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

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Further Reading


One excellent description of the purpose of Co-Freemasonry is "Ordo ab chao," Order out of chaos. A life of haphazardness, of chaos, is transformed gradually into a life of order, purpose and beauty.

The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry is of the same line of tradition, works the same forms, and is inspired by the same ideals as those of the Grand Lodges and the Supreme Councils of all regular Masonic Orders.

Co-Freemasonry, as the name implies, admits to membership women equally with men, and it admits them to true, ancient Freemasonry, not to any substitutive or adoptive rites.

The origin of Masonic tradition can be traced to the Ancient Mysteries of bygone civilisations, including those of Egypt and Greece, and these Ancient Mysteries can be recognised as the fount of subsequent religious, philosophical, and ethical teachings.

In Masonry, certain aspects of truth have been expressed in ceremonial form, and at the same time they have been preserved or “veiled” from those who would ignorantly misrepresent them.

To the altruistic and earnest seeker after wisdom, Masonry gives not only valuable practical training and counsel, but it also brings spiritual enlightenment that will sustain a Mason in his or her darkest hours.

Masonic symbolism and allegory become a basic part of a Mason’s thought and enable one to express simply the profound truths of life and growth.

Of paramount importance is the maintenance of silence with regard to Masonic secrets. Quite apart from the guarding of truth from age to age, a Mason must learn to keep his own counsel as well as to preserve inviolate the confidences of a Brother.

The practice of true brotherliness is the greatest and strongest ideal and precept in Freemasonry.  Charity has always been one of the chief Masonic virtues, and a Mason is enjoined to practise it in thought, word, and deed.


Co-Freemasons seek to contribute to the building of a new world.  As the operative mason uses tools to shape a stone for its proper use in a building, so does the speculative mason use tools symbolically to shape his own character for the benefit of the world in which he lives. Members are encouraged to study the meaning of Masonic allegory and symbolism, and are trained in the correct and intelligent performance of ceremonial, directed by right thought, strengthened by feeling, and carried out in appropriate action.

One of the first things to be realised is that all Masonic training and all advancement through the various degrees, are for the purpose fitting the Brother to become a useful ‘stone’ in that great building which is the Temple of Humanity, a Temple in which each individual has his own unique contribution to make, and his own special niche for which he must shape himself. Three important requisites for a Freemason are: selflessness, balance and common sense, and his training is such that it helps him to acquire or to increase these qualities.

Secondly, there is the realisation of power engendered, through corporate unity of intent and action, in a Masonic Lodge. A Brother becomes aware of the fact that a body of Masons, gathered together regularly at the same time and place in a truly dedicated spirit, and conducting a meeting with that efficiency required of all Masonic work (either operative or symbolic), creates a strong atmosphere highly charged with aspiration and positive goodwill. Such activity must inevitably be a force for good in any neighbourhood, and when occurring in many places and repeated at regular intervals, it can build up a network of powerful thought which is bound to affect all those who come within its radiations.

Although such knowledge of the working of thought is at present limited, its power for either good or evil is accepted by many people today. Thus Masonry, seriously enacted in ritual and through ceremony, and its precepts practiced by the individual in daily life, will surely commend itself to those who make enquires as to its nature. As a means of spreading peace, its influence is needed today in greater measure than ever before in the history of mankind.

The path of Masonry is one which should appeal especially to those who are attracted to the dignified and beautiful expression of great concepts through ceremony and ritual drama.

Extract from a statement to new members by C. W. Leadbeater

“It is the oldest association of which we know anything at all in the world. In the mists of antiquity so far back that we have no certain knowledge as to when it began, this ritual has been performed, and though the language was different and the costumes were different thousands of years ago, yet in essence and even down to a very considerable elaboration of detail it is absolutely the same as you see. A very interesting archaic ceremony and yet with meanings which are entirely up-to-date, which are in accordance with all the teachings of modern science and are just as useful and as applicable in our life here in the 20th century or 30 centuries away before the Christian era. How old this may be we do not know. Some of the writers in the masculine Craft have attributed to it an age carrying it back far before any history of which we know anything. The symbols are found in the huts of the Lake Dwellers of Switzerland; we do not know exactly when they lived, but it cannot be less than 20,000 years ago, and even then Masonic symbols were used. Traces of these appear in all parts of the world.”