I had a lot of interesting jobs before I went to school to become a journalist. Like every high school and college kid, I dabbled in a number of different things.
But that’s for another day.
At about the same time that I was going to school to become a journalist, I was also exploring other parts of myself. I was becoming an adult, and was incredibly aware of the fact that once I was done school I would be getting a job, moving out of my parents house and officially adulting.
Looking back, I think I was looking for some structure, some mentoring, to help me through this process.
So that’s when I became a Freemason.
My Grandpa has been a Freemason since he was a young man. Like a lot of the general public, I was fascinated by Freemasonry because of the rumours and conspiracy theories associated with it. I started to ask my Grandpa about it, and discovered that perhaps this could be what I was looking for.
How to become a Freemason
The first step in my journey towards becoming a Freemason was to be introduced to someone that could act as a sponsor for me at a local Lodge. That man for me was Ed Smith.
Ed was a spry 89-year-old man that was patient with me and my parents and all of the questions we had, and was kind enough – after interviewing me – to sponsor me for entry to Loyalty Lodge.
Ed would pick me up in his gigantic Cadillac and drive me to Lodge meetings, or to study at his house and I was almost always terrified. 89 years of living had not taken any of the aggressiveness out of Ed’s driving habits, no matter how much of his sight had been affected.
Once I had been accepted as an applicant, there was a ceremony. I think it’s this ceremony that gives fire to a lot of the conspiracy theories that are prevalent around the internet. I’m not going to divulge what happens in these ceremonies, as I have been sworn to secrecy, however I will say that this ceremony holds hundreds of years of history and it was both educational, and fascinating to have been a part of it.
Then, just like that, I was a Freemason.
Of important note: There are two different stems of Freemasonry – The York Rite and the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite is most prevalent in North America and Europe and consists of 33 degrees, which you can obtain. The York Rite is most prevalent in Britain and is home to the Templar Knights.
Aprons and Secret Handshakes - Is Freemasonry right for you?
Freemasonry is a brotherhood that describes itself as a ‘beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.’ The brotherhood is focused on turning good men into great men. This comes in the form of education, lectures, and charity work. The Shriners – who are a branch of Freemasonry - and all of the work they do through Shriners Hospitals, is an example of the charity work involved.
Entry as a Freemason is dependent upon you having a belief in a higher power. For many that is the belief in a Christian God, however, that is not the only higher power accepted by Freemasons. In fact, all higher powers are, and many lodges have a Bible, a Koran, a Buddhist Bible or other bibles on their alters.
It was this requirement that was ultimately why I was discharged in good standing by my own request.
After the death of my father my belief system was rocked to the core and my continued involvement as a Freemason felt like a lie. My fellow brothers were incredibly understanding during that time and were kind enough to offer me an open door should I ever choose to return.
For more information on becoming a Freemason in Alberta you can visit the Grand Lodge of Alberta website.