How to Join a Masonic Lodge
(as stated on the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin's Web site)
Applying to join a Masonic Lodge is much like applying for membership in nearly any community organization. First, you will be asked to fill out a “petition” or membership application. The petition asks for basic information such as your full name and age, as well as information on where you live and work. This information is kept confidential and will only be shared with the state Masonic organization—the Grand Lodge—should you become a Masonic Lodge Member.
Petition for membership also requires two Masonic Lodge members to sign your petition. When completed, it is then ready to be submitted to the Masonic Lodge in your community. One of the signers of your petition can assist you in submitting the petition.
After your membership application is received and processed, you will be contacted by the Master—the presiding officer of the Lodge—or the Lodge Secretary to discuss a suitable schedule which will allow you to take the three degrees of membership in a Masonic Lodge. These degrees are called the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees and are modeled on a system of instruction followed for many years in training skilled craftsmen. Each Degree is composed of instructive moral lessons that if taken to heart, will make a good man into an even better family man, employee and member of the community.
Once you have agreed to a time and date for receiving your Entered Apprentice Degree, all you need do is be present at the agreed time at the Masonic Lodge you petitioned to join. A Lodge member—most likely one of the members who signed your petition—will be there to greet and assist you as you await the beginning of the Degree.
It is important to note that every member of a Masonic Lodge has followed these same procedures, and that the presentation of the three degrees is always given in the same manner to every new member. In other words, there is no aspect of becoming a member of a Masonic Lodge that will be different for you than for anyone else who has sought membership.
Qualifications of a Petitioner
The physical, moral and spiritual qualifications necessary to become a Freemason are clear and distinct. In Wisconsin, the petitioner must be a man of at least 18 years of age. He must be free of any previous felonious criminal convictions and be of good moral character. He must also believe in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul.
The physical qualifications required are necessary as the petitioner must be capable of making his own life decisions as well as being responsible for his own actions.
The moral qualifications are self-evident, for they maintain the viability of the brotherhood and the lofty ideals of our society as a whole.
The two spiritual qualifications not only assist in shaping the entire structure of Freemasonry but also help align the fraternity with the great Mystery Schools and religions of the world. It is the transition from belief to knowledge that seals the mark of true spiritual initiation.
Spirituality is an important aspect of Freemasonry. To become a Freemason, a man must state that he has a belief in God and the after life. We open and close our meetings in prayer and in the center of the each Lodge is an altar upon which sits the Holy writings. This is to remind us that the Supreme Architect of the Universe (God) is with us in all things and that to be a better man, our faith must be the central part of our life. Freemasonry is not a religion or a denomination, nor is it a replacement for either. Freemasons do not embrace any one faith but encourage all men to live according to their beliefs. We are open to good men of all faiths.
Why does Freemasonry exist?
For three primary reasons:
To promote personal development by reinforcing moral principles, to assist those suffering unfortunate circumstances, and to foster friendship and cooperation among all people.