Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Passed Proficiency

Today at the Fellowcraft Club at the lodge I was passed my proficiency! I didn't even know there I was going to even take it but Richard, my coach, thought I was ready and it seems he was right.

In Idaho there are two ways you can take your proficiency, one being memorizing the Obligation, the Lamb skin apron and the working tools speeches and taking an open book test. The second is memorizing the entire sermon (catechism). Naturally I did it the 'old' second way. Apparently it has been a few years since someone did it that way. I was really proud of myself though.

I was really surprised to find that all the information actually fitted inside my head and even more surprised when I heard it pouring out as Richard and I went through the paces. All in all, there were 4 Past Masters, the current Worshipful Master, 1 Master Mason, 1 Entered Apprentice, and Richard and I. A committee of 3 was all that was necessary.

Onward to Fellowcraft!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Entered Apprentice

Last night I was picked up by Kent and brought to the lodge where I had my Entered Apprentice degree. Oh how wonderful it was too! There were two of us that night and it was decided that I was to go first. Everything went great. Kent opened and closed lodge but did not preside over the degree, instead it was Josh Perez, the Junior Warden, who filled in as Worshipful Master.

Before the lecture when I was reclothed, I was allowed to attend while the other person, Ed, took his degree. I felt extremely proud and honored to be able to sit at lodge and be able to witness what I had just went through. A lot of things made more sense watching it when the experience was so fresh.

When I was watching the degree I realized that I had no reason to be nervous. It was everyone else that had to the work, I just had to relax and enjoy the ride. Luckily when I has duly prepared all my nerves evaporated and I was left completely calm.

Now I need to learn and memorize what went on, then I can take my proficiency and advance onward!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Not a black ball in sight!

It's official, I've passed my ballot! My petition got voted on last Wednesday night, and I heard the results yesterday. I am so thrilled! My foot is now firmly placed on the path of Masonry and I have my three degree's in front of me. Actually my Entered Apprentice degree is next Wednesday. I never thought that it would be so soon.

I haven't received the letter from the Secretary yet, I'm sure it will arrive sometime today, so all the information I have came from going to the Fellowcraft Club yesterday. Vince and Neil told myself and Ed, the other Mason-to-be. I've already been introduced to the man to be my mentor, Richard. And now I'm gearing up for my first degree. I don't know why though, all I have to do is show up at the appointed time. No memory work yet. Well, I guess I need to be prepared to accept a lot of new information. Be open minded and open hearted.

It seems so surreal. I haven't taken one degree and haven't progressed on the path of Masonry, but I am sooo close. Since I wanted to be a Mason just a few weeks ago, I've been imagining this a lot. Funny that I haven't been imagining actually being a Mason, but just being accepted to become one! It might have something to be with being part of
Generation Y and our insatiable need to have things now.

Now, the only question that I have is, what should I bring for the Lodge goat?!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's lonely out here

While standing at the door of Freemasonry waiting for admittance, one thought occurs to me. It sure is lonely! I have only met one person who is petitioning the Lodge other than myself. This has gotten me thinking.

I was told once that there is 187 due paying members of
Eagle Rock Lodge #19. Looking at Bonneville county's demographics it seems that there are 82,522 people residing in the same county of the lodge. 56,032 are over the age of 18. 27,456 of which are male. That is a high number of people from which only 187 are due paying Masons.

With only 0.68% of the adult male population of the county being Masons, I have to wonder why this is. Can it be that only 187 are deems good and moral men? Or is that 27,269 are atheists? Maybe it is that the others are not interested enough, or know too little, or don't know at all?

I'll bet dollars over dimes that it is the latter! But in my current state of unenlightenment I am scared that anything about it. To paraphrase Pike I'm afraid that it might bring a "swarming of the unworthy into the Temples".

So, I'll just wait patiently. Alone.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Noble Quest

Now that I have to wait to find out if I get a positive ballot and start on my degree's, I decided to do some serious study on Freemasonry. I've read a lot of interesting sites, but once I've got deep enough I've been finding a lot of the same stuff. Masonic Traveler and The Burning Taper have been opening my eyes to the broader Masonic world, but I ache for some deeper knowledge.

So, I searched the local libraries online catalog and saw that they have a book called
The Meaning of Masonry. I hopped in my car and drove down there only to discover that they are closed for renovation. Not to be thwarted from my quest, I drove over to Hastings and searched there. The only thing I could find was some conspiracy Freemasonry book, and I wasn't about to waste my money.

Finding my quest halted for now, I ask if anyone out in blogland would be so generous and point me towards some more online resources.

I've Marked my Calendar

Ok, my Investigation Committee has come and gone. In, out, 20 minutes. It was painless and easy. I'm nervous.

Ok, maybe not that nervous, but it was too quick. I sure hope that is because I've meet them all before. But now for the worst part. The wait. I'm going to be voted on February 15th. That is 16 days away, 17 before I'll even have a chance to learn my fate. I hate waiting.

But, I've marked my calendar and now I'm trying to exercise some patience. Oh, what an exercise that will be! I have awful patience.

I bet this is a test. Someone somewhere that thinks that Patience it a virtue is trying to teach me a lesson. But will I get something from it, or will I drive my wife crazy?!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Inquisition Committee

Last Thursday when I went to the Fellowship Club I found out that my petition was read at Lodge the night before and that an Investigation committee was appointed. The Brothers chosen for this were PM Neil DePue, PM Vincente Esparza and JW Josh Perez.

The horrors already began in my mind. I could imagine being tied over hot coals and asked a series of deep personal questions. I could picture them coming to my house dress as the Spanish Inquisition! I know this is extremely irrational, my background was acceptable for the State of Idaho, so it should be acceptable for the Freemasons. Right?!

I've been reflecting on my past and my own character searching for any skeleton that may be lurking where I've forgotten about it. But then I've found this and now my worries are a little bit at ease. I feel like a child in a new school, hoping so desperately that the other kids won't reject me. I guess that is an indicator of how much I want to be a Mason.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Brotherly Love

January 10th 2006 was the first time that I stepped foot in a Masonic Lodge and it is something that I will always remember. I was invited there by Kent McCandless to meet with him and a few other Brothers. They get together as the 'Fellowship Club' every week for coffee and company. From the moment I walked through the door to the moment I left I was made feel wanted and a part of something. Kent shook my hand as did everyone present.

I was shown the Lodge Room and we talked about Freemasonry and what it was all about. Even though I've forgotten what we talked about already. I will never forget my first greeting. Being accepted as a man among men. If that is what they mean when the talk about 'Brotherly Love', then sign me up!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

First Contact

The first time I can remember ever thinking about Freemasonry was about 5 years ago when I first moved to Idaho. I was driving by the Masonic Lodge (Eagle Rock Lodge #19) with Andi and saw this symbol.

I remember seeing it on a building before on Long Island, NY but I never thought anything of it. Now seeing it twice in two different places got me wondering. She told me that it was the sign for Freemasonry and told me what she knew; that it was a secret society just for men.

Once we got home I googled it and read about it for a little. The sites I read went on about how it was a secret society with secret handshakes and modes of recognition. They had a few pictures of some guys wearing aprons and suits but nothing really substancial. I soon wrote Freemasonry off as another oddity in the world and forgot about it.

I few weeks ago at the tail end of 2005 something sparked by interest to look up Freemasonry again this time I used my favorite site Wikipedia. The information presented was less consirasy and more factual. It piqued my interest enough to look into it further. What I found was a group of people who shared simular values with me. They had ritual and cermomony and a more formal way of doing things. It captured my attention.

On January 3rd 2006, I emailed the Grand Lodge of Idaho about how to join an have been working towards that objective since then.

An idealistic goal

When I first started to look seriously at Freemasonry, I found a lot of information about the Craft but not a lot of information about the people in it. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, maybe there isn't a lot of personal information out there. Regardless, I choose to start a blog to chronicle my Masonic Journey.

I plan on posting my experiences, my impressions and thoughts on Freemasonry as I progress in the Craft. I hope that what I go through and what I learn will help those who ever read this. If not then it will just serve as a repository of my memories!

I've read that 'Masonry takes a good man and makes him better'. I sure hope that is true!