Mixed-Gender Freemason Obedience with Lodges in the USA and Canada
Like every modern Masonic society since the Enlightenment, the sovereign lodges of the George Washington Union seek to build philosophically, artistically, and morally on the perceived traditions and legends of the earlier guild stonemasons. Sisters and Brothers in our modern lodges study symbolism, the full range of the arts and sciences, including philosophy, allegory and initiation within the inherited metaphor of the ancient “builders” and architects.
The established lodges of the George Washington Union in North America have each chosen to work the “Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,” the most widely spread rite in the world. Lodges meet once or twice a month, but this can vary. Regular attendance at a Lodge is of considerable importance.
New members are known as Entered Apprentices, the first degree (or step) in Freemasonry. After learning and assimilating the symbols and rituals of the first degree, Entered Apprentice may then seek to advance to the second degree, the Fellow Craft. Once again the symbols and ritual must be learned and then, and only then, further advancement is possible to the degree of Master Mason. Within each degree individual growth occurs through reflection, inquiry for oral presentation to the lodge, followed by discussion. These papers could deal with philosophical, symbolical purposes as well as contemporary issues facing the Modern Society.
Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 state that “No private Piques and Quarrels must be brought within the Door of the Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion, or Nations, or State Policy, we being only Masons..... We are also all Nations, Tongues, Kindred, and Languages, and are resolved against all Politics, as what never yet conducted to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.” Lodges within the George Washington Union respect the principle in that statement.