Women and freemasonry
- View SourceDo what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
A few days back there was a sharing of views on the subject of
freemasonry. I read the "daily digest" mode and have been unable to
find the specific correspondence. For that I apologize. As I recall
it there was a kind of consensus around the fact that woman have
had/have no part of freemasonry. Beside the obvious fact that London
Grand Lodge and its affiliated systems are the only ones claiming
this line of thought it should also be mentioned that the same
lodge system repeatedly has shown respect to the "French connected"
Lodge systems in recent years.
Also history proves otherwise than the "men only" standard. A few
examples will follow:
In May 1995 Neville B. Cryer publishes an article in Masonic Times.
She shows that in 1693 there is in a York Manuscript (no 4) the
following passage: [Translated from Danish, so this quote may not be
completely accurate still the point is obvious] "The elders take
the Book while he or she that is made a mason put their hands
thereupon and the Oath.." etc. The observant reader will notice that
this is 24 years before the constitution of Grand Lodge of England!
The same article shows that two widows were registered in 1696 in the
operative masons court. Also Mary Bannister is listed as a freemason
But woman were not just operative mason. There are registered female
speculative masons as well. Dudley Wright published an article in The
Builder in 1920, showing Elizabeth St. Leger (Elizabeth Aldworth) as
a mason in lodge no.95 where she was accepted in 1712. The Lodge
still exists in the city of cork and is also accepted by the Grand
Lodge of England.
Another example is of cause Cagliostros Egyptian Freemason rite
open to women.
The countess of Bourbon was Grand Master in Grand Orient of France in
1775, and the rite of Mizraim came into being in 1819 also as co-
This shows that there hasn't been a general tradition, or any
historical consensus to explain the exclusion of woman from
freemasonry. Despite this UGLE accepted this specific "ancient"
Still the question is why? The common defence line today seem to be
something along the lines of "if women are present in Lodge men
cannot concentrate on the Work at hand". While obviously putting the
male sex down this does not really hold water. It's not like gays are
left out of masonry!
It is an error to exclude either sex from Lodge. One does not have to
spend many moments in a Lodge before it is obvious that the symbols
communicate a balancing of opposite poles. In that connection it
seems highly ignorant to keep the representation of one of the poles
out of the temple. Both poles are needed in the creation of anything.
I think the reasonable explanation as to why women was kept out in
the past was the fact that they were not considered Free, nor had
true right to property. This is not correct today therefore the
tolerance expressed towards race, politics and religion should be
expanded to include gender.
Love is the law, love under will.
In the Service of Our Lady.
- View SourceAt 10:02 AM 1/1/05 +0000, Isabelwrote:
>As I recallAttempts by such notables as Albert Pike to create women friendly versions
>it there was a kind of consensus around the fact that woman have
>had/have no part of freemasonry.
failed, not because of male chauvinism, but simple lack of interest from
women. Co Masonry and Androgynous Rite world wide numbers don't add up to
a small American state's membership. Membership declines have induced us
to consider such things, but there aren't significant number of women
willing to join at this point.
Consider very worthwhile groups such as the Order of Weavers.
They have taken the template of Freemasonry, but have made it distinctly
their own. Very friendly with UGLE too. Still miniscule though.
> Beside the obvious fact that LondonUnder Grand Orient umbrellas are a few androgynous lodges, but the number
>Grand Lodge and its affiliated systems are the only ones claiming
>this line of thought it should also be mentioned that the same
>lodge system repeatedly has shown respect to the "French connected"
>Lodge systems in recent years.
of women is quite small. The same can be said of various fringe masonic
rites such as Memphis Misraim. The outer vehicle of membership into them
is usually Martinism, Theosophy, or Gnostic ecclesia. Any women who has
sufficient interest can find some masonic variant to join in any large city
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