How Do I Become a Freemason?
To be one, ask one.
Don't wait to be asked! No proper Mason will ever ask you to join his lodge. You have to knock on the door in order to be let in.
If you don't know any Masons, then Email the lodge secretary and ask how you can learn more about Freemasonry and their lodge. Each lodge has a different personality, customs and traditions. Most lodges will occasionally have a special night where visitors may attend the dinner after a meeting (non-Masonic visitors may not attend meetings). There are also informal gatherings from time to time where non-Masons may meet and chat with the brethren. This is a great opportunity to get to know the men in each lodge.
Once you've narrowed down your choices, you should set up a meeting with the Secretary to discuss in detail what their lodge is about. Here are some things you can think about for your meeting.
Language. Obviously this may be the first place to start. Our Lodge covers both Japanese and English.
Goals. Next, what do you want to get out of lodge? Some men are simply looking for a social outlet that doesn't involve bars. Some men are looking for a lodge that does great charity work. And some men want a place to discuss history or philosophy. Different lodges emphasize different aspects. Take a moment and think about what you are looking for and then you'll know what questions to ask.
Frequency. How often does the lodge meet? Most lodges meet once a month. If you live far from the lodge, this might be difficult. A very basic obligation for a Mason is to attend meetings. Some lodges meet less frequently and so these may be an option for you.
Work. All of the lodges require some work from you to progress through the degrees. Find out what it is now so you're not surprised later. And don't worry. They did whatever you're asking years ago.
Cost. People are often afraid to talk about money, but its important to fully understand what you're getting yourself into. Ask about the cost of dues (including payment options), test fees (fees for each of the degrees) and meals. Don't dwell on cost, but please feel free to bring it up in conversation. Make sure you can afford to join the lodge you want.
Chemistry. The final, but perhaps most important thing to think about is the chemistry. Do you enjoy being in the company of the men of that lodge? If not, then nothing else is important. Remember, the lodge you first join will be your Mother Lodge for all time. Although you can always join other lodges later, you should always cherish your Mother Lodge. Make a good decision.
Finally, don't be in a hurry. The brethren consider Masonry important. It can often take months before you're even initiated! Be patient. Keep in touch with the lodge secretary or your proposer.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.