Freemasonry celebrates its many female brethren
2008 04 13

By Sarah Jane Checkland | timesonline.co.uk

Picked up from: aftermathnews.wordpress.com

Time was when the only way that women could become freemasons was for them to eavesdrop on the doings of this all-male preserve. But as Lady Elizabeth St Leger of Co Cork found out when she got caught in the act in 1732, this could be a high-risk strategy. As the rulebook of 1717 firmly states: “No Bondmen [ie, slaves], no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men” can ever join the brethren.

For two days, the story goes, Lodge 44 held Lady Elizabeth under lock and key while they debated what to do with her. Eventually they offered her a stark choice: death or full initiation. For generations Lady Elizabeth remained the only recorded female mason. But who knows how many ladies never lived to tell their tale?

Times have changed. Exactly 100 years ago a group of suffragettes led by Annie Besant and Lady Lutyens, wife of the architect Sir Edwin, burst into this all-male preserve by setting up the first lodge for both men and women. This didn't last long because of objections from the all-male lodges. But the women persevered, setting up their own lodges.

Now not only are there an estimated 20,000 women freemasons in Britain alone, but their male counterparts in the United Grand Lodge of England have decided to give the ladies a pat on the back by celebrating their centenary year with a special exhibition at their headquarters in Covent Garden, starting on June 4. It will be the first British exhibition on women and their involvement with freemasonry.

But don't believe for a moment that freemasonry is turning unisex. Women's lodges remain separate from men's lodges, apart from the occasional social evening or lecture.

And don't expect the exhibition to reveal any arcane secrets. As Dr Iris Monica Oktabsova, past deputy grand master of one of the oldest branches, Lodge Equity 16, says: “Although we are not a secret society, we are a society with secrets.” No tips on secret handshakes, then. No clues as to what the “craft” actually entails.

Instead, the show will mainly include examples of their regalia, as well as paper records, such as that first rule book; as well as images of early women “brethren” as they refer to themselves, and theosophical tracts which inspired their early members. By the time they leave, visitors will also be fully appraised of the three main cornerstones of freemasonry. They are the grand principles of brotherly love (the requirement to behave “with kindness and understanding towards all”); relief (to undertake charitable works) and truth (to show integrity both private and public). Last but not least they must have a fundamental belief in a supreme being or God.

The Order of Women Freemasons itself will celebrate its own centenary on June 7 with a grand gathering of 5,000 members and guests at the Royal Albert Hall during which there will be processions, hymn singing and dance.

Article from: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and
_style/court_and_social/article3620126.ece



Related Articles
The Secret of Eurasia - The Key to Hidden History
A meeting explored works of Helena Blavatsky
Freemasonry & Secret Societies


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »