freemasonry is that it offers a method for the mastery of one’s emotional, mental, and spiritual nature. It puts the Freemason in touch with himself or herself.

Who is Eligible to Apply to Join Freemasonry?

An old statement of the qualifications says that a candidate must be “of mature age, sound judgement, and strict morals.” In practical terms, this means that a candidate must be at least twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and of good moral character.

The other essential requirement is that he or she must believe in a Supreme Being or Divine First Cause, however envisioned and by whatever name known.  The reason for this is quite logical. Co-Freemasonry welcomes men and women of all religious or spiritual belief systems, but because we aspire to develop within ourselves the higher or Divine qualities inherent in each of us, someone who has no belief in anything higher than humanity obviously would not find Co-Freemasonry congenial, nor would such an individual be successful in Freemasonry.

Ceremonial & Inner Energies

The Co-Masonic system of self-discovery deals with the application of order, knowledge, strength, and symmetry to those aspects of one’s nature that are in a state of disharmony or confusion. It is a systematic, scientific approach to wholeness, indicated by the Masonic axiom "Ordo ab Chao"— order out of chaos.

Thus, Freemasonry is service: Spiritual service to humanity and spiritual service to oneself so that one may better serve others.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us.